Times of Malta, 21st May 2008 – It is being promoted as a rare concert with a difference.

An “elegant” flute and mediaeval troubadour percussion performance by Giorgia Santoro and Vito de Lorenzi will open this year’s Bir Miftuħ Festival on Friday. It was made possible thanks to the support of the Italian Cultural institute.

The festival is held annually at the 15th century church of St Mary of Bir Miftuħ by Din l-Art Ħelwa with all funds raised going to the heritage organisation’s several restoration projects of historic sites.

The programme of mediaeval music to be performed during the concert falls within the project La Cantiga de la Serena, which aims at reviving the Mediterranean music of the Middle Ages.

The repertoire, a spokesman for the promoters said, enlivens ancient dances, chants and devotions of the Christian pilgrims on the road to Montserrat, songs of faith sung during night vigils in churches. Here they will be chanted and danced to simple Spanish folk music blended with the intricate elegance of the folk music from Italy and France.

The programme also evokes the music of the Sephardi Jews, who, through their voyages for hundreds of years along the Mediterranean coasts, wove into their music all the influences of Spain and Portugal, the hypnotic rhythms of the nomads, the fine Islamic technique and the uneven tempo of Greek and Balkan music.

Ms Santoro graduated in flute and jazz from the Conservatorio T. Schipa di Lecce and then specialised in ottavino and in jazz at the Conservatorio N. Rota di Monopoli. She attended master classes in flute, in jazz improvisation and as soloist with orchestras with eminent professors both in Italy and abroad.

She won several national and international competitions and scholarships and has collaborated with world famous personalities like Riccardo Muti, José Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Katia Ricciarelli and composers M. Dall’Ongaro and R. Bellafronte.

Ms Santoro has given high-profile concerts in Italy and across Europe.

Mr De Lorenzi started his career as a self-taught percussion player, then furthered his studies under the guidance of F. Accardi and G. Maggi. He has conducted numerous workshops at national and European level.

Mr De Lorenzi undertook advanced studies in oriental drums under the tuition of Israeli and Indian professors. He is involved in the research of ethnic music, participates in numerous festivals in Italy and abroad and collaborates with reputable ensembles and orchestras. He lectures at prestigious academies in Italy.

Tickets for the concert cost €20 per person, including refreshments after the performance, and are available from Din l-Art Ħelwa, 133, Melita Street, Valletta.

For further information contact Din l-Art Ħelwa on 21220358/ 21225952 between 9 a.m. and noon.