Aegina welcomes a month full of classical melodies

It seems that there is plenty of room for classical music in Greece. The Aegina International Music Festival, which began tentatively in 2006 on the initiative of its artistic director, pianist Dora Bakopoulou, is about to take place for the third year. With most concerts being held by the sea, the festival, featuring foreign and Greek musicians, will start tonight and run to the end of August. It will open with a concert by pianist Dimitris Vassilakis, a close collaborator of Pierre Boulez and a member of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, as well as cellist Natalia Margulis and violinist Alissa Margulis. The trio will perform works by Anton Arensky, Scarlatti, Liszt and Astor Piazzolla. On Saturday, pianist Walter Delahunt from Canada and cellist Christophor Miroshnikov will interpret compositions by Haydn, De Falla and Rachmaninoff. On August 15, acclaimed soprano Sonia Theodoridou will present a selection of classical works but also Greek entechno songs, accompanied by pianist Theodoros Kotepanos. The following evening, Hungarian violinist Geza Hosszu-Legocky, who showed off his skills during the Gypsy music tribute at last year’s festival, will join forces with pianist Gabriele Baldocci for a program of chamber music works by Brahms and Ravel. On August 20, violinist Danae Papamattheou-Matschke and pianist Uwe Matschke will play works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy and Edvard Grieg. Artistic director Bakopoulou is set to take the stage on August 22, along with cellist Dimitris Patras, violinist Apollon Grammatikopoulos and pianist Dionyssis Mallouchos, for an evening of melodies by Brahms, Faure and Shostakovich. Brussels-based violinist Noe Inui will join pianists Nassos Grozas and Marianna Brown as well as cellist Lefki Kolovou for a program of works by Mozart, Gaspar Cassado, Dvorzak and Karol Szymanowski on August 23. August 24 will be dedicated to up-and-coming young local artists. In the first part of the concert, 10-year-old violinist Anastassia Sgoura and 15-year-old cellist Loukia Loulaki will play works by Paganini, Tchaikovsky and others. In the second part, clarinetist Dionyssis Grammenos, winner of the 2008 Eurovision Young Musicians, will perform compositions by Leo Weiner, Rachmaninoff and other composers. They will all be accompanied by pianist Victoria Kiazimi. Joined by pianist Maria Papapetropoulou, mezzo-soprano Theodora Baka will lead a program of works by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms on August 27. The festival will end on August 30 with a tribute to Manos Hadjidakis, where vocalist Elli Paspala and pianist Dora Bakopoulou will perform works of his, but also melodies by Lena Platonos. Eight of the 10 concerts will take place at the Avra beach, in front of the Kolona archaeological site, just a three-minute walk from the town center. The other two will be held at the Seegy residence at Pacheia Rachi. Tickets can be purchased at Eleftheroudakis bookstores in Athens and at Eleni’s shop in Aegina right next to the Port Authority.