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Carmelo Callus

DESCRIPTION: Carmelo Callus


ACTIVITY PERIOD: 1930's - Current

MUSIC GENRE: Classical



ORCHESTRAS & ENSEMBLES: Malta Symphony Orchestra, Manoel Orchestra



Since very young Carmelo Callus showed his musical talent. He had early lessons from his uncle Leonard Callus, a Maestro in Malta and America and at the St. Nicholas band of his city Siggiewi. At the early age of 5 Carmelo played a Polka solo on the piccolo with the accompaniment of the St. Nicholas band. Later he studied the flute and played the piccolo, flute, E flat, B flat clarinets, with various bands in Malta, in order to earn some money to pay for the private lessons. At the age of 8 he studied the pianoforte and organ under the auspices of Mro. V. Costa and his son Carmelo Costa, and the violin under Mro. Augustine Camilleri and Anthony Mamo. He played with the best musicians, such as, Giorlando Valente, Ch. Fiamingo, Paul Carabott, Paul Arnaud, Joe Miggiani, etc.; was a first violinist with the Malta Symphony orchestra and, later, the Manoel Orchestra, from 1947-1980, under the direction of Mros. Francis Bellizzi and Paolo Nani, and also unde foreign conductors such as Arthur Bliss (the Queen's music master) who came to conduct the music of E. Elgar for the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's (then Princess) visit to Malta. He also plays the guitar, bass guitar, viola, double bass, tenor trombone and tuba. He studied harmony, counterpoint, fugue, orchestration, form and history with Mros. V. Costa,, his son Carmelo Costa, (theory and organ), Giuseppe Casapinta, Carmelo Pace, and a course in composition (1960-1963) with Prof. William R. Passfield, as suggested to me by Dr. R. Hunt, director of the London College of Music.

He was leader of the orchestra of the late Mro. Gius. Camilleri, Carmelo Zammit, Rev. Gius. Cachia. He was appointed assistant band master, and then bandmaster of Siggiewi and conducted other bands where he also gave lessons to student. He graduated as a music teacher (warrant no. 3428) after studying for a further 2 years at the training college for teachers, and taught in Secondary state schools where he introduced the teaching of string and other instruments and formed the first orchestra which he conducted on various occasions. Carmelo was also the organist of St Nicholas Church in Siggiewi, St. Philip Church in Zebbug, Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and now organist of the Trinity Chapel of Siggiewi, Malta. He was also Maestro di Cappella of Siggiewi, Zebbug, luga, Qrendi and Gharghur Parish Churches and monasteries of St. Ursula and St. Catherine.
Carmelo is also the holder of a special certificate for passing consecutively the four highest grades and LRSM of the Royal Schools of Music, Associateship, Licenciateship and Fellowship (composer) of the London College of Music. He was the music director of the Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for 30 years, and prepared hundreds of students for examinations in music theory, harmony, counterpoints, fugue, form and history of music, as well as, practical exams in violin, viola, cello, double bass, pianoforte, organ, flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba. Many of these students are now in teir own rights good performers with their own bands, some are also teachers, Carmelo was a prolific composer of Church music, masses, magnificats, psalms, antiphones, hymns, etc.

He wrote a large number of marches, waltzes, duets, trios, quartets, preludes, intermezzi, sonatas for violin and paian, Concerto for violin and piano, overtures, Marcia Sinfonica, symphonic poems, 2 ballads, 3 Polkas for piccolo or flute, Divertimenti for violins and piano, concerto for Tenor Trombone trios and quartets for 3 or 4 clarinets, Impression for Bflat clarinet, bass clarinet and piano, suites, madrigals, songs and part-songs, fuga and variations for pianoforte solo, Toccata and fugue for string quartet, Trio for flute, oboe, bassoon. Souvenir for piano and violin solo, Rigoudon, Spring Waltz for violin solo with piano accompaniment and voices, concerto for pianoforte solo played by Andrew Wilkinson, Aria e fuga per organo solo played by Brian Draycott, duet for 2 saxophones and many others.

Carmelo Callus was elevated to the honour of of Chevalier and Commandatore of the "Ordine Reale Corona Balearica" of Aragona, Spain, after he was commissioned by the council of the Prince to compose a poem ad hymn for the Order. He also composed 2 Ave Marias for Tenor or Soprano and Bass plus choir and piano or organ accompaniment, wedding song for choir, the lyrics were also written in English by the same composer.

He also wrote the following books: History of Music, Musical Forms, A Handbook, Hints for students preparing for examinations, Rules of strict and free counterpoint, Evaluation of Maltese Music.


Parent Category Page Links: Classical Composers - Malta Classical Musicians - Malta

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