CULTURE

Brainchild of Hadjidakis to honor founder

Finding itself in the worst position it has ever experienced over the course of its 15-year history, the Orchestra of Colors, the brainchild of composer Manos Hadjidakis, is set to give its annual concert in honor of its founder tonight at the Athens Concert Hall. The orchestra is fully prepared and rehearsed despite the fact that its musicians have gone unpaid for the past six months and its management remains up in the air. Its artistic director Giorgos Kouroupos, chief conductor Miltos Logiadis and board president Stefanakis were proud to present, at a recent press conference, the exceptional program they have lined up for the 11th commemoration of the composer’s death; but they also expressed their grave concern over the future of the ensemble. The program, which will be conducted by Logiadis, is as follows: The first part will present «Kryptolambes,» a piece commissioned by the Orchestra of Colors from Nikos Platyrachos, a composer Hadjidakis had always expressed respect for and believed in. This will be followed by Thanos Mikroutsikos’s «Music Stories,» with soloists Christos Rafailidis on the vibraphone, Nikos Ginos on the clarinet and Dimitris Desyllas on percussion. The second part of the concert will begin with Ravel’s Concerto in G for Piano and Orchestra, and it will feature one of Hadjidakis’s closest friends on the piano, Dora Bakopoulou. The concert will close with «Blue,» a suite for guitar and orchestra by Hadjidakis taken from the score he wrote for Silvio Narizzano’s western of the same title, starring Terence Stamp. The soloist in this piece is guitarist Giorgos Mouloudakis, also a close friend of the composer. «Yes, this is a concert given by friends,» said Kouroupos at the press conference. He was clearly upset over having to discuss the ensemble’s financial troubles at a presentation loaded with so much feeling. «We have faced insurmountable financial problems before,» he said, «because of the government’s delay in paying out our grants. Only this time, we also have the problem that our medium-term contract with the Ministry of Culture expired six months ago, and we have heard nothing about a renewal. We are in the air. The terms of the administration of the orchestra have also expired and again we have no word from the ministry, while the musicians have not been paid for six months,» Kouroupos lamented. «And we expect them to give the maximum of their potential,» added Logiadis. Thanos Mikroutsikos, who as culture minister legally established the Orchestra of Colors just a few months after Hadjidakis’s death, has requested that Prime Minister and Culture Minister Costas Karamanlis deal with the matter personally, saying that «this orchestra must continue to exist,» not just because it was founded by Hadjidakis but because of the great work it does. «It does wonders on peanuts,» he said. For more information see What’s On