CULTURE

Salonica’s musical winter

In its second year of operation, the Thessaloniki Concert Hall – sister to Athens’s Concert Hall – gears up for the winter season with an impressive program of opera, chamber music, recitals and tributes. Currently playing in the newly built state-of-the art hall is the Bihari Ensemble with selected works of Gypsy music. Highlights of this year’s program include six performances of Bizet’s Carmen (October 25-November 13), with the Choir of the Stara Zagora Opera and the Thessaloniki State Orchestra. With a libretto written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, the opera is directed by Nicolas Trees and the orchestra conducted by Nikos Athinaios. Ticket prices for these performances range between 10,000-3 0,000 drachmas (5,000 drachmas for students) and are already on sale. Next in line is the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein in works by Beethoven, Mozart and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. The concert, scheduled for October 31, features violin soloist Yiannis Georgiadis with Johannes Goritzki on the podium. A talented young pianist, Vinia Tsopela – a former student of Nadia Reisenberg, who has toured Europe and the United States extensively – will perform a recital of works by Albeniz, Schumann, Hadjidakis and de Falla on November 10, while on November 21, cellist Yiannis Tsitselikis and pianist Domna Evnouchidou will pool their forces for a performance of chamber music pieces by Bach, Schumann, Faure, Bartok, Grieg and Paganini. November will also see a very unique show: the screening of Fritz Lang’s full-length and restored 1927 classic film Metropolis to live music accompaniment by the Bulgarian Radio National Symphony Orchestra. The show, which will take place on November 16, is a coproduction with the Thessaloniki International Film Festival that will be taking place in the city during the time. Virtuosos December at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall starts with one of Greece’s most eminent pianists: Dimitris Sgouros in works by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. The young virtuoso, who also performed at the Herod Atticus Theater this summer, has played in many important international venues, standing out for his mature choice of pieces and a highly skilled yet passionate interpretation. His recital will take place on December 1. On December 10, another virtuoso, violinist Hideko Udagawa, will take the stage along with Greece’s Danae Carra on piano, to perform selections of Schubert, Brahms, Bach and Strauss. A very promising soloist who has performed extensively in Europe, Asia and America, Udagawa has also played alongside major orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic and the Moscow Philharmonic. The season will close at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall with a celebration of the 25 years of the successful children’s television show Lilipoupoli from December 19-23. Featuring pieces written by prominent Greek children’s music composers such as Kypourgos, Marangopoulos, Platonas and Christodoulou, these concerts will be led by the Volos Symphony Orchestra with Spyros Sakkas, Antonis Kontogeorgiou, Savina Yiannatou, Mariela Sfakiananki and the Aghia Triada Children’s Choir on vocals. Tickets for all the performances can be booked up to two weeks in advance by telephone or from the box office of the concert hall itself.