Joseph Debrincat

Born in 1976, in Gozo (Malta), Joseph Debrincat graduated in music from the University of Malta in 1998, having studied with Malta’s leading composers Charles Camilleri, Joseph Vella, and John Galea. Besides, he pursued studies in conducting with Maltese conductor Michael Laus and furthered them abroad by attending master classes in Milan with Herbert Handt. In 2005, Debrincat has been awarded the M.Phil degree from the University of Malta, after submitting a dissertation focusing on Francesco Azopardi’s unique compositions found in Archives in Gozo.

As a clarinetist, Debrincat holds a diploma from the London College of Music, and is the leader of the Leone Band of Victoria. He is also a founding member of the Victoria Clarinet Quartet. However, he devotes most of his time to conducting. At present, he is the Assistant Conductor of the Leone Band and, since 2000, the maestro di cappella of the Sannat Parish Church of St Margaret. Debrincat also served as the first musical director of the Santa Margerita Band of Sannat, from its inception in 1997 until 2013.

Debrincat holds keen interest in opera. He sits on the opera administrative committee at the Aurora Opera House (as part of the Leone Philharmonic Society) and serves as the backstage music coordinator and backstage conductor at the same opera house.

In 2001 Debrincat was the mastermind behind the birth of the Classique Foundation, the first of its sort in Gozo, which was inaugurated with a highly acclaimed vocal and orchestral concert, Verdi in concerto. This was followed by many others, most of them with the participation of the National Orchestra of Malta (now MPO). In fact, Debrincat turns out to be the youngest Gozitan conductor ever to conduct the National Orchestra of Malta. His opera conducting debut occurred in June 2002, when he conducted with great success the Malta Premiere of Puccini’s first opera Le Villi (in concert version) – an event attended by Puccini’s grand-daughter, Dr. Simonetta Puccini. In 2004 he was invited to conduct the Jugend Sinfonie Orchester Konservatorium Bern in a concert held at the Aurora Opera House (Gozo, Malta). Then, in May 2007, Debrincat was invited by the National Orchestra of Malta and the Manoel Theatre (Malta’s National Theatre) to conduct two revival-performances of Charles Camilleri’s opera Il-Weghda. In this project Debrincat was also very actively involved in the revision of this opera, working side-by-side with the composer. November 2008 and 2011 brought about two other remarkable concerts for Debrincat and the Classique Foundation; Puccini 150 – Anniversary Concert and Grand Operatic Concert – both featuring the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and internationally-renowned singers at the Aurora Opera House.

Debrincat is also associated with a number of premieres. Worth mentioning are Charles Camilleri’s Missa in honorem Sta. Margarita V.M. for 3 Soloists, Choir (S.A.T.B.) and Orchestra and Preghiera Semplice for Strings.

Furthermore, Debrincat has also arranged, orchestrated and edited a considerable number of works for band, clarinet quartets, orchestra, and other musical formations. Worth mentioning is his orchestration of Puccini’s one-movement Requiem, originally for choir, solo viola, and harmonium.  

In the academic field, Joseph Debrincat is a well-sought music teacher, teaching theory of music at the Gozo School of Music since 1999, where he also conducts the school’s string ensemble. He also teaches clarinet at the Leone Band Club.

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