CULTURE

Leading Czech orchestra in Athens

Athens Festival evenings continue under the stars this week with two concerts by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Valek. Tonight, the orchestra will interpret works by Giorgos Sicilianos (Six Fantasies for Large Orchestra, inspired by poems by Cavafy Op. 54), Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky (Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in B Flat major, Op. 23) and Antonin Dvorak (Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70). Established in 1926, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is known for a strong repertoire focusing on Czech composers. The orchestra travels regularly abroad and has recorded with top record companies. A leading representative of Greek modernism, Sicilianos was commissioned by the Athens Concert Hall to compose a work in 1993, commemorating 60 years since the great poet’s death. Inspired by six celebrated Cavafy poems, Sicilianos worked on six musical studies reflecting on loneliness. Freely atonal, the composer’s music conveys the feelings one has after reading the poems «Walls,» «Waiting for the Barbarians,» «Voices,» «Candles,» «God Abandons Anthony» and «In the Month of Athyr.» Also on the program are Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (featuring soloist Jan Simon), one of the Romantic period’s most popular works, and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7, commissioned by the London Philharmonic Society in 1884, in order to celebrate the composer’s appointment as an honorary member. At the Herod Atticus Theater tomorrow, the orchestra will be conducted by Alexandre Myrat, in works by Giorgos Kouroupos (Overture and Forest Choral from the opera «The Ship on the Fir Tree,» on a libretto by Ioulita Iliopoulou), Yiannis Drositis (Psalms for Choir and Orchestra), Antiochos Evangelatos (Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, featuring soloist Thanassis Apostolopoulos) and Johann Sebastian Bach (Fantasia and Fugue for Organ in G minor, BWV 542). For ticket information see What’s On.