The Le Boeuf Theatre at the Bozar cultural centre in Brussels was packed to capacity with a 2,000- strong audience for the inaugural concert of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The National Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Brian Schembri executed a programme of lyrical music with the participation of Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja
Concert highlights included Maltese compositions by Charles Camilleri, Carlo Diacono and Joseph Vella.
The audience showed its appreciation of the versatility of the Maltese and its admiration for the local talent on occasions of this nature, both when the orchestra was rendering musical excerpts and when it accompanied tenor Joseph Calleja in his interpretation of popular arias.
The concert was attended by the country’s highest authorities, among them President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, as well as a number of distinguished visitors, among whom the President of the Regions Committee, Commissioner Karmenu Vella and a number of foreign ambassadors resident in Brussels.
In an address before the concert, President Coleiro Preca stated that the European project has to be sustained with respect, dignity, peace and well-being for everyone. The President added that having the Presidency of the Council of the European Union was a historic moment for Malta, and described the concert as a celebration of the identity and values which bring together the countries of the European Union.