Reuben Pace

After initial music tuition starting from the age of eight, Pace sat for a Bachelor of Arts in Music at the University of Malta followed by a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education.

Pace started his musical career at the age of eight at the St. Nicholas' Band club in his native village of Siggiewi, Malta. Here he learnt solveggio along with performing on the Baritone in B flat. At the age of twelve he took up classical guitar studies mainly with Ms. Charlotte Smith and soon after he started taking music theory classes with fellow Maltese composer Anthony Bonello.

In 1992 he started a 3-year Bachelor of Arts in Music and Communication studies at the University of Malta graduating in 1995. At the same time he took private tuition in harmony and counterpoint with Mro. Lorry Borg and conducting with veteran Maltese conductor Mro. Joseph Sammut. Subsequently he sat for a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education at the same University of Malta graduating in 1996. He immediately took up employment as a music teacher in a government secondary school.

So far Pace had mainly concentrated on guitar performance but on the insistence of veteran Maltese composer Charles Camilleri (1931-2009) he started experimenting with composition, his first performed piece being Romance (1997) originally for piano and violin but first performed as a band arrangement. At his teaching workplace he collaborated with Maltese soprano Marita Bezzina who nurtured in him a special love for the human voice.

In September 2000 Pace left Malta and went to sit for a Master of Arts in Composition and Music Technology at the University of Bangor, Bangor, Wales. During his stay there he composed a number of pieces most of which were performed. This included his first string quartet Me, Myself and Something Else (2001) which was performed during the second Bangor New Music Festival by the Duke String Quartet. Pace graduated with a Master of Arts in 2003 but kept in regular contact with Bangor University in fact his work 'Gahwra' was performed by Ensemble Cymru in the Bangor New Music Festival of 2004.

When Pace returned to Malta in 2001 he took up a freelance job of publishing manager with Bookwrite Ltd., a local company which at the time focused on music educational material. This job ended in 2010 when Pace took up his music teaching job again. In the meanwhile in 2008 he started also working as a part-time lecturer at the University of Malta.

In 2004 Pace started a part time Phd in composition at the same University of Bangor. During his Phd he concentrated on developing a unique method of developing musical material – morphing. He continues to develop this technique throughout his career, giving his works a unique character. For his Phd portfolio Pace presented a selection of works which show this technique gradually developing, starting with Wahdu (2004) for solo cello and ending with the Missa Brevis (2010) for double choir solo soprano and solo tenor a capella. Waiting for Godot (2007), inspired by the play with the same name by Samuel Becket (1906-1989), (and also included in his Phd portfolio) was performed in Cardiff by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Pace graduated with a Phd in 2012.

2013 was an important year for Pace as in this year he took up full time freelance composing (which he does till the present day). In 2014 he single handedly composed, produced and conducted the first ever Maltese multi-media opera Il-Kantilena which is based on the oldest poem in Maltese which goes by the same name. This work was premiered at the Manoel Theatre, one of Europe's oldest functioning theatres and was commissioned for the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of Malta being a Republic.

At the beginning of 2015 another major work by Pace , this time commissioned by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, The Everlink was performed several times at the Eden Century Cinemas in St.Julians. Later on that year he composed and produced his first oratorio Versus. The text of this work is based on 800 poems by school children which Pace collected from all over Malta and Gozo. It was premiered by the Estonian choir Collegium Musicale at the Mdina Cathedral as part of the Imdina Biennale Arts Festival.

His latest completed work is Concertino for Guitar and Harpsichord (2016) which shall be premiered at the Valletta International Baroque Festival on the 26 th of January 2017. It will be the first time ever a Maltese composer has been included in this festival.