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Albert Pace

FlagMalta, Ħamrun Il-Ħamrun

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Albert Pace was born in Ħamrun, Malta, in 1958. Pace studied composition with the Maltese composer Charles Camilleri, both privately and at the University of Malta, where he graduated in Music Studies in 1994, with a dissertation entitled ‘Texture in late Twentieth Century Music’.  In 2007 Pace was the first one who was awarded Doctor of Music in Composition from the same university.

Pace’s compositions include Tidwir for piano (1991 – recorded on CD), Lu-Cam... for flute and piano (1993), ... for the millennium... for clarinet and piano (1999), as well as other instrumental, chamber and orchestral works. In 1998, Pace was awarded an M. Mus. degree in Composition with distinction by the University of Edinburgh. His final submission was Overlapping Backgrounds for solo piano, a challenging complex work, about 20 minutes long, performed by Scottish pianist Murray McLachlan in Edinburgh in February 2001. It consists of a double passacaglia, with overlapping ostinatos of unequal length, taken from Ligeti's Horn Trio and Brahms's Symphony no. 4. 

The works submitted for his D.Mus. portfolio are: Trio for clarinet, violin and piano (2003), Un reste de suite for harp (2004 – partly performed by the German harpist Florence Sitruk – including in Malta in 2019, where it was performed along with Ruminations, composed in 2018, also for solo harp), the clarinet quartet Repliements et depliements (2005), Flute Concerto (2006), and Psalms for Today (2007).

Pace was the first prize winner of the 2007 APS Bank Music competition. His entry was the highly acclaimed Għanjiet ta' bniedem solitarju ('Songs of a Solitary Man'), which sets to music seven poems by the Maltese poet Rużar Briffa. This was premiered in 2009 and recorded on CD. Other compositions of his have been performed in Malta (including the 2015 orchestral piece In Amore illo ardeas ('To burn in that same fire of love'), as well as the 2017 Concertino Grosso for Maltese traditional instruments and orchestra), London, Wales and Germany.

His major unperformed works include a Piano Concerto (1994 – revised 2016), a Clarinet Concerto (2016) and the music-scenic representation in the Maltese language, of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone (2012), out of which the composer also extracted the chamber-orchestral Antigone Episodes in 2016, as well as the Cantata Mill-Qalba ta' Antigone (From the Heart of Antigone) for mezzo-soprano, viola, harp. and chamber orchestra in 2021. His String Quartet no. 2 ('Haunted by B.') (2017) has been awarded the Mullord Award by the 2016-17 ACO Composition Competition 'As you like it' (U.K.), and premiered in Malta in 2021. Also, his Salve Regina profugorum ('Hail Holy Queen of the refugees' - 2018) was a finalist in the Sacrarium Composition Competition for religiously inspired works in Lviv, Ukraine (2018).

At present Pace is a Visiting Senior Lecturer in Music at University of Malta. His main areas of specialization are: Composition and Contemporary Music, Spirituality and Music, History, Harmony and Analysis. He also formed part of several adjudicating panels in several local and international competitions.

Five of his compositions have been published by Universal Edition, under the Scodo scheme. Pace intends to publish more works in the near future.

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