Two absences, one unexpected moment and three surprises marked Monday’s award ceremony for the Union of Theater and Music Critics’ prizes in the Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron). The most striking absence was Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, under whose aegis the event was taking place. The Culture Ministry was not involved at an institutional level, but the absence of a representative did not make a good impression. The unexpected incident occurred when Marietta Rialdi objected to an award being made to Xenia Kalogeropoulou: «You should encourage young writers, they need it,» shouted Rialdi, shocking an audience unused to such behavior. Everyone expected a reply from Kalogeropoulou, but the award-winning actress and director chose to ignore the challenge and tempers promptly simmered down. As for the surprises, they came from the impressive performances by the winners of the music prizes. The New Greek Quartet played a work by Skalkottas; pianist Ermi Theodorakis gave a fine performance, and mezzo-soprano Vassiliki Karayiannis sang an aria from Richard Strauss’s «Ariadne on Naxos.» Eva Kotamanidou handed over the three Karolos Koun awards. The prize for directing a Greek play went to Giorgos Michailidis for «a major interpretation and direction of the play ‘Viva Aspasia’ by Iakovos Kambanellis.» The acting prize went to Vassilis Papavassiliou for «a successful interpretation in ‘Eleni’ by Yiannis Ritsos» which the actor also directed. And the playwright’s prize went to Kalogeropoulou for her overall contribution to children’s theater, and also for the educational and theatrical value of her work «The Slave,» performed by the Mikri Porta Theater and directed by Thomas Moschopoulos. Top prize The First Theater Prize went unanimously to writer Asimakis Yialamas, while distinctions were awarded to Lila Maraka (for her work «Greek Theater Review 1894-1926 – Four Texts,» which is published by Ellinika Grammata) and Antonis Kalogridis (noted as a promising newcomer in his work for last year’s production of «Angel Baby»). Most of the prizes for music were awarded after unanimous votes. The First Music Prize went to the New Greek Quartet and a posthumous distinction was conferred on Marios Mavroeidis for his book «The Musical Ways of the Eastern Mediterranean» (Fagotto Publishers). Honors also went to the Kalamata Municipal Cultural Development Organization (prize for regional cultural organization), mezzo-soprano Vassiliki Karayiannis (promising new singer) and pianist Ermi Theodorakis (award for a recording). In Atlantic, Cosco has fixed M/V «Pacific Carrier,» 70,349 dwt, built 1996, delivery US Gulf Dec. 1-10, redelivery Far East, at USD 7,300 daily and with USD 130,000 ballast bonus.