A panorama of Greek music

From the works of Manolis Kalomiris and Nikos Skalkottas to those of contemporary composers Philippos Tsalachouris and Panayiotis Liaropoulos, and from the Athens State Orchestra to the Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Athens Concert Hall is staging the third installment of a series titled «A Celebration of Greek Music,» organized by the Athens State Orchestra. This panorama of Greek music takes in the legends of the past as well as focusing on young up-and-coming talent. Starting tonight and running to April 30, the public will have an opportunity to hear works by 14 Greek composers (spanning all the generations), listen to 10 contemporary Greek orchestras and enjoy the performances of established artists as well as the new budding talent of singers, musicians and maestros. In parallel with the concert series, the Athens Concert Hall will also host a conference from April 24-26 on «The Creation of Greek Entechno [art house] Music: Tradition and Globalization,» which has been organized by the Association of Greek Songwriters. «When we began this very difficult project two years ago, our main goal was to create a lengthy presentation of Greek compositions over the past 200 years, illustrating all the different aesthetics and trends that have emerged over time,» said Vyron Fidetzis, the Athens State Orchestra’s director, at a recent press conference. The objective of the event this year is to draw in crowds, and one of the concerts, scheduled for April 24 with the Greek Radio and Television (ERT) Choir and conducted by Antonis Kontogeorgiou, will take place at the National Gallery. «This is part of an effort to spread the celebrations around a bit,» said Fidetzis, who went on to discuss the difficulty of getting the public to appreciate the wealth of Greek musical production, as well as, more generally, to get people back into concert halls. Celebrations began yesterday with a concert by the ERT National Symphony Orchestra performing works by Pericles Liakakis, Savvas Zannas, Yiannis Ioannidis and Iosif Papadatou under the baton of Vladimiros Symeonidis. Today, the Athens State Orchestra, conducted by Dimitris Agrafiotis, will play pieces by Theodore Antoniou, Michail Adamis, George Sicilianos and by the conductor himself. The program of the Athens Symphony Orchestra’s concert tomorrow is especially interesting, with works by Yiannis A. Papaioannou, Panayiotis Kokoras, Panayiotis Leftheris, Costas Varotsis, Spyros Samaras, Pavlos Carrer and Yiannis Constantinidis, while the April 24 concert at the National Gallery is dedicated to poet Dionysis Solomos within the context of ongoing commemorative celebrations around the country. The Greek Contemporary Music Ensemble will play on April 26, the Athens State Orchestra the following day and, finally, the event will end with a violin recital of works penned by graduates of the Athens Conservatory. The three-day conference, which takes place within the context of the Greek Music Festival (April 24-26), will look at the composition of Greek music within the framework of tradition and globalization, analyzing the influences, prospects and quandaries that arise from a changing world.

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