Musical memories at Halandri festival

Halandri’s Aetopouleion Cultural Center and the Evripideion Rematia Theater have both been active on the local cultural scene for 25 years. The cultural center was founded when Kalliopi Moustaka offered the building to the Municipality of Halandri in memory of her husband, while, at about the same time, some local visionaries appreciated the natural beauty of the Rematia area and constructed an open-air theater there. This year, a festival program of numerous events has been scheduled to take place at both venues. The mini-festival will kick off with a tribute to composer Iannis Xenakis on Monday and Tuesday (September 4 and 5) at the Rematia Theater. The tribute will include Xenakis’s «Psappha,» written in 1975 to be performed by a percussionist (who, in this case, will be Alexandros Christidis), and «La Legend d’Eer,» an electronic composition written in 1977 on the occasion of the opening of Paris’s Pompidou Center. The show is to start at 9 p.m. on both days. Other interesting events include the concert-tribute to Ionia and the islands of the eastern Aegean with singer Yiota Vei at the Rematia Theater on September 7. Vei will lead a musical journey from Smyrna to Istanbul and Asia Minor in general, joined by narrator Betty Valassi. On September 8, the Athens State Orchestra, under the baton of Vyron Fidetzis, will interpret Nikos Skalkottas’s «36 Greek Dances» at the Rematia Theater, the most well-known and popular work of the Greek composer who is now beginning to receive the international recognition he failed to get in his lifetime. A somewhat different event, consisting of musical landmarks, will take place on September 11, titled «Music and Dance as the Expression of the Soul and the Mirror of Every Era: From Monteverdi to Musicals.» The National Conservatory of Halandri, which this year celebrates its 65th birthday, will participate in the tribute. The historical institution was founded by pianist Aspasia Kanatsouli, in collaboration with her teacher, the distinguished composer Manolis Kalomiris. «Music and Dance as the Expression of the Soul and the Mirror of Every Era» is a musical journey which will start from the austerity of the pre-classical composers, then move on to the passion of the Romantic era and end in the powerful yet lyrical world of American musicals. The conservatory orchestra will be led by conductor Nikos Kariotis and the event falls under the supervision of the conservatory’s director, Maria Kanatsouli-Papadiamanti.