January 23, 2020

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In 2013, following an 11-year absence, the International Festival of Maltese Song returned to the local cultural calendar under the auspice of the Secretariat for Culture, then led by the Hon Dr Jose Herrera. The music industry was excited, and exuberant to learn of the return, with several well known artists putting their name forward in the hope of restoring pride back into a returning showcase which had in the past featured winners such as; Ira Losco, Lawrence Gray and Georgina. 

What added to the grandeur of the showcase though was the inclusion of a small orchestra, led by Maestro Sigmund Mifsud, largely responsible for the Rockestra in recent years. Following the exclusion of live music from the Eurovision Song Contest, no local festival decided to invite the orchestra back, citing it as a waste of financial resources, a reason which we disagree with, wholeheartedly. Anyway, the issue at hand is that rumours are quickly spreading round that despite the promise made by the Secretariat for Culture less than 12 months ago, the International Festival of Maltese Song might not be making a return in 2014.


This comes as a surprise to many, especially in a year in which Malta is celebrating several anniversaries in relation to becoming an independent and republic country. Nothing represents Malta better than original music in the national language, but it seems that this element is well and truly miscalculated by our lawmakers, because if the festival does not take place then we are back to square one, lacking an independent competition which best represents the local music scene and the language that represent the nation and it's communities abroad, in countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States, who proudly following the competition in 2013.


The International Festival of Maltese Song has helped several artists, acting as a launch pad, noting that even upon it's return, it saw to the beginning of a brand new music career, that of Dorcas Debono whose merited 4th place with the song "Din Jien" written by Minik and Rita Pace would have never took place. At this stage, this editorial is being written for the authorities to make the right choice and not remove this competition from the cultural calendar. It would be wrong, immoral and deeply unpatriotic. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.


Published in Editorials

The editorial team of escflashmalta.com is proud to announce the return of the Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija which had officially been suspended in 2002 with the last winning entry being Eklissi composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Ray Agius. The void of a local competition in which entries are performed in Maltese has been felt on several occasions with only the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, organised by Media.Link Communications under the hospice of a political party and traditional-folk inspired L-Għanja tal-Poplu carrying on in recent years. 

Robert Cefai, a former Chairman of the board responsible for Malta's participation within the Eurovision Song Contest and currently the Secretary General of the World Association of Festivals and Artists seems to be a key figure behind the comeback, as he is the one to have made the announcement on his personal page on Facebook. The first official meeting for songwriters, artists and the media will be taking place on the 24th July 2013 at the Isouard Hall found within the Manoel Theatre in Valletta. The committee behind the competition will be revealing the regulations as well as other important details about the return of this prestigious competition which will be focusing on the promotion of Maltese through the medium of song.


escflashmalta.com will be covering the Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija having been the only editorial outlet to hark about the return of this competition in the past three to four years. The final edition in 2002 also boasted first runners-up; Julie & Ludwig with the track Adagio composed by Rene Mamo to the lyrics of Ray Mahoney and second runner-up; Olivia Lewis with the song Ħolm u Realtà composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan. The editorial team of escflashmalta.com would like to thank the organisers for their quick reply to the enquiries made in recent hours whilst urging our readers to stay tuned for all of the latest news.

Source: Robert Cefai (Organising Committee)


Published in Local Music News

Songs in Maltese are well received by the public and some of the all time classics in Maltese are commonly requested on the local airwaves. As time went by though the opportunities of releasing new material in Maltese faded slowly. Things took a turn for the worse, when back in 2002 the last edition of the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija took place. This festival was popular with artists across the border and year after year, every one used to be looking forward for another year of celebration of talent and Maltese music. Although in a competitive spirit, a lot of composers, authors and singers saw this as an opportunity to share their music, share their thoughts and their talents.

The festival used to attract the most popular singers on the island, even those who had represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest. The festival was seen prestigious and taking part in such competition was every artists dream – one can dare say it was seen almost as prestigious as the Song for Europe back then. The Maltese language is beautiful in itself and when sung the sound produced it surely magical, the composers and lyricists put in a lot of work in making sure that the melody, the words, the voice as well as the arrangement come together to create the perfect sound. One can say that everyone used to put in that extra effort to make the finals of the prestigious event.

Nowadays, the two main competitions in Maltese are L-Għanja Tal-Poplu and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The former is seen as a festival amongst friends with the singers accompnied live by musicians and although this is a great intiative some artists feel discouraged to participate in such an event whilst the composers and authors are also limited in submitting only three songs which once again limits the amount of submissions. The festival though has seen an increase in popularity but not as much as one would hope for. Whilst the latter, is organized under the helm of a political party and songs with a political message in hindsight seem to do well in it – this again discourages some participants.


So the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija was seen as the only netural festival which attracted attention across all borders  and the fact that it was shown on TVM and had the backing of the government ensured the neutrality of such a competition. The festival used to bring a number of opportunities itself and helped in regards to networking within the music field both on a local level and also on an international level. Apart from that the festival itself served as a launching pad for a number of artists and since it was always seen in high regard, this was the perfect platform to launch your career. It was simple, if you’re made the finals here, you can compete with the very best within the Maltese industry.

Rumours have been going round for quite sometime that the festival is going to make a  return and a number of composers, authors and singers have pressured different entities for the festival to return. In fact, close sources to escflashmalta.com revealed to us that  last year two different entities were looking into reviving the festival but sadly both fell through. It has come to a point, that if this prestigious festival is going to make a return is has to be now or never, with a new government in the country, one would expect that its return is more possible then before but thus far nothing have been mentioned. Maybe late this year or early next year, we manage to see the revival of such festival, if not, sadly I can bid adieu to a festival which gave birth to some of the most beautiful songs in Maltese in recent years. 


Published in Editorials