Charles ‘City’ Gatt passes on 20 February 2022

The Malta Society of Arts sends its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Charles ‘City’ Gatt on his passing. In 2017, the MSA awarded Charles its prestigious Gold Medal Award in recognition for his contribution to the arts. The MSA truly regrets the loss of a great artist who left his indelible mark on both the visual arts world, as well as the musical one.

The MSA honours the memory of its Gold Medal Awardee Charles ‘City’ Gatt on this sad day. On this occasion, we are sharing some images of the medal award ceremony which was held on Wednesday 6 December 2017 at our Concert Hall, under the patronage of H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, who was the President of Malta at the time.
The Dominic Galea Jazz Trio, who were joined onstage by Charles Gatt himself, accompanied the ceremony with their live music, playing mostly Charles Gatt’s own compositions. For more photos visit:

During the ceremony, Joe Quattromani gave a speech about his long friendship with Charles Gatt and told stories of musical and other adventures. Dr Vince Briffa put some light on Charles Gatt’s lesser known contribution to the visual arts, while MSA President Arch. Adrian Mamo explained how Charles Gatt’s name, especially in relation to the Malta Jazz Festival, has been known and respected for many years in international music circles.


Charles Gatt Biography
(you can also visit:

Born in Żebbiegħ, Gatt is popularly known as ‘City’. His interest in both music and painting started more or less at the same time. He joined the Education Department in 1961 and pursued a training course at St Michael’s College of Education. He taught art from 1968 to 1975 when he joined the staff of the School of Music, teaching percussion. He served as principal of the same school (1995-2005).

Gatt furthered his studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA in 1978 and 1979. He formed part of Andy Jaffe’s ensemble, played in David Kikoski’s trio and Joe Mahkolm’s Big Band, and was also a regular percussionist with Boston’s Melrose Symphony Orchestra. He also recorded works for solo percussion by Charles Camilleri whose music he performed at UNESCO-sponsored North-South Encounter in the Netherlands, at London’s Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican Centre. Gatt toured several cities in North Italy playing vibraphone with the Jazz Fantasy Trio from Bergamo. In 2004 he played the Jazzmandu, the Kathmandu Jazz Festival in Nepal. In 2014 he was part of the Ortigia Jazz Festival on vibraphone with the Rino Cirinna Sextet. He gave several master classes, workshops and performances at the Tollwood Festival in Munich and in other cities in Europe.

Gatt has accompanied artists like Albert Mangelsdorff, Bobby Shew, and the National Youth Orchestra from Britain in formal concerts and, in less formal situations, played with Steve Coleman, Joe Lovano, Trilok Gurtu, and Arto Tuncboyaciyan, among others. He played at the Bratislava Jazz Days in Czechoslovakia and at other festivals of contemporary music in Greece, Spain, North Africa, the USSR, and Australia. He has also composed music for jazz and percussion ensemble that have been used as dance routines in various musical situations.Charles Gatt is probably best known locally as Malta’s “father of jazz”, having spearheaded the Malta Jazz Festival in 1991, acting as its musical director for its first fifteen years (1991-2005).

As a member of the local Art Group ‘Start’ his installations were part of exhibitions at ‘Cityspaces’ in Valletta, ‘Malta at War Museum’, Vittoriosa (2005), ‘Borders’ at Pinto Wharf (2004), curated by Raphael Vella Ph.D and ‘Escape’ at the Old Prisons, Citadel Gozo (2003) curated by Austin Camilleri. In 2013 he took part in ‘Re-Visit the Contemporary Face of Faith’ curated by Vince Briffa.

Gatt is a member of the European art group ‘Frequenzen’. Recent exhibitions and venues with this group include Borgo a Mozzano, Italy (2017, 2006) Vesprem, Hungary (2016) ‘Umshlagplatz Coburg’ Germany (2016), Neumarkt a.d. Raab Austria (2015, 2012, 2008), Higueras and Castellon in Spain(2014), Le Rocher d’Ongles , France (2013) Rosenheim, Germany (2009) Ascoli Piceno, Italy (2004, 2009), Triumphforte, Inssbruch (2003), Galerie Hallman Strauss, Munich (2010,2005), Chongju and Gaya, South Korea, Tuchersfeld Frankishe Schweiz Museum, Germany National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta.

For a short biography of Charles ‘is-City’ Gatt, visit:

You can read more about the Gold Medal Award here:

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2 more weeks for Paul Ellul’s photography exhibition!

Our current photography exhibition ‘IMITARI MMXXII’ by Paul Ellul (Pav Ellul Images Malta), which was launched on Thursday 3 February, will remain open until Thursday 24 February. Entrance to Palazzo de La Salle is free, and you can view the exhibition as well as the other spaces of the Palazzo, including the Chapel and the Sala dei Cavalieri.

More info: 

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Michelle ‘Mixa’ Gialanze’s exhibition ‘Motherhood’ closes

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Michelle ‘Mixa’ Gialanze’s exhibition ‘Motherhood’ closed on Thursday 27 January 2022. The MSA hosted this sensitive and emotional show for 2 weeks and all visitors expressed how the exhibition touched them in one way or another. We look forward to … Continue reading

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We’re OPEN from today 3 January 2022

Dear Patrons,

The Malta Society of Arts re-opens today after the holiday period. We welcome you to visit Palazzo de La Salle where we’re hosting the Malta Photographic Society exhibition until this Friday 7 January 2022 from 8am to 7pm. Entrance is free, subject to Covid-19 measures.

See you at Palazzo de La Salle!

Malta Society of Arts

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Holidays Closure Dates

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Malta Photographic Exhibition is now open!

The 56th National Competition & Exhibition of Photography 2021, organised by The Malta Photographic Society is now open at Palazzo de La Salle!

Here are a few images from the official opening at our Art Galleries, together with the details below:

Dates: 10 to 23 December 2021
3 to 7 January 2022

Opening Hours
Mondays to Fridays: 8am to 7pm
Saturdays: 9am to 2pm
Sundays & Public Holidays: Closed (including the Christmas holidays)

Venue: Art Galleries of the Malta Society of Arts,
Palazzo de La Salle, 219, Republic Street, Valletta

Entrance is free, subject to Covid-19 measures


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Gold Medal 2021 awarded to Mariella Pisani Bencini

Our Gold Medal 2021 was awarded to Mariella Pisani Bencini for her contribution to the arts during a ceremony which took place yesterday Thursday 2 December at the Concert Hall of our Palazzo de La Salle. H.E. George Vella, President of Malta, presented the Gold Medal to Mariella in the presence of MSA President Arch. Adrian Mamo.

We’ll be publishing more details about the ceremony in the coming days. Keep following this page and our Facebook Page!
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Successful Julia Miller and Emilia Wisniewska concert

Big well done to pianist Julia Miller and violinist Emilia Wisniewska for their concert yesterday Sunday 21 November 2021 at our Concert Hall! The well-attended concert was a delight for everyone. We look  forward to hosting you both again!

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Francis Camilleri piano concert today!


A Beethoven Recital, a concert by pianist Francis Camilleri, happening today Tuesday 16 November 2021 at 7pm

Entrance on a first come first served basis by donation.

Enjoy Francis’ magic at our Concert Hall, Palazzo de La Salle, 219, Republic Street, Valletta.

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Malta Society of Arts’ Members’ Exhibition to take place online for the first time ever, showcasing works by 35 members inspired by dreams.

Titled Dream World, this year’s Members’ Exhibition organised by the Malta Society of Arts (MSA) will showcase works by 35 of its members on the Society’s website and social media platforms. Launched on Monday 1 November, the works will remain online until the 31 December 2021, giving visitors the opportunity to see a multitude of different works in a wide range of media and formats, transforming the online space into a dream-like experience.

“Under normal circumstances, the traditional live Members’ Exhibition would have taken place at our Palazzo de La Salle Galleries,” says MSA’s Assistant Manager Marika Azzopardi, who is also coordinating the project. “However, this year, due to the fact that live curation of the preparatory phase of the exhibition would have been highly challenged by COVID-19 risks, we decided to provide members with an online platform, which will ultimately reach more audiences than in previous editions, including viewers from abroad.”

The theme Dream World was selected to allow the artists to explore a wide array of ideas and experiences related to personal dreams: both sleeping dreams expressing the realms of the subconscious, and/or waking dreams or daydreams, expressing personal as well as social hopes and aspirations, fears and obsessions. The topic provided fertile ground for the minds of the participating member artists, who have created some eclectic works that are not to be missed.

The exhibition is live and may be viewed here: Participating artists include: Alex Dalli, Allison Bonanno, Anna Galea, Edward Micallef, Elena Degenhardt, Elena Timmtschenko, Elizabeth Munson, Emmanuel Crivat-Ionesco, Fabiola Agius Anastasi, George Cassar, Ian Krause, Jane Micallef, Joanna Azzopardi, Joanna Dounis, Josephine Hili, Josian Bonello, Julian Cini, Louis Sant’Angelo, Manwel Attard, Margaret Farrugia, Mario Zammit-Lewis, Marita Fenech, Mark Cassar, Mary Clare Albanozzo, Matthew Cassar, Michelle Gialanze, Nadine Micallef Grimaud, Nadya Anne Mangion, Nadya Peovska, Rebecca Grima, Robbie Mazzaro, Rosanna Ciliberti, Rossella Dalmas, Sarah Buckle, and Victoria Agius.

The Malta Society of Arts’ Members’ Online Exhibition 2021 can be viewed online from Monday 1 November until Friday 31 December 2021. For more details about the exhibition please visit or

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