Thursday, March 17, 2011

A World Premiere in Auckland, A Tribute Concert at Athens' Megaron: a Great Week for Global Greek Composer John Psathas

John with Prime Minister Helen Clark, Justine Cormack, Ashley Brown, 
US Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice, and Sarah Watkins, 
at a performance of Helix at Government House in Auckland, New Zealand

It's been a busy week and a particularly significant one for New Zealand's busiest composers... Global Greek John Psathas!

' New Zeibekiko is my dream realised... it will be the most thrilling, terrifying, and moving experience to hear the music of my two cultures fused together.'
 With these words John Psathas, our celebrated Greek New Zealand composer describes the World Premiere of New Zeibekiko, his major new work for orchestra, which takes place tomorrow, Friday, March 18th, in Auckland, New Zealand within this year’s Auckland Arts Festival

John's fantastic musical journey has not just taken him round the world, it has also granted him incredible and invaluable experiences,  including a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create new compositions and musical arrangements for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Athens' Unforgettable, Dream Olympics in 2004 - the highlight of his career, both on a professional and on a personal level.  

Tomorrow's premiere in Auckland is the next major milestone in his success-studded career, the realisation of his dream as he says. 

With the participation of two of Greece's finest traditional musicians, clarinetist Manos Achalinotopoulos and percussionist Petros Kourtis, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will be paying homage to John's Greek heritage with an exhilarating concert celebrating 2,500 years of life and history, the personal, the passionate and the nostalgic and takes concertgoers on a hypnotic journey, inviting responses to the music’s pulsing rhythms and ancient haunting melodies -  

'an exciting composition embodying Greece in all its glory, representing the iconic dance, the zeibekiko, and taking audiences on an invigorating journey'

The following is some of what he shared with his followers on Facebook and Twitter, describing the hectic days before tomorrow's Auckland concert..
'last few days of normality. Saturday Petros arrives from Greece. Sunday we start rehearsing with the percussionists. Wednesday to Auckland for 3 days rehearsing with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra & performance on the 18th which is the culmination of 7 years dreaming and work on my part' ...

Very busy but very rewarding for John...

Megaron Mousikis - Athens Concert Hall

This last week started very auspiciously for John with a concert at Athens' prestigious Concert Hall, Megaron Mousikis  last Sunday, March 13th 2011, as part of its 20th birthday celebrations. It was the second time one of his works was featured at the Megaron. This time his brilliant 'Djinn' in it's European premiere, was one of the works featured at a concert paying tribute to the Music of the Greek Diaspora ,  

The Athens Camerata paid tribute to four of our highly talented Global Greek composers, Minas Borboudakis (S-Kassiope), John Psathas, (Djinn - I am listening to it here as I write)  Konstantinos Karavasillis (message in a Bottle) and Christos Hatzis (Arabesque)  in the Dimitris Mitropoulos Auditorium.

Performed by the Athens Camerata, and conducted by Alexandros Myrat  with soloists Demetris Desyllas (percussion), Giorgos Panayotidis (violin) and Tasos Pappas (piano), the concert was preceded by a lecture in the Megaron's Lilian Voudouris Musical Library with two of the composers, Minas Borboudakis and Christos Hatzis, with conductor Alexandros Myrat and Musicologist Elias Giannopoulos presenting the works to be performed.  

An excellent evening, a tribute to our very talented Global Greek creators! 

Incidentally, since we are talking about John's recent successes - on the international scene again, but on a different level, the first film score John composed, for Kiwi Western 'Good for Nothing', has received excellent reviews!
"One of the principal glories of the film is the score by John Psathas in which genuine sweep and poetry are combined with affectionate send-ups of Ennio Morricone. It would be a major achievement for an experienced film composer; as a first film score, it's little short of astonishing.Jim Svejda
"John Psathas' score is perhaps the most fully realised aspect of the film" with its "symphonic John Barryesque sweep".  Josef Woodard The Independent

 John with then PM Helen Clark at the launch of 'View from Olympus'

Bravo, John! We are very proud of you and your achievements and hope that tomorrow's concert is exactly what you hoped it would be - the realisation of your dream and the most successful ever! 

We were thrilled with Sunday's concert at the Megaron and hope that one day in the very near future one of your Greek-inspired works, either ‘View from Olympus’ or 'New Zeibekiko' will also come 'home' to Athens, to the Herodeion or the Megaron!! 

Καλή Επιτυχία from us all! 

More about John Psathas

John’s Music Videos on You Tube

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