CULTURE

Recital of Mozart and Schumann for 2006 Callas memorial concert

The Athenaeum arts center, a non-profit organization founded in 1974 and dedicated to preserving the memory of the late Greek diva Maria Callas, is holding its annual concert on Saturday, September 16 – the anniversary of the great opera singer’s death – at the Herod Atticus Theater. The concert is dedicated to the memory of Callas, but is also being held as part of international celebrations to mark Mozart’s 250th birthday and Schumann’s 150th. For the event, the Athenaeum has invited piano virtuoso, conductor and composer Mikhail Pletnev to perform a recital of works by the two celebrated composers. Twice a recipient of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1995 and 2002), the Arkhangelsk-born artist gained international recognition when he won first prize at the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. He performed with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at that city’s 1997 New Year’s Eve Concert and at the Europa Konzert 2000, both televised and broadcast worldwide from the Philharmonie in Berlin while he has also appeared as soloist with the world’s major orchestras and conductors. Pletnev is also responsible for founding the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and while Pletnev’s conducting career has primarily focused on the RNO, he has also appeared as guest conductor with prestigious international orchestras. In September 1999, Pletnev became the RNO’s conductor laureate and continues his collaboration with the orchestra in many of its recordings and concerts. As a composer, Pletnev’s works include «Classical Symphony,» «Quintet for Piano and Strings» and «Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra.» In December 1998, the world premiere of his «Concerto for Viola and Orchestra» took place in Moscow with Yuri Bashmet as soloist. Tickets are available at the Athens Festival box office (39 Panepistimiou). For information and reservations, tel 210.327.2000.