Ambitious program at the Athens Concert Hall

The program for the new season at the Athens Concert Hall (latter half of 2004 and beginning of 2005), announced on time as always, has many treats in store, including famous guests like Genevieve Page and Riccardo Muti, the first Biennale of Dance in Greece and even a performance of Japanese kabuki theater. With music ranging from Attik to Thanos Mikroutsikos and from Bach to jazz, the Athens Concert Hall will also host master classes for young musicians, educational programs for children and will inaugurate new halls with music catering to all tastes. «We are entering the Athens Concert Hall’s 14th year and that signifies a new, richer approach,» said Athens Concert Hall President Christos Lambrakis at a recent press conference. Among the new season’s highlights will be the new Nikos Skalkottas Hall, which will house Greek dance («In a few days, it will host performances by the National School of Dance»), the first Biennale of Dance in Greece («an international event for 2005 which will be jointly organized with the Association of Greek Choreographers») and an experimental approach to the Aethrium, a new space with less expensive tickets for students which will come into use in June. Lambrakis also pointed out the more intense collaboration with various cultural institutions and organizations and said that the Athens State Orchestra’s presence this year would be very important. He also referred to the production of Claude Debussy’s «Martyrdom of St Sebastian,» to be staged for the first time in Greece and starring Genevieve Page. There will also be a great retrospective exhibition of works by Yiannis Kounellis, jointly organized with the State Museum of Modern Art, which is temporarily housed at the Athens Concert Hall, a tribute to Nikos Skalkottas and other events. The Scala Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti will play on September 20 and 21, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra on October 8 and 9, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes on November 12 and 13, while others will play in the context of the popular «Great Orchestras – Great Conductors» series of concerts. The «Great Interpreters» series of concerts includes a recital by Matthias Goerne (an evening of lieder on November 4), a performance by cellist Heinrich Schiff on February 5, 2005, and a piano recital by Maurizio Pollini on March 22 2005. This season’s three great productions will be Pietro Mascagni’s opera «Cavalleria Rusticana,» featuring Agnes Baltsa, which will be staged on October 31 and November 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6; Tchaikovsky’s ballet «Swan Lake,» featuring Wladimir Malakhov, which will be staged in December, and Debussy’s «Martyrdom of St Sebastian,» the dates of which are to be announced. The «Bridges» series of events, organized by Dimitris Marangopoulos, will start with the performance of extracts of traditional Japanese kabuki theater on October 3 to 5, while a kabuki exhibition will also be on display. The series will continue with a tribute to Greek composer Attik on December 2 and 3, a collaboration between the Camerata Orchestra and Stefanos Korkolis on January 29 2005, a music portrait of George Gershwin on February 11, a jazz concert by Vangelis Katsoulis on April 16 as well as other events. The Camerata Orchestra will collaborate with baritone Matthias Goerne on November 2, viola player Kim Kashkashian on March 30 2005, Philippe Entremont and Yiannis Vakarelis on April 13, and Leonidas Kavakos and John Tavener (the composer’s Violin Concerto was written especially for the Athens Concert Hall) on May 28. The Nikos Skalkottas tribute will be held on December 15. Other events from the «Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries» cycle are the concerts by the Greek Contemporary Music Ensemble, conducted by Theodoros Antoniou, on January 1, April 14 and May 16; and by the Contemporary Music Workshops on March 11 to 13 and others. In a special appearance at the Athens Concert Hall, composer Eleni Karaindrou will perform extracts from «The Weeping Meadow» presented in a concert for the first time, as well as extracts from «The Trojan Women,» in December.