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Camerata on Monday November 12, 2007

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For the 14th consecutive year, the Camerata Friends of Music Orchestra is to be sponsored exclusively by EFG Eurobank.

The announcement will be made during a special gathering at the Athens Concert Hall on Monday. Marianna J. Latsis, the Bank’s Vice President, will be present, along with Christos Lambrakis, President of the Athens Concert Hall.

The Orchestra is led by maestros Sir Neville Marriner, the ensemble’s honorary President, Alexandre Myrat and Warren Green. Monday’s event will include announcements regarding the orchestra’s embarking on new cultural and social missions, such as a series of concerts to take place in schools and prisons, among other places.

Athens State Orchestra forging ahead, despite problems November 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Museums, Music Life Classical.
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The Athens State Orchestra’s artistic director, Vyron Fidetzis, discusses his plans for the season

The ASO performs almost every Friday night in the Athens Concert Hall’s Friends of Music Hall, in front of a dedicated audience. This year, the orchestra will also perform at the Benaki Museum and the National Gallery. In January, it is scheduled to travel abroad, first to China and then to Istanbul.

The Athens State Orchestra is something we feel very close to but don’t know much about. This time every year, it holds a press conference to announce its program but the news isn’t always good. For the past six years, ever since the Pallas Theater, where the orchestra held its concerts and rehearsals, closed down, things have been hard. The rehearsals hall at the Athens Conservatory, the orchestra’s official home, proved entirely unsuitable and the halls ceded by the Athens Concert Hall for rehearsals are not always available or suitable.

Despite all that, the new season is full of expectations and plans. The orchestra, which is about to recruit high-caliber musicians, performs almost every Friday night in the Athens Concert Hall’s Friends of Music Hall, in front of its dedicated audience. The program is striking and features a tour to China, concerts at the concert hall and much more, including the release of a double CD by the label Legend as well a a new website. Vyron Fidetzis, the Athens State Orchestra’s artistic director, spoke to the local  press about future plans and problems.

What are the highlights of the new season? > This year, the Athens State Orchestra will be spread across the entire city, beyond the Athens Concert Hall, as far as the Benaki Museum and the National Gallery. Our two trips abroad are also important. From December 29 to January 8, we will be in China, as part of the Year of Greece exchanges, and on January 24 we will perform in Istanbul.

What are your concerns as the orchestra’s artistic director? > As you know, the venue provided by the orchestra’s official home, the Athens Conservatory, is entirely unsuitable. We retain it, despite the huge costs, so as not to lose a permanent base. The Athens Concert Hall provides some halls, but that is only when their own obligations have been seen to, so from one week to the next we do not know where we will be able to rehearse.

It would be ideal for us to have our own space in which to to perform and rehearse. We also have the problem of acoustics where we rehearse. How can you shape your sound in an unsuitable venue? We were happy to learn that the new minister of culture has shown interest in the orchestra’s housing problem and we are waiting.

You have done a lot to promote the work of Greek composers. Why do you believe it is important? > As was also the case in the past, this year we have a lot of premieres by Greek composers. An orchestra has to strike a balance between classic and contemporary and to present a panorama of composers. But we also have a special, cultural role to promote Greek art, not out of patriotism but because it is of international interest and can contribute to art and society in general. We have a 200-year musical history in Greece which most people are unaware of. We have to fill that gap.

Who attends the orchestra’s concerts? Are there any young people? > We have a dedicated fan base and we want to enlarge it. It is not easy and we don’t want to take hasty steps, but we have a long-term, school-related educational policy. We have already given some educational concerts and we hope to target more people with our tours around Greece as well. Our hopes lie with the young people and it is our duty to give them the best we can. That is the point of music education, but it is no easy thing to create music education.

What would you change in Greece’s cultural life if you could? > I would focus more on education. It is very important to have educated people who are aware of their Greekness, not in a narrow-minded sense but open to the global reality. I would also stress the need to cultivate people’s intellect.

Program highlights > At the Athens Concert Hall, the Athens State Orchestra’s program for this season includes concerts for the Year of Dionysios Solomos, a concert by pianist Nelli Semitekolo in February, Rossini’s opera “The Italian Girl in Algiers” with mezzo-soprano Agnes Baltsa, the Greek Music Celebrations starting at the end of March and more.

Concerts at the Benaki Museum include contemporary Greek music in January, a performance by the Orchestra of Ancient Greek Instruments in February and an evening in May dedicated to Constantinos Kydoniatis on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, among others.

At the National Gallery, the orchestra will perform with pianists Alexandra Papastefanou and Jenia Manousaki in January, a concert by the Athens State Orchestra Winds Quintet also in January, a tribute to Benjamin Britten in February and more.

Related Links > http://www.koa.gr

Austrian Artists Exhibition at the Athens Concert Hall October 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Ballet Dance Opera, Music Life Classical.
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Opens Tonight > An exhibition of works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka will go on display at the Athens Concert Hall tonight, alongside works by other prominent contemporaries. Most of the works are on loan from Vienna’s Leopold Museum. The exhibition will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Sundays and will run to December 30.

Opens Tonight, also Thursday, Saturday and October 29 > Alexander von Zemlinsky’s one-act opera “Der Zwerg” and Arnold Schoenberg’s dramatic monologue for a soprano “Erwartung” are both directed by Eike Grams, with sets and costumes designed by Gottfried Pilz. “Der Zwerg” features vocalists Marlis Petersen, Mata Katsouli, Boiko Zvetanov and Wolfgang Schoene, while “Erwartung” features soprano Elena Nebera. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra will also participate, under the baton of Nikos Tsouchlos. 9 p.m., Alexandra Trianti Hall.

On Friday > As part of the Dionysios Solomos Year, the Greek National Poet, the Camerata Orchestra, under Vyron Fidetzis and joined by soprano Mata Katsouli, mezzo-soprano Mary-Ellen Nezi, tenor Yiannis Christopoulos, baritone Dimitris Tiliakos, narrator Anna Synodinou and the Thessaloniki Choir, will perform works by Manolis Kalomiris and Beethoven. 8.30 p.m., Friends of Music Hall.

Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali and Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, tel 210 7282333.
Reservations for all events should be made well in advance on tel 210 7282333 or via the Internet on www.megaron.gr 

A concert in memory of Edvard Grieg October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera, Music Life Classical.
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joachim_kjelsaas_kwetzinsky.jpg  The young Norwegian piano soloist Joachim Kjelsaas Kwetzinsky will perform at the Athens Concert Hall’s tribute to composer Edvard Grieg today at 8.30 p.m.

Marking the centennial of Edvard Grieg’s death (1843-1907), the Orchestra of Colors, in collaboration with the the Embassy of Norway, is holding a tribute concert to the great Norwegian composer today at 8.30 p.m. at the Athens Concert Hall’s Friends of Music Hall.

The program will comprise the “Peer Gynt” suite, the First Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, the Holberg Suite and the Norwegian Dances, Opus 35. Joachim Kjelsaas Kwetzinsky will be at the piano, while the Orchestra of Colors will be conducted by Yang Yang, the 2006 recipient of the Dimitris Mitropoulos International Competition for Orchestra Conductors award.

Later in the month, on October 23, 25, 27 and 29, the Athens Concert Hall will be inaugurating its opera series with a double-bill performance of “Der Zwerg” (The Dwarf) by Alexander von Zemlinsky and Arnold Shoenberg’s monodrama for soprano “Erwartung” (Expectation). The performance will be directed by Switzerland’s Eike Grams, sets and costumes are designed by Gottfried Pilz, lighting is by Manfred Voss and choreography by Petros Gallias.

Based on Oscar Wilde’s novel “The Birthday of the Infanta” the one-act opera “The Dwarf” will feature Marlis Petersen in the role of Donna Clara, Mata Katsouli as Ghita, Boiko Zvetanov as the dwarf and Wolfgang Schoene as Don Estoban. In the second part of the program, “Erwartung” will be performed by soprano Inga Nielsen. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Nikos Tsouchlos.

Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkalis and Vasilissis Sophias Avenue, Athens, tel 210 7282333. Nearest metro station “Megaron”.

Related Links > www.megaron.gr

What’s On in Greece > venues, concerts September 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Festivals, Music Life Classical, Music Life Greek, Music Life Live Gigs.
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THESSALONIKI > Mylos Arts Complex, 56 Andreou Georgiou Street, tel 2310 551836 and 2310 516945.
Jazz and Creative Music Meeting > Shows take place at the Xylourgeio venue and start at 9.30 p.m.
Tomorrow > Jazz by the Sax Voyage as well as Georgia Syllaiou and Thodoris Economou.
Thursday > Jazz by the Athina Sextet and the Thomas Siffling Quartet.
Friday > Jazz by the Giotis Kiourtsoglou Septet.
Saturday > Jazz by the Vicky Almazidou Trio and the Oleg Chaly Quintet.

Thessaloniki Concert Hall, 25th Martiou Street, Paralia, tel 2310 895800.
Tickets are available two weeks before each show from the concert hall box office and the Aristotelous Square box office.
Tomorrow > Gypsy melodies by Goran Bregovic and his Wedding and Funeral Band. Starts at 9 p.m.

Thessaloniki Port
Friday and Saturday
> Reworks Festival > Festival of music and contemporary art, with various exhibitions as well as live music performances and DJ sets. Tel 2310 235893.

CRETE > Aghios Nikolaos Cultural Center, Aghios Nikolaos, tel 28410 26899.
Saturday > Concert by tenor Mario Frangoulis, in aid of costume designer Andriani Neofytou.

RHODES > Days of Music Festival > For information and tickets tel 22410 27427.
Tomorrow > Austria’s Ensemble Accentus will perform Sephardic melodies from the Eastern Mediterranean. At the Panaghia tou Kastrou.
Sunday > The Transcription Ensemble will interpret transcriptions of works by Mozart. At the Panaghia tou Kastrou.
October 2 > Under the baton of Dejan Dadic, the Gratz Philharmonic Orchestra will perform compositions by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Sibelius, Bartok, Mozart, Max Reger and Yasushi Akutagawa. At the Palace of the Grand Master.