Kissaun, Mayann

Concert pianist, teacher mid adjudicator

One of Malta's most distinguished personalities in her field, Kissaun, daughter of Michael Kissaun and Syra Botti, was born in Valletta.

Kissaun received early musical training under Giovanna Bascetta and Carmelo Pace. She was awarded two major scholarships by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and the British Council, held concurrently for three years at the Royal College of Music, London. Her professors were Thomas P. Fielden and Frank Merrick, the latter having studied under Leschetitzky and Vaughan Williams. She continued her studies in Rome under Omella Puliti Santoliquido and at master class level under Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Peter Feuchtwanger, and Peter Katin. While still at college, she won acclaim for her interpretation of Beethoven in a competition festival and played for the BBC.

In Malta Kissaun spent several years giving recitals on Rediffusion and television, introducing contemporary English, Russian, and Maltese piano works as well as playing several piano duo performances with her sister, Nadya. These activities she combined with frequent concert engagements abroad during which she often included compositions by Pace, Camilleri, and Pawlu Grech. She also taught theory and history of music in the girls' secondary schools and built up a highly-successful private teaching practice. She was chairperson of the British Council Scholars' Association (Malta) for two years.

Later, while based in London, she performed extensively in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, France, North Africa, Argentina, and Mexico. She played solo recitals at international music festivals broadcast on BBC, RAI, RTF, Deutsche Rundfunk, Dutch Radio (AVRO and KRO), Danish Radio, Radio Telefis Eirean, Radio Vaticana, and Radio Nacional de Buenos Aires. She also gave numerous piano/violin duo recitals in Europe.

Kissaun has served on several adjudicating panels in Malta and abroad, was professor of pianoforte at the London College of Music, and on occasions deputized for professors at the Royal Academy of Music. She also taught students recommended by the National Association for Gifted Children (UK). Kissaun is included in the International Who's Who in Music 1975, WHO's Who in Music 1972 and The World's Who's Who of Women, 1978. She published several articles on music in the yearly newsletter of The British Council Scholars.

She is married to Clifford Jackson, B.Sc. MA. (Oxon).

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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