CULTURE

VIPs attend Czech concert for charity at Athens Concert Hall

It was a musical event with an international flavor yesterday at the Athens Concert Hall. The famous Czech Severacek Children’s Choir performed the world premiere of Greek composer Leo Cottakis’s work «Midnight Prayer,» written especially for them and accompanied by organ, winds and percussion. The composer has dedicated the work to all the children of the world. Czech Deputy Culture Minister Katerina Mazacova attended the concert, which was organized by the Czech Embassy. Proceeds from the musical evening will go to Elpida, the Association of Friends of Children with Cancer, whose president, Unesco Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyiannis, is at the point of settling up a children’s oncology clinic. The concert included «Greek Lexicon,» by Czech Petr Eben, based on Greek themes and sung in Greek, an extract from «Axion Esti» by Elytis to music by Theodorakis, songs by composers including Purcell, Mozart, Dvorak and Smetana, and popular Czech songs orchestrated and conducted by Milan Uherek. The range and quality of the program owes something to the fact that Czech Ambassador Jana Bulenova is a musician herself. Among the official figures who visited Mazacova’s box at the theater was her Greek counterpart Giorgos Orfanos. Cottakis, who has made his name in Europe and the US, is married to Stamatia Komninou-Xylou. They have two children and live in London, where he has his own recording studio.