Friday 10 & Saturday 11 of December 2021
Andreas and Maria Kalokairinou Concert Hall
Circle | Symphonic Music
The Cultural Conference Centre of Heraklion participates in the celebrations for the 250 years since the birth of the great composer, with a great concert of symphonic music. The celebrations have been cancelled all around the world since 2020 due to the pandemic. Top moment of the night will be the performance of the famous pianist Cyprien Katsaris, his first one in the Cultural Conference Centre of Heraklion. The Athens Philharmonia Orchestra, under the conductor of Myron Michailidis, will present the 5th Symphony, the 3rd piano concerto and one of the most representative compositions, Egmont’s Introduction.
The Introduction of Egmont, Op. 84, that Beethoven composed in the years 1809, 1810, was based on the theatrical play under the same name, of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It narrates the heroic self-sacrifice of the Flemish warrior Egmont, conveying the message of justice and freedom. Two more pieces, equally great, follow. The piano concerto no. 3 in c minor, Op. 37 is a piece composed in 1800, that the famous soloist Cyprien Katsaris. The program will be completed with the 5th Symphony in c minor, Op. 67 in four parts, which was completed in 1808. It’s one of the most famous Symphonies of Beethoven and one of the most famous and often performed pieces of classic music.
Egmont, Op. 84, Introduction [1809-1810]
Piano Concerto, no. 3 in c minor, Op. 37 
Ι. Allegro con brio
III. Rondo – Allegro
Symphony no. 5 in c minor, Op. 67 [1804-1808]
Ι. Allegro con brio
ΙΙ. Andante con moto
Athens Philharmonia Orchestra
Soloist, piano: Cyprien Katsaris
Conductor: Myron Michailidis
Myron Michailidis | conductor
Widely regarded as one of the most important Greek conductors, Maestro Myron Michailidis is currently General Music Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra and Theatre Erfurt, Germany, as well as the very first Artistic Director of the new Heraklion Cultural and Conference Center in Greece.
Appointed “Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Republic in 2016, Michailidis served as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Greek National Opera from 2011 to 2017. His contributions to the institution’s achievements and successes were honoured with the Society of Friends of the Greek National Opera’s prestigious “Apollo Award” in his final year. Maestro Michailidis’ conducting style is characterized as impassioned and vivid, yet authoritative, allowing him to deliver outstanding dynamic control as well as wide-ranging musical expression. The Greek Critics Award bestowed upon him “Honourable Award for Music and Theatre”. Prior to his tenure as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of The Greek National Opera, Michailidis was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, a post he held from 2004 to 2011. From 1999 to 2004 he further served as Permanent Conductor at the Eastern Saxony Opera in Germany.
With a repertoire spanning over 250 symphonic works and 40 operas ranging from the Baroque to the Contemporary, Maestro Michailidis is particularly known for his interpretations of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, as well as the operatic works by Verdi, Puccini, Gounod and Wagner. Throughout the years, Michailidis has collaborated with internationally distinguished musicians such as Paul Badura-Skoda, Salvatore Accardo, Cyprien Katsaris, Aldo Ciccolini, Ivo Pogorelich, Lars Vogt, Shlomo Mintz, Misha Maisky, Vadim Repin, Martino Tirimo, June Anderson, Cheryl Studer, Paata Burchuladze, Fazil Say and Barry Douglas, among many others. He has conducted some of the most renowned orchestras throughout Germany, China, Israel, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, Mexico, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Portugal, Taiwan, including the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Rome Symphonic Orchestra, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Bucharest National Opera, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt, Astrakhan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra della Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico State Orchestra, Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as all of the major orchestras in Greece. While with the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, Michailidis led concerts at various festivals in Greece as well as abroad. In December 2007, during the celebration events of the Cultural Year of Greece in China, he took the Orchestra on tour to Beijing China, host of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Maestro Michailidis has conducted numerous opera productions at opera houses, festivals and on international tours. Over the years, he has performed with some of the finest singers, stage directors and set designers. He has further led numerous spectacular productions at the legendary Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens. In 2015 his production of Gounod's Faust with Eric Cutler, Alexia Voulgaridou, Paata Burchuladze and Dimitri Platanias, directed by Renato Zanella, marked the Greek National Opera’s first DVD release. In 2017 he led a production of La Fille du Régiment at Shanghai Grand Theatre. As Theater Erfurt’s new General Music Director, he has conducted new productions of Carmen (2018), Aida (2019), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Tale of Tsar Saltan (2019), Lohengrin (2020) and Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor (2020), as well as performances of Lehar’s Merry Widow (2019). Upcoming productions with Theater Erfurt scheduled for the 2021/22 season include Manon Lescaut and Luisa Miller as well as a new production of Nabucco. In March of 2021 Michailidis was scheduled to conduct Norma at The Göteborg Opera, a production that unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
A prolific recording artist, Michailidis’ 2012 EMI Classics recording of Beethoven's 3rd and 4th piano concertos with the legendary French-Italian pianist Aldo Ciccolini received exceptional international acclaim. His recording of works by the Italian composer Ildebrando Pizzetti for Naxos, including several world premieres, earned Michailidis stellar reviews with five Diapasons by the French magazine in 2009, and several awards. Two years prior, his first Naxos CD featuring Theodore Kerkezos and works by 20th century Greek composers such as Mikis Theodorakis, Nikos Skalkottas, Theodore Antoniou, Manos Hadjidakis, Minas Alexiadis and Vassilis Tenidis won the Pizzicato Classics “Supersonic Award” and two Grammy Award nominations. Following his piano studies with Dimitris Toufexis in Athens, Michailidis studied conducting with Hans-Martin Rabenstein at the Universität der Künste Berlin and participated in Master Classes by Miltiadis Karydis and Simon Rattle. He also holds a law degree from the University of Athens.
Cyprien Katsaris | pianist
Cyprien Katsaris, the French-Cypriot pianist and composer, was born on May 5th, 1951, in Marseilles. He first began to play the piano at the age of four, in Cameroon where he spent his childhood. His first teacher was Marie-Gabrielle Louwerse. He graduated from the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied piano with Aline van Barentzen and Monique de la Bruchollerie (piano First Prize, 1969), as well as chamber music with René Leroy and Jean Hubeau (First Prize, 1970), he won the International Young Interpreters Rostrum-UNESCO (Bratislava 1977), the First Prize in the International Cziffra Competition (Versailles 1974) and he was the only western-European prize-winner at the 1972 Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Competition. He was also awarded the Albert Roussel Foundation Prize (Paris 1970) and the Alex de Vries Foundation Prize (Antwerp 1972).
He gave his first public concert in Paris, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on 8 May 1966, as a Knight of the youth competition The Kingdom of Music, where he performed the Hungarian Fantasy by Franz Liszt, with the Orchestre Symphonique d’Ile-de-France conducted by René-Pierre Chouteau. His major international career includes performances with the world’s greatest orchestras, most notably the Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Washington D.C., Detroit Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Toronto Symphony, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Residenz Orchestra Den Haag, Brabant Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Bucharest George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Milan RAI Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Oxford Philomusica, the Auckland Philharmonia and the City of Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Simon Rattle, Myung Whun Chung, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Antal Doráti, Ivan Fischer, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kent Nagano, James Conlon, Sir Charles Mackerras, Rudolf Barshai, Sandor Végh, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, Dmitri Kitajenko, Andrey Boreyko, Christopher Warren-Green, Zdenek Mácal, Xian Zhang, Paul Mann, Marios Papadopoulos and Karl Münchinger. In addition to his activities as a soloist he founded the Katsaris Piano Quintet.
Mr. Katsaris has recorded extensively for Teldec (Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin, Warsaw 1985; Grand Prix du Disque Franz Liszt, Budapest 1984 and 1989; British Music Retailers Association’s Award 1986; Record of the Year 1984, Germany, for the 9th Symphony of Beethoven/Liszt), Sony Classical, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, BMG-RCA, Decca, Pavane, and now on his own label, PIANO 21. His discography consists of solo works by most of the greatest masters as well as works for piano and orchestra including Bach Concertos with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Brahm’s Concerto no. 2 with Eliahu Inbal conducting the Philharmonia (London), both Concertos of Mendelssohn with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (of which Mendelssohn had been music Director), and the complete Concertos by Mozart, recorded live and performed in Salzburg and Vienna with Yoon K. Lee and the Salzburger Kammerphilharmonie. In addition to the standard repertory, Cyprien Katsaris has recorded, as world premières, long lost works such as the Liszt/Tchaikovsky Concerto in the Hungarian style with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Beethoven’s own piano arrangement of his ballet The Creatures of Prometheus and Gustav Mahler’s original piano version of Das Lied von der Erde with Mezzo Brigitte Fassbaender and Tenor Thomas Moser.
In 1992, the Japanese NHK TV produced with Cyprien Katsaris a thirteen-program series on Frédéric Chopin which included masterclasses and his own performance. On 17 October 1999, the New York concertgoers offered him a standing ovation in Carnegie Hall for his recital dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, performed on the day of his 150th death Anniversary. This concert was recorded (audio and video) and has been issued on the PIANO 21 label. On 27 January 2006, the day of the 250th Anniversary of Mozart’s birth, he was the soloist at the inaugural concert of the Mozart Orchestra Mannheim founded and conducted by Thomas Fey. In March 2006 Cyprien Katsaris was the first pianist ever to give masterclasses in Franz Liszt’s house in Weimar since Liszt, who taught there for the very last time in 1886, the year of his death. In August 2008, he was invited to give two concerts on the Beijing Olympic Games at the National Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to the world premiere of a concerto for ten pianos and orchestra – China Jubilee – by the composer Cui Shiguang, he improvised on an ancient Greek melody, and on, inter alia, Chinese melodies, in tribute to the universality of the Olympic Games. Two famous film directors, Claude Chabrol and Oscar-winner François Reichenbach have made films of Mr. Katsaris in live concert performances. Mr. Katsaris has been a member of the jury of the following International Competitions: Chopin (Warsaw 1990), Liszt (Utrecht 1996), Vendôme Prize (Paris 2000), Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud – Ville de Paris (2001), Beethoven (Bonn 2005), Giorgos Thymis (Thessaloniki 2011) and Scriabin (Moscow 2012).
He has also conducted masterclasses at the Mannes College of Music, in New York City, the University of Toronto, the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Arts Academy in Mexico, The Academy of Performing Arts in Hong-Kong, the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In addition, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Echternach International Festival (Luxembourg) from 1977 to 2007. Mr. Katsaris’ work has been honoured and recognized by the following awards: “Artist of UNESCO for Peace” (1997), “Commandeur de l’Ordre de Mérite du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg” (2009) and “Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters” (France 2000). He also received the “Médaille Vermeil de la Ville de Paris” (2001) and the “Nemitsas Prize” (Cyprus, 2011). He is a member of ADAP, the Association of Artists for Peace and Honorary President of “Lisztomanias International”.
Athens Philharmonia Orchestra
The Athens Philharmonia Orchestra is a symphony orchestra founded in November 2016. Its constitutional aim is to systematically contribute to discovering, studying, restoring, reviving, performing, and recording music works of the Modern Greek Art-Music production. This cultural production is virtually only scarcely performed in its home country and remains practically unknown among the international public, although it includes a vast repertory of works composed during the 19th, the 20th, and the 21st century by composers of Greek nationality or Greek origin. A significant part of the works performed by the orchestra has been discovered and edited through important scholarly research, which took place in musicology departments of Greek Universities. The Chairman of the Orchestra is Dr. Nikos Maliaras, Professor of Musicology at the University of Athens and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Modern Greek Art Music.
The Orchestra’s concerts always include at least one work by a Greek Composer as well as and works of the international repertoire which are not widely known to the public. Many of the works performed by the orchestra are World premieres or recorded for the first time worldwide. BIS Records Sweden released the first CD prepared by the Athens Philharmonia in February 2020. In contains several important works by Nikos Skalkottas, one of Greece’s major composers, including his Symphony in B flat Major, or Sinfonietta, NAXOS GREEK CLASSICS has published the orchestras second CD in August 2020. In contains three works, including the only symphony (in a-minor) of the Greek-Russian composer Vassily Kalafaty. Three more CDs, featuring works by Papaioannou, Kalomiris, and Mantzaros are under preparation. All recordings are World premieres and were prepared under the supervision of the internationally renowned sound engineer Mr. Hans Kipfer of BIS Records. In December 2019 and January 2020, the APhO realized a 20-day tour in China. Chinese Authorities and international Art Bureaus invited the Orchestra to visit 10 major cities including the capital Beijing and Shanghai and give 11 symphonic concerts. In many cases, the Athens Philharmonia was the first European Symphony orchestra ever to convey European music culture to this vast country if the Far East.
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