A childhood obsession with Alexander the Great inspires a local composer

A highly popular Greek composer, Giorgos Hadzinassios, is set to reveal a different side of his musical personality during a concert scheduled to take place at the Herod Atticus Theater on Wednesday, in the context of the annual Athens Festival. «So often music becomes a passage for historical memories…» said Hadzinassios at a press conference last week, in which he presented the program he will be presenting at the Roman theater. At the Herod Atticus, Hadzinassios will unveil the symphonic cantata «Ode to Alexander the Great,» based on poems by Giorgos Papacostas. «The work was not composed with any special audience in mind,» said the composer, adding that the cantata incorporates various musical styles, including Greek folk music, archaic touches, lyrical ballads as well as elements of music composed for film. In the first part of the evening, the composer/pianist will improvise against a series of images and scenes from «Zei o Vassilias Alexandros?» (Is Alexander the Great still Alive?), a documentary by Nikos Sofianos. In the second part of the performance, Hadzinassios will take the baton and lead the Enarmonia Symphony Orchestra in «Ode to Alexander the Great.» Accompanying the orchestra are the Fons Musicalis Mixed Choir, vocalist Petros Gaitanos and actor Grigoris Valtinos, taking on the role of narrator. «My relationship with Alexander the Great is very personal. I’m a true-born Macedonian,» noted the composer, who spoke about the way in which his childhood memories («I used to play soccer at the legendary ‘Alexander the Great’ sports club») turned into a project about the legendary king – «aided by poet and close collaborator Giorgos Papacostas.» The concert is organized under the aegis of the Pan-Macedonian Association and the Association of Thessalonians in Athens. Tickets for the show are available at the theater’s box office and at the Hellenic Festival box office, 39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.928.2900. For credit card bookings, call the same number.

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