Festival of the Aegean turns 15, celebrating with 17 concerts

Festival of the Aegean turns 15, celebrating with 17 concerts

Syros' historic Apollo Theater welcomes the International Festival of the Aegean for the annual event's 15th outing. Established in 2005 to bring together local and international choirs, classical symphony orchestras and opera singers, Peter Tiboris’ heralded festival runs from July 14 to 26.

“The first festival was four performances with an orchestra from Rome and a cast of 20,” says Tiboris. “This summer, 15 years later, we have 17 concert events in 14 days with a total visiting production of artists and directors and choirs of 325 performers from 23 countries.”

Highlights for this year’s festival include a rendition of Richard Strauss' slapstick comedy opera “Ariadne auf Naxos” by the Pan-European Philharmonia of Warsaw, a sunset choral concert and an evening celebrating the musical stylings of Granada, Spain.

Known affectionately as La Piccola Scala after the historic Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Apollo was designed by Italian architect Pietro Sampo. It opened in 1864 and quickly became a stalwart of Greece's thriving theater scene, but suffered damage in World War II that ultimately led to a long period when it remained closed. Finally, after acclaimed architect Petros Pikionis designed its reconstruction, the theater opened its doors again to Tiboris and the first edition of the Festival of the Aegean in 2005.

Tiboris’ extensive resume includes more than 550 performances in New York City’s Carnegie Hall as well as an original production company, MidAm International. In 2012, he was named an “Honorary and Distinguished Citizen” of Syros by Mayor Yiannis Dekavallas for his work with the Festival of the Aegean.

Though Tiboris will focus first on completing this year’s festival, he already has plans for 2020. “There will be emphasis on Beethoven because it is the 250th anniversary of his birth in Bonn, Germany,” he said.

For more details about the Festival of the Aegean, visit

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