On 28 June 2006, the atrium
of the new building of the Benaki Museum hosted
the 43 concert contributors and hundreds of Association
invitees in a unique artistic evening during which
genuine "Musical Bonds" were formed.
As a small token of their appreciation for all
of the moral and material support given to them
by the Foundation and Stelios Papadimitriou from
the period of their studies up until today, forty
one musician-scholars worked together to organise
a gathering of numerous high profile soloists on
the music scene - a gathering of a magnitude never
before seen in Greece.
Apart from Foundation scholars, other prominent soloists participated in the
concert recognising the significant work that the Foundation undertakes in the
scholarship field; namely, Georgios Demertzis (violin) and Apostolos Chandrakis
(cello) of the New Hellenic Quartet, and Angelos Politis (principal clarinet
with the ERT National Symphony Orchestra). The event was directed by scholar, Konstantinos
Arvanitakis, an established drama director who has studied in the United
States and collaborated with a number of artists on the entire spectrum of theatrical
repertoires. Scripts were read by scholar, Katerina Didaskalou,
an actress known for her successful roles in theatre, cinema and TV. Responsible
for the difficult coordination of this undertaking and its many contributors
was musician-scholar, Dionysis Mallouhos, who helped devise
the programme and create small chamber music ensembles especially for the occasion.
Dionysis Mallouhos, a prominent pianist with a continual presence on the Greek
music scene and abundant didactic work, has participated in the discographic
productions of Greek composers' works. He also collaborates with the Third Programme
and ERT Radio.
The evening began with a six-member musical ensemble that accompanied soprano, Mina
Polychronou, and mezzo-soprano, Irini Karayanni, in
a duet from Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. Mina Polychronou
has had a number of appearances at the Greek National Opera, as well as at premieres
of Greek composers' works. Irini Karayanni has won awards at international competitions
and performed many important roles in operas both in Greece and abroad. The work
was transcribed by composer, Tasos Rosopoulos, who, though not
a scholar, offered its collaboration for the concert. The musical ensemble was
made up of Sofia Kamvysi, a flute soloist with selective concert
appearances and exceptional educational work, oboist; Yannis Papayannis,
who has specialised in early music and has had a continual presence on both Greek
and foreign music scenes for a number of years; Alexandros Economou,
a top bassoonist with the Athens State Orchestra who began winning awards at
a very early age and has participated as a soloist in a number of orchestras
in Greece and abroad; Georgios Faroungias, a top bassoonist
with the orchestra of the Greek National Opera who has appeared in a number of
chamber music concerts in Greece and abroad; Angela Yannaki,
a viola soloist with very frequent appearances in great halls where she performs
the works of the viola repertoires of foreign and Greek composers; and pianist
and organist, Titos Gouvelis, who has won awards at international
competitions and organised successful series of chamber music events for the
Athens State Orchestra.
Irini Karayanni performed "Dido's Lament" from Henry Purcell's opera Dido
and Aeneas transcribed by Kostis Kritsotakis. She
was accompanied by Yannis Papayannis on the oboe, Alexandros Economou and Georgios
Faroungias on the bassoon, and Angela Yannaki on the viola. Composer, Kostis
Kritsotakis, has written works for chamber music, concertos, and theatrical music,
to name a few, and has composed a significant number of songs.
An aria from Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice was
performed by tenor, Dimosthenis Fistouris, who was accompanied
by Sofia Kamvysi on flute, Yannis Papayannis on oboe, Angela Yannaki on viola,
and Alexandros Economou and Georgios Faroungias on bassoon. This aria and the
one that followed from César Franck's Panis Angelicus were transcribed
by Tasos Rosopoulos. The vocals were performed by tenor, Stamatis Beris, who
is a soloist at the Greek National Opera, a veteran performer of all of the significant
repertoire roles, and founder of the voice ensemble "Family Voices".
Accompanying him was the musical ensemble from the first performance of the evening.
Mozart's music could not have been absent from the Association's musical evening
in a year dedicated to the great composer. Two of his works were performed: a)
the first part of the KV370 Oboe Quartet in F major with Dimitris Kitsos
on oboe, Antonis Sousamoglou on violin, Hara Seira on viola, and Christos Grimbas
on cello, and b) the first part of the KV 305 Sonata for Piano and Violin in
A major with violinist, Yannis Georgiadis, and Dionysis Mallouhos on piano. Oboe
soloist, Dimitris Kitsos, has a significant presence in 20th
and 21st century repertoires. Antonis Sousamoglou is a concertino
violinist with the Thessaloniki State Orchestra and has contributed significantly
to popularising the modern repertoire in Greece. Viola soloist, Hara
Seira, is a principal in the Thessaloniki State Orchestra and member
of the eminent New Hellenic Quartet. Cellist, Christos Grimbas,
is a member of the Thessaloniki State Orchestra and makes frequent concert appearances. Yannis
Georgiadis is not only an established violinist, but also maestro and
founder of the women's chamber orchestra "Feminarte".
«Il est doux» from Maurice Ravel's Chansons Madécasses was then performed
by soprano, Vivianna Yannaki, who has studied in France and
appeared in Paris and Athens. Accompanying her was Thodoris Giatras,
a flutist specialised in picolo flute and highly experienced in chamber music, Yannis
Tsitselikis, top cellist with the Athens State Orchestra with keen soloist
activity in chamber music concerts and collaborations with symphony orchestras,
and Thanassis Apostolopoulos, one of the most prominent pianists
of the new generation.
The evening continued with a classical duet between young musicians. Corina
Vouyouka, on guitar, and Thodoris Tzovanakis, on piano,
presented Fantasia, Opus 145 for Guitar and Piano by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
The duo, which has been working together for a number of years, performs an interesting
repertoire and has received exceptional reviews.
Cellist, Nicolas Kavakos and violinist, Yannos Margaziotis (artistic
director of the Cyclades Festival), are members of the very successful “Artis
Piano Trio" - along with Anny Totsiou - which made its
debut this year at New York's Carnegie Hall.
They presented the first part of Anton Arensky's Opus 32: Piano Trio in
D minor with Stella Perraki on piano. The pianist, who has studied
in Germany, frequently appears in chamber music recitals and concerts and has
an educational offering that has amassed over a number of years.
Significant was the presence of composers who are also Onassis Foundation scholars
at the Musical Bonds dedication. Periklis Koukos, one of the
Greek composers whose work is presented frequently in both opera houses and concert
halls abroad, has remained conductor of the Greek National Opera and the Greek
Festival. Adagio for string quartet was performed by the New Hellenic
Quartet, which is the most up and coming Greek chamber music ensemble, having
recorded at the biggest foreign record companies and continually performing concerts
in great European and American halls. It is comprised of Georgios Demertzis (principal
violin) and Apostolos Chandrakis (cello) - both non-scholars
who kindly offered to partake in the Association's concert-dedication - as well
as scholars, Dimitris Chandrakis (second violin) and Hara
The first part of the momentous concert closed with Ottorino Respighi's Tramonto
for voice and string quartet, which was performed by the New Hellenic Quartet
and Angeliki Kathariou, a mezzo-soprano with continual appearances
in opera houses and concert halls in Europe and the United States and an abundant
discography in a variety of repertoires.
The second part of the evening was devoted to the work of Greek composers, both
new and old. The first composition presented was that of yet another distinguished
scholar-composer, Christos Papageorgiou, called Elegeia ("Lament"),
which was performed by the composer himself on piano, Dimitris Kitsos (oboe),
Antonis Sousamoglou (violin), and soprano, Anna Alexopoulou,
who glides easily and successfully through opera repertoires and modern music.
Christos Papageorgiou is a very talented and frequently performing pianist, a
composer of award winning works for a variety of musical ensembles, and a successful
radio and television presenter (Third Programme and ET1 - Hotel Triton, respectively).
His love for his birthplace, Alexandria, and the poet, Constantine Cavafy, accompanied
the unforgettable Stelios Papadimitriou throughout his life. A tribute to the
Alexandrian poet, therefore, could not be absent from the programme of this musical
dedication. Four of his poems were selected by four composers and set to music
with a unique approach: Eis to epineion ("In the Harbour")
by Haris Vrontos was performed by Anna Pangalou, a mezzo-soprano
who has studied in Vienna and won first prize at the "Dimitris Mitropoulos" International
Competition, Angelos Politis, a top clarinettist with the ERT
National Symphony Orchestra and non-scholar who kindly offered to perform, and Marianna
Katerelou, a young, very promising pianist who has studied in London
and already performed at recitals held in large halls. Apoleipein o Theos
Antonion ("The God Abandons Antony") by Leonidas Kanaris was presented
by soprano Mina Polychronou, violinist Yannis Georgiadis,
cellist Yannis Tsitselikis, and pianist Marianna Katerelou. Etsi
Poly Atenisa ("I've Gazed So Much") by Savvas Kassotis was transcribed
by Kostis Kritsotakis and performed by mezzo-soprano, Irini Karayanni, flutist
Thodoris Giatras, Eleni Savvani, principal oboe soloist with
the ERT National Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of Colours, Eddie
Kalogeropoulos, bassoon soloist with a long-term presence in the ERT
National Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of Colours, Angela Yannaki on viola
and Konstantina Gyftoula, a pianist with a number of appearances
in chamber music recitals and concerts.
The dedication to Cavafy was rounded out by Dimitris Papadimitriou's composition, Polis ("The
City"), which was transcribed by Tasos Rosopoulos and performed by mezzo-soprano,
Irini Karayanni, Tasos Apostolou, a bass-baritone with a unique
voice and exceptional ease in the theatrical performance of roles, Thodoris Giatras
(flute), Eleni Savvani (oboe), Eddie Kalogeropoulos (bassoon), Angelos Politis
(clarinet), Yannis Georgiadis (violin), Angela Yannaki (viola) and Konstantina
Three of Kostas Karyotakis' poems were set to music by scholar Nikos
Christodoulou, Polymnia ("Polyhymnia"), Strophes ("My
Verses"), and Agapi ("Love") (the latter two to a melody
by Mikis Theodorakis). Tasos Apostolou sang and on piano was Nikos Christodoulou,
permanent maestro of the ERT National Symphony Orchestra, musicologist and composer,
collaborator of Manos Hatzidakis on Lilipoupoli, and analyst of Nikos Skalkotas'
work, with many of his own compositions as well as transcriptions of the work
of Greek and foreign composers.
Nikos Kypourgos is also amongst the scholar-composers whose
work was presented at "Musical Bonds". One of Manos Hatzidakis' collaborators
from an early age on the Third Programme and Lilipoupoli, he has since pursued
a very personal genre, composing for all types of music (instrumental, theatrical,
cinematic) and recording very successful discographic work. His work Amor,
which was written for the play Dangerous Liaisons, was performed at
the Association concert by Maira Milolidaki, a soprano who has
studied in Milan, won international competition awards, and collaborated with
theatres and orchestras in Greece and abroad, mezzo-sopranos, Angeliki Kathariou,
Irini Karayanni, and Anna Pangalou, Thodoris Giatras (flute), Eleni Savvani (oboe),
Alexandros Economou (bassoon) and pianist, Thanassis Apostolopoulos.
The concert closed with Manos Hatzidakis' songs Pera Sto Tholo Potami ("Down
to the Turbid River") and Lianotragouda ("Eighteen Little
Songs of the Bitter Homeland"), which were performed by Maira Milolidaki
(soprano), Anna Pangalou (mezzo-soprano), Tasos Apostolou (bass-baritone), Antonis
Sousamoglou (violin), and Miltos Logiadis on piano. For the
last ten years, Miltos Logiadis, permanent maestro of the Orchestra of Colours,
has been presenting and proposing particularly demanding works to the Greek public,
which are often being performed for the first time.