Reuben Pace

Getting to know the new conductor’s assistants training with the opera conductor Mro Robert Ferrer.

We met with Ms. Simona Cavaliere & Mr. Luke Vella, the new assistants’ conductors for the City of Humanity 1 Opera Cycle which will take place November 14th in Malta.

Let’s see what they told us.

Q: From which process did you pass to be chosen for this position?

Simona: Mro Ferrer chose me as his assistant after I applied for the conducting masterclass and based on the performances I have been part of. I have previous experiences with orchestras and conductors, I really wanted to participate in this event & fortunately I was chosen.

Luke: I was chosen also after attending a two-day masterclass with Mro. Robert Ferrer. During the masterclass, we focused on the Sinfonietta by Janacek, where at the end of the masterclass we had to conduct the whole sinfonietta. Having an on hands experience with a decision maker really helps out! (a useful tip for all of us)

Q: Going a bit deeper, what’s your initial motivation to participate in this unique opera?

Luke: This is the first time for me to work in such a large production. This allows me to build experience and at the same time learn from this experience for the future. Malta has a great history of musicians & operas and this is the time to show it!

Simona: I was interested in participating in the City of Humanity because I think it’s a great opportunity to work and learn more as a conductor. And it’s also amazing to work in a project involving a brand new opera by the Maltese composer Reuben Pace.

Q: For our last question, please share with the public, a few words about yourselves to get to know you better

Simona: I graduated from the Istituto Musicale Vincenzo Bellini of Catania, Sicily,( I am Italian-Maltese origin).I am a pianist holding a Bachelor of Music degree (Piano performance) with First Class Honors and a Master of Music in Chamber Music with Distinction. During my studies, I was tutored by international pianist Mro Daniele Petralia. I regularly perform in my native Catania and around Italy and Malta working with many professional partners in various ensembles. I have participated in Masterclasses with acclaimed musicians and am also the winner of many prestigious scholarships and music competitions prizes. I teach both piano and music education with a focus on Orff and Dalcroze methods and using percussion instruments to help children with special needs. In recent years, I have developed an interest in Orchestral Conducting and I was chosen as Assistant Conductor of Mro Romolo Gessi (Italy ) and Mro Robert Ferrer ( Spain) for City of Humanity.

Luke: I started studying the clarinet at age 6 at Count Roger Band Club. Currently, I am a third-year music student specializing in composition at the University of Malta and I am furthering my clarinet studies with Mr. Godfrey Mifsud. Apart from my studies, I am also an assistant musical coordinator and clarinet player with Tikka Banda and a woodwind teacher with Ghaqda Muzikali Madonna ta' Pompei Marsaxlokk.  In 2016 I obtained my Dip.LCM in clarinet and Dip.MUS LCM in music theory. Last year I conducted the first performance of my own composition "Prelude" with the Dechový orchestra Zábřeh in the Czech Republic. Recently, I was chosen by Mro Robert Ferrer as an Assistant Conductor for the City of Humanity 1!

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