ISCM

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2018_ISCM - GREEK SECTION 

 
 

Annual Report

  • Year: 
  • Please describe your organization’s activities over the past year, including concerts, commissions, collaborations, publications: 

    After the elections of December 2 - 2018, the Executive Committee of GCU– ISCM Greek Section, consists of:
    Joseph Papadatos - President, Iakovos Konitopoulos - General Secretary, Leontios Hadjileontiadis - A’ Vice President / ISCM Greek Section Responsible, Helena Skarkou - B’ Vice President, Maria Cristina Krithara - B’ Secretary, Leonidas Kanaris - Treasurer, Christos Anastassiou - Supervisor, Maria Dagalaki - Member, Spyros Mazis - Member.

    It is with deep sadness and sorrow to report the passing away of Prof. Theodore Antoniou, on Dec 26, 2018, last of the great Greek world music pioneers, for 30 years President and recently elected Honorary President of the Union of Greek Composers, Academician. A great loss of a Great Teacher, Genius Composer/Maestro and Unique Contemporary Mind! A truly exceptional Human with open heart, always offering the best to everyone! We propose a commemoration mention at the ISCM WNMD 2020 and the initiation of a competition in his memory, for a special price at each ISCM WNMD from 2020 and onwards.

    Since 1931, the Greek Composers’ Union has promoted the Greek musical creations and 2018 has been another year full of activities:
    10 concerts at various concert halls, with a strong emphasis on contemporary composers, premiers and commissioned works, a workshop for young composers, and the edition of one double volume of the GCU magazine, “music POLYTONOn”.

    1. Megaron, The Athens’ Concert Hall, continues the collaboration with the G.C.U.
    In March 20, there has been a concert under the general title “Spring Images” with works from women composers, i.e. Maria Dagalaki, Maria Christina Krithara, Fani Kosona, Esther Lemi, Aspasia Nassopoulou, Kalliopi Tsoupaki
    In May 12, young composers from all over Greece presented their work during the Young Greek Composers Workshop.
    All the concerts in the Athens’ Concert Hall, were performed by the Hellenic Ensemble of Contemporary Music, under the direction of Iakovos Konitopoulos.

    The collaboration with the institutes of foreign languages in Athens, such as Goethe Institute and Hellenic American College, resulted also a series of concerts.

    2. At the first concert at the Goethe Institute - “One drop and one light” - were presented works by Agustín Barrios Mangoré, Alexandros Kalogeras, Carlo Domeniconi, Nikos Balogiannis, Theodore Antoniou. Soloist: Nikos Balogiannis, guitar.
    At the second concert - “Repeated clearly (but not minimal)” – were presented works by Miranda Driessen, George Apergis, Frank Nuyts, Nikos Iakeim, Stefan Wolpe, Katarzyna Szwed, Michalis Paraskakis. Soloist: Katerina Konstantourou.
    At the third concert – “Cunered Poetry” – were presented works by Iakovos Konitopoulos, Alexandros Mouzas, Vasiliki Filippeou, Alexandra Papastefanou, Leonidas Kanaris. Soloists: Dafni Panourgia (Soprano), Marios Kazas (Piano), Roni Bou Saba (Chant - Recitation in Arabic), Panagiotis Andriopoulos (Introduction, General Production).
    At the fourth concert – “Composition Competition Awards Dimitris Dragatakis” – were presented works by Evripidis Bekos (3rd Prize), Iakovos Konitopoulos, Xenia Konstantinidou (2nd Prize), Christos Dovas (1st Prize), Dimitris Dragatakis. String Quartet: L’ Anima.

    3. At the first concert at the Hellenic American College - “Ionian Aura” - were presented works by Antonios Kapnisis, Joseph Limberalis, Sosanna Kladou, Pavlos Karrer, Stefanos Karamalikis, Alekos Xenos, Dionysis Boukouvalas, Loudovikos Spinellis, Spyros Samaras, Lavrentis Kamilieris, Spyros Deligannopoulos. Soloists: Dionisis Semitekolo (Piano), Spyros Deligiannopoulos (Piano).
    At the second concert - “From the world of writings to the inspiration of the music creators” – were presented works by Theodore Antoniou, Pavlos Ventouras, Evaggelos Kokkoris, Giorgos Koumentakis, Joseh Papadatos, Christos Samaras. Soloists: Rea Voudouri (Soprano), Marialena Trikoglou (Soprano), Stavros Salampasopoulos (Tenoros), Spyros Sokos (Bass baritone).

    4. At the first concert at the Philippos Nakas Conservatory - “Choir Music in Action” - were presented works by Theodore Antoniou, Nikos Papagiotakis, Vasilis Gotsis, Kostas Klavvas, Giannis Konstantinidis, Iakovos Haliasas. 4-voice mixed choir of Music Action Conservatory, Dimitrios Koskinas (Conductor), Panagiotis Krampis and Katerina Grigoriadou (Piano).
    At the second concert - “Works devoted to Charalambos Farantato” – were presented works by George Poniridis, George Sachinidis, George Poniridis, Theodore Antoniou. Soloists: Aggelos Politis (Clarinet), Vicky Stylianou (Piano), Wildwind Quintet Aiolos.
    At the third concert – “Romanticism and contemporary Greek creation” – were presented works by Konstantinos Flerianos, Iakovos Konitopoulos, Ioannis Drositis, Kostas Grigoriou, Panagiotis Papoutis, Alkis Papadopoulos, F. Liszt, J. Brahms. Soloists: Dimitris Koukos (Piano).

    5. Besides the organization of these concert series, the Union organized also this year the “Yiannis A. Papaioannou” Pan - Hellenic composition competition.

    6. Since 2003, the G.C.U. has its own magazine “music POLYTONOn”, a bimonthly publication whose main aim is to promote and disseminate Greek and international contemporary music to the wider public. The magazine also serves as an information and communication channel between the Greek musical community and mostly contemporary artists.
    Here are some interesting titles and summaries featuring at POLYTONOn through 2018.

    The self - awareness of saying goodbye, p.7
    by George Lignos
    In this moving article, Lignos bids a heartfelt and thought - provoking farewell to the readers of Polytonon. The author, a longtime collaborator of the magazine who wrote the column entitled “Cultural Observation Point,” writes about the various problems that have been tantalizing Polytonon as a result of the serious wider crisis facing Greek society of the last years. After commenting thoughtfully on the position and role of the volunteers working for the magazine through the years, he observes, on a more positive note, that, given the rise in the music education level compared to the 1980s in Greece, it is possible that the younger generation could take hold.
    “The volunteers of Polytonon were not inadequate; however, the prevalence of quality is not inevitability. So, let us save what we can”

    Thinking about music: on Olympia Psychopedis-Frangou (1944 - 2017), p. 8
    by Markos Tsetsos
    On August 14, Olympia Psychopedis-Frangou, leading figure of Greek musicology, passed away at the age of 73. On this sad occasion, Markos Tsetsos, prominent musicologist who has been a distinguished student of Psychopedis, writes an article about the great significance of her work. A student of Theodor W. Adorno, Psychopedis became widely regarded as the most important representative of Music Aesthetics and Sociology in Greece through her highly influential publications. Psychopedis served as Professor at the Department of Music Studies, University of Athens for over twenty years, and her rich work also included, among else, co-founding and directing Musicología, the first and most prestigious Greek journal in the field.

    World New Music Days / ISCM 2017 in Vancouver, p. 10
    by Maria Christina Krithara
    Maria Christina Krithara, who visited Vancouver from November 2 to 9, 2017 as representative of the Greek Composers’ Union and composer whose work Invention a deux voix? was selected to be performed at the WNMD/ ISCM, writes an interesting account of this important musical event.
    After providing an overview of the background of the institution, which dates back to 1923, Krithara describes the festival that took place in Vancouver in terms of venues, music and performers, and she also makes references to topics discussed during meetings.

    A.E.P.I.: End Titles, p. 13
    by Antonis Plessas
    After decades of mismanagement, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (A.E.P.I.) is currently at the brink of bankruptcy. In this article, the author describes the situation and refers to possibilities for the future. Plessas stresses that, in any event, past errors and their serious consequences should be taken seriously into consideration.

    Arfanis’s Archive at the Athens Conservatory:
    a discussion with Stathis Arfanis, Haris Xanthoudakis and Stella Kourbana, p. 14
    by Petros Stergiopoulos
    In this interview with Petros Stergiopoulos, the collector Stathis Arfanis, the director of the Athens Conservatory Research and Documentation Center, Haris Xanthoudakis, and the curator of the Athens Conservatory Archive, Stella Kourbana, talk about the importance of Arfanis’s decision to donate his personal collection which consists of around 100,000 vinyl discs and rare photographic and print material to the Athens Conservatory. Arfanis’s immensely rich collection will hopefully become, as the collector himself says, a source of knowledge for the younger generations.

    Byron Fidetzis, p.19
    by Constantine Lignos
    A seminal figure in Greek musical life, the conductor Byron Fidetzis remembers several important moments of his life, spanning from his first years as a cellist in Thessaloniki and later student in orchestral conducting in Vienna, to his latest achievements with the newly founded Athens Philharmonia Orchestra. Whether as conductor and artistic director of numerous Greek orchestras or as inspirer and organizer of yearly music festivals, Fidetzis has been an artist whose contributions to the dissemination and promotion of Greek art music are, indeed, priceless.

    A conversation with Stefanos Tsialis, p. 22
    by Maria-Christina Krithara and Maria Theofili
    Stefanos Tsialis, artistic director and principal conductor of the Athens State Orchestra since 2014, talks to us about the positive developments which have taken place during his service, as well as about his future goals concerning the orchestra.
    During a lively conversation, we learn about the orchestra’s residency at the Athens Concert Hall, several recent improvements resulting from a better financial situation, the orchestra’s education programs, and an overall plan to increase its international outlook. Our discussion also includes topics such as collaborations, the challenges of repertoire selection, and the issue of representation of Greek artists in the orchestra’s concerts.

    It is amazing that this can happen: an interview with Zoe Tsokanou, p. 26
    by Constantine Lignos
    In this interesting interview with Constantine Lignos, Zoe Tsokanou, conductor and artistic director of the Thessaloniki State Orchestra, discusses her post, the challenges facing the orchestra concerning permanent residency, institutional obstacles, musicians’ salaries, repertoire, and audience issues. She also refers to the orchestra’s important educational initiatives, developing on this year’s planning. Finally, Tsokanou concludes that the lack of ability for long-term planning at the orchestra can be also an advantage under certain circumstances: if everyone likes an idea she presents, everything can be prepared within a very short period, and “it is amazing that this can happen.”

    Conductor in Greece: profession, hobby, or dangerous mission?, p. 29
    An interview with Andreas Tselikas
    by Sthathis Gyftakis
    Andreas Tselikas, permanent conductor of the Athens Municipality Symphony Orchestra since 2006, and a professional with active involvement in various musical projects, gives an interesting interview to Stathis Gyftakis. Tselikas talks about the several ways in which a conductor can derive gratification and fulfillment from their job, as well as the challenges that have to be faced while working in contemporary Greece. Among else, he answers questions on the many skills a conductor needs to have, the relationship between the orchestra and the conductor, the role of politics and lack of interest on behalf of the state. Towards the end of the discussion, Tselikas informs us about his professional plans for the near future.

    El Sistema Greece: an interview with Phaedra Giannelou, p. 33
    by Maria Christina Krithara and Maria Theofili
    After shortly introducing herself to readers of Polytonon, the conductor Phaedra Giannelou talks to us about her involvement with the recent formation of El Sistema in Greece. Giannelou became permanent conductor of the newly - formed Sistema orchestra in Greece, after conducting the concert of the Sistema Europe outh Orchestra which took place last summer at Odeon of Herodes Atticus open theatre (Herodion). The conductor talks about how the collaboration was initiated, she refers to basic traits of El Sistema and its introduction to several countries throughout the world, and she describes the activities of the orchestra which is already active and with great potential.

    The misunderstood “princess”, or the benefits of singing in a choir, p. 38
    by Nikos Roditis
    In this article, Roditis refers to choral singing, which, as he characteristically writes, has since his student days brought him feelings of “surprise, admiration, disappointment, anger…and an array of other feelings, depending on the perspective from which I faced it.” The author stresses the importance of teaching music during the choir lesson and he points to the many ways in which choral singing is beneficial to music students who are allowed to develop their skills simultaneously and effectively if taught properly.

    The Art of Musical Theatre at Greek Music [High] School, p. 40
    by Iossif Valette
    In this article, revised from the author’s talk at a conference held at Ilion Music School in 2003, the important initiative of the introduction of musical theatre to music school is discussed. Through workshops and special composition groups guided by the author, who is a teacher at the Ilion Music School, students engage in a variety of music-theatrical experiences, through singing, reciting, accompanying, and becoming familiar with the stage. They also come to contact with writing scripts, composing for the stage, and using multimedia for the plays. Valette also makes reference to several plays performed from 2010 on, in which groups and individuals from the School had an active role. The last part of the article refers to practical problems, such as the lack of specialized teachers at Music schools who will be able to guide students at the level of singing on stage, as well as dancing, performing, and composing.

    On teaching music theory and solfège, p. 45
    by Leonidas Kanaris
    Music theory and solfège are compulsory lessons to be taught in conservatories and other music schools in Greece. Although there is a brief description of their curriculum, it dates from 1957 and it therefore needs modifications in order to meet the contemporary needs of teaching music. In this article, Kanaris makes a list of suggestions whose aim is to update several aspects of these two lessons, in order to make them more relevant and fulfilling for both music teachers and students.

    Improvisation in music teaching, p. 46
    by Assi Kondylidou
    Improvisation and composition are the two main ways in which musical creativity is expressed, the author suggests. In this article, Kondylidou informs us about different historically conditioned approaches to musical creativity, before she proceeds to provide several views on improvisation. It has been shown that improvisation increases musical competence and is also beneficial to the development of both personal and interpersonal skills. Therefore, the author supports its introduction and extensive use in music teaching, as it could contribute to the development of creativity, freedom and responsibility “within a musical environment which is continuously becoming more complex and demanding.”

    Notes of a melomaniac, p. 49
    by Markos Ph. Dragoumis
    Markos Dragoumis has entrusted a series of short personal notes on music to the editorial board of Polytonon, so that they could be used “however we wanted.” Although it has been impossible to include the notes in their entirety due to the limited space available, we have selected some very characteristic - and immensely interesting - abstracts dating from 2010 to 2015, which we present in this issue.

    The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf, p. 52
    by Maria Theofili
    Hugo Wolf worked as music critic for the Sunday newspaper Wiener Salonblatt from January 1884 to April 1887. A fervent Wagnerian and devoted anti-Brahmsian, the young composer commented weekly on Viennese concerts and other aspects of the local musical life, and his highly-opinionated, often polemically-written articles widened the newspaper’s audience significantly. As, Frank Walker, Wolf’s main biographer, states, the newspaper “was passed from hand to hand in the cafés and discussed and devoured with relish by the Wagnerians and with anger and distaste by their opponents.” The present article aims at providing an overview of Wolf’s criticism, by commenting on several central points: the issue of music being inextricably intertwined with poetry, the genre of symphony, and his opinions on major composers such as Wagner, Berlioz, Liszt, Bruckner, and, of course, Brahms.

    A catalogue of works by Stephanos Karamalikis (1868 - 1927), p. 55
    by Dionysis Boukouvalas
    In this article, the author presents a catalogue of works by the Greek composer from Zakynhtos, Stephanos Karamalikis (1868-1927). As the author states, he compiled the catalogue after years of research, also using information provided by Ioannis Vitsos (1923-2002) and Iakovos Konitopoulos. After providing a short biographical note of the composer, and describing the process and challenges met during the compilation, Boukouvalas includes the catalogue which covers compositions dating from 1892 to 1922, divided by genre (piano, vocal and chamber music), and accompanied by a short description.

    A conversation with Thanassis Koumenteris, p. 58
    by Helen Skarkou
    As a farewell to her two well - established columns on music technology and on album and video releases, Helen Skarkou presents this interesting conversation with Thanasis Koumenteris, GCU member who holds a PhD in Composition from Ionian University. Skarkou and Koumenteris discuss Computer Aided Composition, the composer’s involvement with IRCAM in Paris, programs such as OpenMusic, MaxMsp, and Audiosculpt, and their uses in composition, spectral music and its describing criteria. In the second half of the conversation, Koumenteris talks about his compositions which were included in his album entitled “Time Exercises”.

    Afterimage/ Aftersound, p. 62
    by Georgia Kalodiki
    In this article, the author suggests that the phenomenon of “afterimage” (a visual image which persists after its stimulus is not present anymore) can be aesthetically transferred to that of “aftersound” (that is, the “sensation of hearing a sound after the cause of the sound has ceased”) in order to be used in a musical composition. The author and composer has, in particular, been inspired by this possibility, which she describes referring to the proximity of the senses of hearing and sight and alluding to several relevant theoretical sources, in order to compose her own work entitled Afterimage for strings and electronics.

    In memory of the eight Greek composers who passed away in 2017, p. 67
    by Thomas Tamvakos
    This article pays tribute to the memory of the eight Greek composers who sadly passed away in 2017, leaving behind them important work. Tamvakos presents a short biographical note for each of the composers, also including a reference to their major compositions: Father Petros Mourtos (b Amaliada 1922 - d North Carolina 2017), Vassilis Tenidis (b Larissa 1936 - d Athens 2017), Graciela (Chariklia) Paraskevaides (b Buenos Aires 1940 - d Montevideo 2017), Dimitris Dimakopoulos (b Amaliada 1965 - d 2017), Dimitris Themelis (b Thessaloniki 1931 - d 2017), Peteris Plakidis (b Riga 1947 - d 2017), Iossif Benakis (Livadia 1924 - d Holargos 2017), and Georgi Georgiev (Giorgos Georgiadis) (b Gelendzhik 1935 - d Moscow 2017).

  • Please describe your organization's research activities over the past year: 
    There were some efforts of proposing research projects for funding via the Culture 2020 program; yet, not funded.
 

 

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