CULTURE

Piano Days at Megaron

Piano takes center stage at the Athens Concert Hall this week, under the tutelage of prominent Greek pianist Yiannis Vakarelis. A series of events focusing on the piano – the undisputed king of musical instruments – kicks off today and runs to April 20. High caliber «Piano Days» is the title of the series of events which features concerts, lectures, dance performances and other activities. Participating artists include the following high-caliber soloists: Grigory Sokolov, Vassilis Tsabropoulos, Charles Rosen, Melvin Tan, Aris Garoufalis, Thanassis Apostolopoulos and Cyprien Katsaris. Also participating in the piano-related events are soloists stemming from the Paris, Berlin and Dresden Opera Ballet companies. «Piano is not just a musical instrument, but an entire way of approaching music in general,» noted conductor Nikos Tsouchlos at a recent press conference. Also present at the press meeting, Vakarelis offered a concise description of the multifaceted event: from living legend Sokolov all the way to the prominent virtuoso, not to mention theoretician, Rosen. Vakarelis further spoke about the combination of piano and dancing as well as the instrument’s mechanism and history. «Naturally the tribute includes recitals featuring beloved piano compositions which are part of the repertory,» said Vakarelis. Meanwhile Tsabropoulos is scheduled to make a special appearance on April 9. At the Athens Concert Hall – known locally as the Megaron – the musician will do what he knows best: present classical repertory works in their original version, but also jazzed-up versions of pieces by Bach and Mozart. «Music is not something which belongs to a mausoleum; it is a living organism which is constantly in motion. For a number of years I have been working on various types of music, ranging from Bach to Bill Evans. I’m not doing this in order to impress as a soloist, but to prove my point that music may coexist whether it was composed back in the 17th century or the 21st.» Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333. For more information on events log on to www.megaron.gr.