The annual Maria Callas Grand Prix competition in opera and oratorio-lieder will be held from March 9-17 according to a recent announcement by organizers Athenaeum. The cultural center – whose activities are focused on preserving the memory of Callas and propagating her work – also announced that there will be a special prize awarded on the occasion of the 30th anniversary since the death of the great diva for the best performance of the role of Violetta from Verdi’s «La Traviata,» a role Callas had performed memorably in Lisbon in 1958. The first cycle of the competition (March 9-11) is to be held at the Goethe Institute, the second (March 13 and 15) will take place in the Athens Concert Hall’s Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall and the finals (March 17) at the Friends of the Music Hall at the same venue. The judges’ panel this year features Teresa Berganza, Ileana Cotrumbas, Elena Obraztsova. Charles Spencer, Luigi Alva, Kurt Equiluz, Peter Katona, Daphne Evangelatou and maestros Vyron Fidetzis and Myronas Michailidis. The competition is being held in collaboration with the City of Athens Cultural Center and under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture. Meanwhile, this year’s concert program at the Athenaeum (3 Adrianou, Plaka) is scheduled to begin on February 1 with a piano recital by Anna Federova.