Spreading culture outside the capital

Punctual as always, the annual Nafplion Festival of classical music is embellishing the nights at the beautiful city in the Peloponnese. The event kicked off yesterday and will run at different venues until June 29. Taking place for the 17th year, the festival aspires to create a cultural haven outside Athens, as distinguished pianist Yiannis Vakarelis, the event’s artistic director, explained in an interview. «We should not ignore a large segment of the country’s people,» he said, with Athens generally being the focus all year round. The festival honors a different country every year and this time it’s Austria’s turn. «That way I can choose more specialized music and convey a deeper understanding of a country and its music,» explained Vakarelis. Following tonight’s concert by the Altenberg Piano Trio in a program of works by Haydn, Friedrich Cerha and Beethoven, the festival’s highlights include tomorrow’s performance by the Vienna Mozart Boys Choir, a charity concert in aid of the Eliza association for abused children on Sunday, at which Vakarelis will join forces with the La Scala String Quartet, as well as an opera soiree on June 26, with young vocalists Artemis Bogri, Vassilis Kavagias and Vassilis Tsanaktsidis. Last but not least, the festival will end with distinguished soprano Marlis Petersen, who will perform alongside pianists Vakarelis and Alexandra Nomikou, as well as clarinetist Spyros Mourikis on June 29, following a concert by the Athens State Orchestra the previous day. The program further features more evening as well as day concerts along with an exhibition of paintings by Austrian artist Wolfgang Weiss, in addition to other parallel events. Info: