Leo Brouwer and John Williams on stage at the Athens Concert Hall

By composing a musical portrait of a cherished friend and fellow artist, the world-renowned guitarist and composer Leo Brouwer could not have found a better way of paying homage to another accomplished artist, the classical guitarist John Williams. Concertgoers at tomorrow night’s sold-out final night of the Athens Concert Hall’s guitar festival will be able to experience the gift, «Concierto de Toronto,» written in honor of Williams, that embodies and highlights the guitarist’s artistic qualities, as felt by Brouwer. Both men will feature, with Brouwer on the podium conducting the Athens State Orchestra and John Williams performing on guitar. «This work is the most dynamic and beautiful of all the guitar concertos I know. It’s both provocative and rewarding,» noted Williams. As part of a wider repertoire for the festival’s finale, Brouwer’s guitar concerto will be performed alongside other works by Astor Piazolla and Periklis Koukos. Besides Williams, three other soloists, guitarist Kostas Kotsiolis – the event’s artistic director – bandoneonist Hector Ulises Passarella, and violinist Isel Rodrigues will be taking part. Koukos’s composition, a symphonic work for guitar and orchestra based on traditional Spanish songs will open the evening’s proceedings, with Kotsiolis on guitar. A concerto for violin, guitar and orchestra by Brouwer, and two works by Piazzola, both for guitar bandoneon and strings – to be performed in Greece for the first time – will follow. The evening will end with Brouwer’s aforementioned tribute to Williams. Preceding all this tonight at the same venue (and incidentally, also sold out), the Greek tenor Marios Frangoulis will be joining forces with his frequent collaborator Deborah Myers for a fund-raising show for MDA Hellas, the local branch of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a network represented by 183 agencies worldwide for the care of individuals afflicted with neuromuscular disorders. Frangoulis and Myers have selected popular songs from Greek films and other European films for the fund-raiser.

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