CULTURE

Young classical musicians wing it improvisation style

Young artists from around the world will be converging on the eastern Aegean island of Samos for an upcoming festival taking place from August 6-12.

Serving as a creative platform for both locals and visitors, the annual Samos Young Artists Festival was developed and is being sustained thanks to private initiative. Founded by Chiona Xanthopoulou-Schwarz and Dr Kurt Schwarz in 2010, the festival counts on the support of local organizations and institutions, including the island?s cultural association and its municipality.

Acting as the event?s artistic director this summer is award-winning Greek conductor, composer and professor Konstantia Gourzi. Through a fusion of various musical periods and genres, Gourzi?s concept for this year?s festival is to present improvised classical music.

Concerts will be held at the Ancient Pythagorion Theater, an open-air venue situated on a hillside at the foot of Mount Kastri. Constructed in the 4th century BC, the 1,000-seat theater offers visitors a view of the port city of Pythagorio, a UNESCO world heritage site.

The festival?s opening act on August 6 features the Ross Daly Quartet, an ensemble comprising British, Greek and Turkish artists. The program continues on August 7 with Icelandic-German Trio Blik, followed by Israel?s Meitar Ensemble on August 8. Greece?s Nikos Skalkottas Ensemble follows on August 9, while New York City?s Manhattan School of Music Chamber Ensemble appears on August 10.

The festival?s closing acts are Turkey?s Istanbul Wind Ensemble on August 11 and Germany?s jazz Footprints Trio on August 12.

Running parallel to the festival?s music events is ?Between Eye and Hand,? an exhibition showcasing video installations by Berlin-based Harun Farocki. The show runs at the former Hotel Pythagoras until September 20.

The exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Thaddaeus Ropac Galllery, is scheduled to open officially on August 4, in the presence of the artist.

For more information on the Samos Young Artists Festival, visit www.samosfestival.com.