CULTURE

Internationally acclaimed Greek guitarist appears at the Megaron

“I’ve reached this point in my life where all the things that I struggled for are beginning to bear fruit,» said Elena Papandreou. An award-winning artist enjoying an international career, this «guitar-poet» is set to meet her fans at a recital at the Athens Concert Hall tonight. Sensitive and lyrical, Papandreou combines virtuosity with quality of interpretation. Papandreou graduated from the National Conservatory of Music, where she studied next to Vangelis Boudounis. A British Council scholar, she continued her education in Britain, at the side of Gordon Crosskey at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating in 1986. She has represented Greece in the European Concert Hall Organization’s «Rising Stars» program, with a number of highly successful concerts in prestigious locations such as Vienna’s Musikferein and New York’s Carnegie Hall. A humble artist, Papandreou spoke to Kathimerini about tonight’s concert. «I chose works from different periods. The evening begins with J.S. Bach’s Suite for Lute, BWV 995, arranged for guitar by Oscar Ghiglia; this is a classic guitar piece and I have worked extensively on it. There are many different points of view when it comes to interpreting baroque music. This music has played a pivotal role in my life. It’s like starting all over again.» The first part of the recital comes to an end with Mario Castelnuovo’s «Tedesco» Sonata, a tribute to Boccherini, while the second part begins with Frederic Chopin’s Waltz No. 2, Opus 69, arranged by Ronald Dyens. «I’ve enjoyed a special relationship with Chopin since my adolescence, to the extent that he has influenced the way I play the guitar. Although the piano is such a powerful instrument, it has a lot of things of common with the guitar.» The concert continues with two important works: «Triaela,» which was especially written for Papandreou by Dyens and «Songe Capricorne,» also by the same composer. The evening will conclude with Giorgos Koumendakis’s «Melody for Guitar,» yet another work written especially for the prominent Greek guitarist. Following the Megaron Musikis recital, Papandreou will travel to Istanbul for a concert and a seminar. A big part of the artist’s life is dedicated to teaching. «I teach young people who wish to work on the guitar quite seriously,» she says. «As a teacher, I’m not solely interested in teaching guitar as an instrument. I’m also interested in passing on a certain quality, with regards to morals, life and humanity…»