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Music from the New World

8 November 2013

"Music from the New World" is the title of one of the fascinating cycles gracing the Athens State Orchestra's 2013-2014 programme. The cycle features music from the American avant-garde along with works by important European composers which were either written on American soil or inspired by the New World.

It includes five concerts which will be given at the Athens Megaron Concert Hall on consecutive Fridays, starting this week on 1 November and finishing on 6 December (there will be no concert on 29 November). All concerts start at 20.30.

The programme details for the cycle are as follows:

The first concert in the cycle (1/11/2013) will feature the multifaceted Canadian maestro, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, conducting American works of varying hues and styles ranging from Edward MacDowell's emblematic Second Piano Concerto, with the outstanding Charalambos Angelopoulos at the keyboard, to Samuel Barber's ever-popular Adagio.

The second concert in the cycle (8/11/2013) will include the strikingly early avant-garde of Charles Ives, the subversive daring of George Tsontakis, a composer of Greek descent, and the American minimalism of the "Dean of American composers", Aaron Copland, in a programme conducted by Miltos Logiadis and featuring the distinguished violinist, Antonis Sousamoglou.

"Scores from a new homeland" could have served as the title of the third concert in the cycle (15/11/2013), since it brings together works by leading European composers (Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Sergei Prokofiev and Arnold Schoenberg) who sought refuge and inspiration in the US during the dark years of the first half of the 20th century. The talented pianist Constantinos Vallianatos joins forces with the Orchestra under the baton of Vladimiros Symeonidis.

The overture to Leonard Bernstein's operetta, Candide, and Samuel Barber's lyric Violin Concerto—performed on this occasion by the Japanese violinist, Kyoko Tanino—share an irresistible tonal delicacy. The centrepiece of the programme scheduled for 22 November 2013, however, is the stirring Ninth Symphony by the Czech Romantic composer, Antonín Dvořák, whose experiences of the New World it conveys with passion and magnificence.

The final concert in our American music cycle, which is scheduled for 6 December 2013 with a repeat performance the following day (7/12/2013) in Piraeus' historic City Theatre, explores the magical soundscapes of Jazz, which many have called the key musical discovery of the 20th century. The Manhattan Vibes, the celebrated jazz group founded by the Greek vibraphonist, Christos Rafalides, join forces with the Athens State Orchestra in an original programme which includes inter alia much-loved symphonic works by George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein—both of whom included 'jazz' sounds and rhythms in their work.

Each concert is preceded (at 19:45) by an introductory lecture which ticket holders are free to attend.

For more information and tickets please visit: http://www.megaron.gr

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