Colin Attard

Conductor (b. 1962)
Colin Attard

Colin Attard was born in 1962 in Gozo, Malta, in a highly musical family where, inevitably, he grew up in a very musical environment and also received his early musical education. Eventually he continued his advanced studies under the tuition of his uncle, Prof. Joseph Vella. He graduated in accountancy from the University of Malta but soon after he took up a full-time career in music becoming one of Malta's most active musicians.

Colin is a composer, with quite a few compositions to his credit, also holding the fellowship diploma in composition from the London College of Music. However, most of his time is taken by conducting and artistic direction.

Since 1991 he has been the resident director of Gozo's Teatru tal-Opra Aurora and the Leone Philharmonic Society (which owns the theatre), piloting the latter to new heights as regards concert activity. During the several operatic productions he has been responsible for at this Gozitan theatre, he has worked with world-renowned international artists such as sopranos Maria Guleghina, Eva Marton and Michèle Crider, tenors Neil Shicoff, Nicola Martinucci, Gianfranco Cècchele and Franco Farina, and baritone Juan Pons. His deft hand in the organisation of musical activity serves him in good stead in this mammoth task of opera organisation in Gozo – in which he is not just the man behind the baton!

Colin Attard is also very active in the choral field. He is the founder-director of the Gaulitanus Choir with which he gives several concerts and for which he artistically directs the annual Easter-time international festival Gaulitana: A Festival of Music. He is also the choir master of the Aurora Opera Chorus as well as the director of the Chorus Ecclesiae Cathedralis, the resident choir of the Gozo Cathedral. At the Cathedral, as is the case with some other churches in Gozo, Attard is also the maestro di cappella.

In these various conducting roles he has presented innumerable concerts, besides featuring abroad and doing several recordings. Very soon, the CD “Gozzelino and Attard … in religious mode” featuring music by himself and Italian composer Federico Gozzelino will be issued by the Verso l’Arte Edizioni of Italy. Attard has regularly appeared at the helm of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and also conducted foreign orchestras such as the Nova Amadeus of Rome (Italy), the Filarmonica di Palermo (Italy), the Filarmonica G. Verdi of Sicily (Italy), the Orchestra Filarmonica F. Cilea of Reggio Calabria (Italy) and the Pitesti Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania). He has also been invited several times to conduct the Rencontres Musicales de Mediterranée Festival Orchestra in Corsica (France), for which he did various musical arrangements of the festival's chosen excerpts. In fact, arranging is another of Attard's penchants.

Colin is active in the academic field as well. He has been performing duties at the Gozo School of Music since its inauguration in 1988, and has been the editor of the school’s magazine The Buzz since 2010. Besides, his interest in the musical heritage of Gozo has led to the editing of several forgotten compositions, which have also been revived.

Colin Attard is also a leading personality in revitalising concert activity in Gozo since he became active in the early 1980's. Aware of the constant need to keep up with change, he has been at the front in presenting the ever-increasing Gozitan audiences with more trendy, sometimes popular music, drifting away, when necessary, from the ubiquitous, tried and tested music; hence the versatile and varied repertoires he presents at his concerts.