Piano City Athens Festival, Deree – The American College of Greece When: Friday, May 12, 2023 Where: 7th level Auditorium Co-organized by: FRSFPA-Music Programs @ Deree – The American College of Greece and
Piano City Athens Festival, Deree – The American College of Greece
When: Friday, May 12, 2023
Where: 7th level Auditorium
FRSFPA-Music Programs @ Deree – The American College of Greece and Piano City Athens
Under the auspices of the Hellenic Republic: Ministry of Culture and Sports, Ministry of Tourism, Region of Attica, Greek National Tourism Organization with the support of the City of Athens. Artistic direction by Athens State Orchestra.
About the event
Deree – The American College of Greece invites the Athenian public to a day of a piano marathon festival!
On May 12, 2023, from noon until late at night, amazing pianists will be hosted at the state-of-the-art facilities of Deree.
The program is varied and diverse with the participation of students, distinguished alumni and internationally renowned faculty members of the Music programs who invite us to a full-day feast filled with pianistic inspiration and virtuosity. Works of the classical repertoire, improvisations, jazz, chamber music, art songs, works for four hands and two pianos will be presented in solo recitals and group concerts, featuring a wide range of the pianistic art.
The concerts are organized as part of the 1st Piano City Athens festival.
12,13,14 ΜΑΥ 2023 – all over Athens!
For the program and the artists’ bios, check out below:
Deree Music Majors in Concert
Works for solo piano, piano duo, chamber music and electronics with piano
Piano: Vasileios Gavvaris, Ivana Zafeiraki, Angel Latsides, Ioli Sifoniou, Yuqing Chen
Violi: Ilektra Mavropsaridi, Aris Broustis
Cello: Stergios Karkas
Electronics: Efthymis Naoumis
Instruction: Christine Tokatlian & Leslie Jones
Pyrros Marmatakis: Four themes from the play Inside Hamlet’s mind, Original composition
Christos Yonas-Kontos: Eleven Future Recursions, Original composition, Piano Recital
A musical meditation on how the Past and Future are recursively conceived in the Present. Eleven parts conveying feelings; gestures and states of mind ineffable by other means all co-existing separately and in unity, transforming into one another in time like symbols in the halls of memory.
Vasileios Gavvaris: Struggle and Glory, Piano Recital
A musical journey featuring compositions distant in time, connected by shared values. A common heroic journey from darkness to light, from struggle to glory, in search of a heroic figure.
Evelina Antemisari: Piano Recital
A journey into the lucid dream, back to reality and an encounter with the beloved J. Brahms and the fascinating but at the same time deeply expressive Prokofiev.
Nick Venner: Piano Recital
A musical sentimental journey from the enchanting and expressive baroque of Rameau to the magical and romantic universe of Chopin, with phantasy and dreaming as our guides.
Stathis Chomatsas: Piano Recital
A recital inspired by nature, Gothic art and the concepts of time and perception. Works from Italian and French Baroque will be heard, leading to intense and lyrical Russian romanticism, and ending in the special ‘dark’ color of the 21st century.
Stathis Chomatsas & Vrez Khachaturian: 2 Mancunians in Athens, Piano Duo
A music journey in 19th century Paris, where the Macabre and the mystery of death fascinate the very human mind like a quest in the Universe, as the Planets project their own majesty! In a journey, where a coffee in Paris does not prevent a dance in Buenos Aires. Because, Music knows no distance!
Elena Christodoulou: From Paris to Buenos Aires…1901-1952, Piano Recital
A recital dedicated to piano works by four composers of classical music of the 20th century with significant influence that aims to present some of the most important musical trends of the era. A distinctive musical journey with starting point the impressionistic aura of Paris, the passion and exoticism of Andalusia, the influenced by jazz elements musical scene of early 20th century New York and final destination the explosive and polyrhythmic melodies of Argentina.
Christine Tokatlian & Spyros Souladakis: Classical + 200, Piano Duo
Is there a secret mystery hidden in the number 200? In 1781 Mozart submits his score for the Sonata…and in 1981 a polystylistic suite ridicules the stupidity of Nikolai Gogol’s characters in a circumstance of tragic parody. Distinct quotations of popular motives of the musical canon of 200 + years…from the Baroque to post-Romanticism they find their way and paradoxically merge in the avant-garde.
Dimitri Toufexis, Romantics and more, Piano Recital
Dimitri Toufexis returns at Deree. As the Mentor of all of us, he travels us beyond Romanticism. We will enjoy him in a concert that will bring the pianistic marathon to its end.
Bios of the artists
In alphabetical order
Paraskevi-Eleni (Evelina) Antemisari was born in Athens in August, 2005. At the age of six she started studying Piano with her mother Chrissa Diagourta. At the age of eleven she continued her piano lessons with the distinguished pianist Dimitri Toufexis. She also plays the Violin and the Alto Saxophone at a high level. On July 2020 – at the age of 14 – she was unanimously awarded a Professor’s and Performer’s Piano Diploma (Prof. Dimitri Toufexis) with the rare grade of «Excellent, a 1st prize and the Gold Medal of the Philharmonic Conservatory». She has received a Diploma in Harmony with a grade of «Excellent» (Philharmonic Conservatory, Theodore Broutzakis, 2020), a Grade 6 Music Theory Certificate (ABRSM, Theodore Broutzakis, 2021) and a Grade 8 Violin Performance Certificate (ABRSM, George Mandylas, 2021).
She is a member of the Orchestra of Pierce-The American College of Greece (2017-present) and of the award winning Rosarte Choir (2012-2019). She is an excellent student, she has participated in a number of music concerts throughout Greece and Europe and has won several prizes in National and International composition, piano performance, physics and mathematics competitions. She has participated in Music Academies in Greece and Europe and has attended piano, composition and conducting seminars with the renowned pianists, composers and conductors Robert Levin, Michael Korstick, Alain Lefevre, Jonathan Girard, Yiannis Hadjiloizou, Konstantinos Destounis, Titos Gouvelis, Theodore Tzovanakis, Christine Tokatlian, Lina Tonia, Dimitri Toufexis, Brandt Fredriksen, Jacques Rouvier, Andreas Groethuysen and others.
She is a senior student at high school and since 2017 she has been studying at The American College of Greece (Pierce) with a Music Scholarship, from which she was awarded the ACG Pierce Orchestra Award for her significant contribution to the College orchestra. She has already been accepted to continue her Higher Music studies in Piano Performance and Composition by the highest ranked Music Universities such as the Royal College of Music (London), the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow) and the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester). She is very active towards environmental protection and sustainable development and she is an active member of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA).
The versatile musician Stathis Chomatsas has been recipient of numerous awards for his compositional work and his piano skills (Piano Soloist Prize E. Mykoniou from the Academy of Athens, 1st prize in the 2nd UNESCO Panhellenic Competition, 3rd prize in the International Competition ‘De Bach Au Jazz 2021’, 3rd prize in First Thessaloniki Piano Festival Competition; 1st prize in the Dionysia Trust 2021 Composition Competition, 3rd prize in the First Th. Antoniou Composition Competition, etc.). He was also a finalist in the 2019 RNCM Gold Medal competition.
He has appeared several times as a soloist with orchestras (E.R.T. Youth Symphony Orchestra, Athenian Ensemble UK, Orchestra of the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, etc.). Moreover, he has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in halls such as the Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) Concert Hall, etc. As a composer, his works have been performed in important venues such as the Alternative Stage, the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, the Royal College of Music in London, the RNCM, etc., and have been recorded by the Music Ensembles of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music from The American College of Greece and a BA (Hons) in Music Performance (Piano) from the Open University UK, having received a full tuition scholarship (H. C. Krentzman, Dimitri Toufexis class). In addition, he holds a Master in Music (MMus) and a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Performance from the RNCM, with a full tuition scholarship from the prestigious Onassis Foundation (Frank Wibaut class).
In addition, he holds a Piano Soloist Diploma (class D. Toufexis) and Composition Diploma (class Dimitris Economou), both with Excellence and First Prize from the Anagennisi Conservatory. He also holds Music Theory Degrees (Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue-Orchestration) with Honors (classes F. Pappas and G. Malefakis). In addition, he has studied conducting with Miltos Logiadis in Athens and Mark Heron at the RNCM.
Elena Christodoulou has pursued a career of remarkable diversity. Regarded for her “…exquisite and crystal-clear ability of her fingers…worth jealous control of sound, phrasing and musical intentions…extrovert martellato sound, impressive technical skills…” (Musical Tone magazine, Greece, D. Mallouhos).
She has given numerous piano recitals and chamber music concerts in four continents: North America, Europe, Asia, North Africa. She has appeared in Austria (Salzburg), U.S.A. (Boston, Salt Lake City, Dayton), Italy (Rome), Egypt (Cairo and Alexandria Opera House), U.A.E. (Dubai), Iran (Vahdat and Roudaki Hall), Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki Megaron Concert Hall). She has performed as a soloist with various orchestras such as the Wiener KammerOrchester (direction M. Mihailidis), the Orchestra of Colors (direction M. Logiadis), the Italian Camerata String Orchestra “Partenopea” (direction E. Volpe), the chamber orchestra of the American College of Greece, the Greek Saxophone Orchestra (artistic direction Th. Kerkezos) etc. She has also recorded for the Greek National Radio, TV, and the Greek Radio broadcasting in Boston.
She has been invited by the Greek Composers’ Union to interpret works by contemporary Greek composers, many of which have dedicated their works to her (M.I. Alexiadis, T. Rosopoulos). She has given a series of piano masterclasses and concerts in Iran under the auspices of The Tehran Arts University, as well as in the International Summer Academy (Zeus Music Festival) in Greece under the auspices of Vladimir Spivakov and Vladimir Krainev International Charity Foundation. She has collaborated with numerous Embassies in Greece (such as the Embassy of Serbia under the patronage of Princess Katherine of Serbia), with the aim of promoting the Greek, American, and European classical music. She has been awarded by the charity organization Lions Club International for her musical contribution.
She has given courses on music at the American College of Greece (School of Continuing and Professional Studies). Many of her students have won prizes in several piano competitions (Unesco Art and Sciences piano competition, Maria Chairogiorgou piano competition etc.) as well as have graduated (Piano Diploma) from the Greek Conservatories (Athenaeum, Nakas, Municipality of Maroussi) with honors.
She received her Piano Diploma with Honors, first prize, and a gold medal under the instruction of Dimitri Toufexis. She graduated from Deree-The American College of Greece, where she received a B.A. in Music, with Highest Distinction. As a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship and the Onassis Foundation Scholarship, she earned the Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from The Boston Conservatory of Music under the instruction of Michael Lewin. She also studied with other great pianists, such as Leon Fleisher, Jacob Lateiner (Mozarteum Academy, Austria), Aquilles delle Vigne, Nicolae Petrof, Marcella Crudelli. In recognition of her contribution to the artistic activities of The American College of Greece, she was awarded with the Special Artistic Award, the second award given in the history of the College. She is a prize winner in several piano competitions (“Associazione Culturale Fryderick Chopin” Rome, Boston Conservatory Concerto competition) as well as a jury member in several piano competitions.
Vasileios Gavvaris is a 22-year-old pianist with origins from both Greece and Cyprus. He is a senior student of Music Performance at Deree-The American College of Greece, studying under the supervision of Dr. Tatiana Papageorgiou, with whom he has also been awarded the Piano Soloist’s Diploma with the grade Excellent Unanimous and First Prize from Panarmonio Conservatory. Based on his academic excellence, he is currently the recipient of the Frances Rich Scholarship of the School of Fine and Performing Arts. He started playing the piano at the age of 13 under the instruction of Maria Velmachou at the National Conservatory of Sparta, the town where he grew up.
Vasileios has participated in several national and international piano competitions. Among his most important distinctions are the 1st Prize at the Felouris Music Competition, the 2nd, and the 3rd Prize at the Piano Competitions of the Filonas Music Association, the 2nd Prize at the Chaerogiorgou-Sigara Piano Competition, a Merit Award at the Unesco TLEE Piano Competition, and an Honorable Mention at the Montecatini International Piano Competition. He has also been granted an award for his artistic excellence and ethos by the Sainopoulos Foundation.
He has actively participated in numerous piano masterclasses in Greece and abroad by acclaimed soloists and piano professors, such as Andrzej Jasiński, Dr. Tamás Ungár, Peter Nagy, Dimitri Toufexis, Jean-Louis Steuermann, Janis Vakarelis, Angelina Kopyrina, Dr. Christine Tokatlian, Elena Mouzala, Dr. Lorenda Ramou, and Prodromos Symeonides. He has performed on various occasions at the premises of The American College of Greece, as well as in events at the Megaron Athens Concert Hall, the Theoharakis Foundation, the Acropolis of Ancient Sparta, the Pierce Theatre, the Parnassos Concert Hall, the Lilian Voudouri Musical Library, and other venues in Greece. Apart from his solo performances, he has worked with chamber music ensembles and vocal accompaniment. For the past two years, he is the accompanist of the ACG Community Choir, as part of the work-study program at Deree.
He holds an Advanced Harmony Diploma from the National Conservatory of Greece, while he has practiced extensively Greek traditional percussion instruments, having performed in important venues, such as the Athens Concert Hall and the Herodes Atticus Theater.
During his studies at Deree, he has been an active member of the Music Society. He is currently serving as the President, working towards the organization of musical and educational activities for the community. For his vision and contribution, he has been awarded the Outstanding Member Award in 2020.
Vrez Khachaturian was born in Yerevan, Armenia. He started his musical studies at a very young age at the specialized music school “Alexander Spendiaryan”. In 2017 he was accepted with a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music in the United Kingdom, from where he graduated with a Master of Music in Performance (Piano) under Benjamin Frith. At the same time, he was the main pianist of the experimental electronic ensemble of the RNCM, under the guidance of Mauricio Pauly. Throughout his studies in England he was a scholar of the A.G. Leventis Foundation, AGBU as well as the RNCM.
He has attended seminars and courses with Philippe Cassard, Graham Scott, Murray McLachlan, Adam Swayne, Helen Krizos, Peter Lawson, Dina Parakhina, Dan Whieldon, Lilia Bojadjieva, Toms Ostrovskis and Giorgos Chatzinikos among others. He has given recitals in Greece and the United Kingdom, and holds numerous prizes from piano competitions (Maria Cherogiorgou-Sigara, Arafineios, Marika Mantzagriotaki, YPEPTH, H.O.N. etc.), including a UNESCO medal.
He studied at the Athens Conservatoire, initially with Dionysis Mallouchos and then with Maria Efstratiadis, where he received the Piano Diploma with a prize and special distinction. He is a graduate of the Department of Music Studies of the University of Athens (majoring in Acoustic and Music Technology). In addition, he holds degrees in Piano, Harmony and Counterpoint from the Municipal Conservatory of Kallithea, where he studied on a scholarship.
He has been a member of the Athens Symphony Youth Orchestra, participating as a pianist in many concerts throughout Greece. At the same time, he very often took part in the artistic events of the Department of Music Studies “May-June Music”, where in the years 2015-2017 he was a key member of the organizing team.
He has worked as manager and producer in the studios of the National Library of Greece at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, as well as at the radio station “88.6 UP Radio”, as a producer. He is active as a private piano teacher as well as a music teacher in primary and secondary schools.
Alongside his classical studies, he shows great interest in composition and music production, while his works have been heard in various theater performances and projects (French Institute of Athens, Onassis Stegi, Parnassos Hall, “Melina” Cultural Center etc.). He was responsible for the sound design of the successful theatrical performance “Oi Mouses pou Agapisa”, starring Grigoris Valtinos and with performances all over Greece.
Spyros Souladakis (concert pianist, teacher) has given many concerts (both solo and chamber music) in Greece and abroad. He has performed in London (Wigmore Hall, the National Gallery, etc.), Rome, Paris, Milano, Weimar, in the Athens Concert Hall, in Thessalonica, Crete, Rhodes, Cyprus etc. In Great Britain, he won the first prize in “Robert Sutherland” competition for piano accompanying. He has participated in many piano masterclasses where well-known musicians such as Paul Badura Skoda, Nelly Acopian – Tamarina, Konstantin & Julia Ganev, Aleksandar Raichev, were invited. He has also accompanied many artists in various concerts, masterclasses, courses, auditions etc. He graduated from the Royal College of Music, where he studied with John Blakely and Nigel Clayton. In Greece, he studied piano with Ida Lori Margariti and Marina Koutouvali, and graduated in 1999 (Diploma in performance with Distinction). While in London, he also studied orchestration and composition. Since 2004 he teaches piano and theory of music in schools and conservatories in Athens.
Christine Tokatlian, is a concert pianist praised for her academic distinctions and passionate performance. In 2008 she was awarded the honorary ‘Eleni Myconiou’ prize for artistic excellence by the Athens Academy. At the age of six Christine was already taking piano lessons at the National Conservatory of Greece which led to a Soloist’s diploma with a grade of Excellence by unanimous vote and First Prize, under the supervision of Manolis Kokalis. Studying under renowned pianists including Dimitri Toufexis, Yu Chun Yee and Bernard Roberts, between 1996 and 1999, Christine receives her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Deree-The American College of Greece, and post-graduate diplomas in Advanced Piano Performance from the Royal College of Music in London (PGDip, PGAdvDip).
Performing around Greece, the United Kingdom, Italy, Lebanon, Germany and Armenia alongside distinguished artists including the Komitas Quartet, Christine’s recitals include works by classical, romantic and contemporary composers, as well as new-experimental music all performed with her distinct temperament, undeniably fueled by her Armenian descent. And with the same passionate spirit she premiered Khatchaturian’s Piano Concerto with the Thessaloniki State Orchestra in the Thessaloniki Concert Hall in 2010. Christine also communicates her talent through teaching as she is currently a professor of music at Deree-The American College of Greece and a piano professor at the Maiandrio Conservatory.
She has recorded with various ensembles and artists and in a range of musical styles particularly interested in new music.
Her PhD research at Chichester University, UK, focuses on contemporary Armenian piano music and its impact on the re(de)construction of Armenian musical identity. Her research has been presented in international conferences in Athens, London, Istanbul, Berlin and Latvia.
Christine serves as a jury member in national competitions and gives piano masterclasses in Greece and abroad. Her students have been awarded several prizes and distinctions in international piano competitions.
Armenian Piano Images, Christine’s first personal recording with works of contemporary Armenian composers, some of which are world premieres, serves as a window for her audience to see into her dream of magical musical performance.
Dimitri Toufexis is a world-renowned musician and a significant presence in the world of music. As a piano soloist, he has won wide acclaim from the international music community. As a conductor, he has been highly praised for his work. As a teacher, he constitutes a point of reference for his ability to impart his virtuosity and passion for music to his students, many of whom have excelled as pianists and conductors.
At the age of 3, he was initiated into music by his father and his musical talent became apparent very quickly. At the age of 10, he won a double scholarship from the Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he completed all of his musical studies. His debuts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center in Washington were received enthusiastically by critics.
During his career, he has been awarded many honors and prizes, which include First Prizes in the New York Times Piano Competition and the Three Rivers International Piano Competition with the Symphony Orchestra of Pittsburgh. In addition, he was honored with the Katherine Tuck Award, the Wurlitzer Award and the Medal of Zenon given by the Government of Cyprus for his contribution to culture.
He has performed throughout the world giving concerts at the most prestigious venues in America, Europe and Asia. He has appeared as a soloist with the most distinguished orchestras in New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Honolulu, Seattle, San Francisco, Florida, Pennsylvania, Dresden, London, Yugoslavia, Vienna, Bucharest, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Cyprus, Australia, Switzerland, Athens and Thessaloniki. He always remembers his collaborations with legendary conductors such as Bernstein, Previn, Johannos, Maazel, Rudel, Katims, Comissiona, Talmi, Fiddler, Schneider, Mehta, Chung and Sunshine. He was invited numerous times to the White House and the United Nations and has appeared more than 40 times at Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center.
As a professor he taught for many years at Lehigh University and Moravian College in the United States, for two years at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and for 32 years at the American College of Greece where he is now Professor Emeritus.
He has recorded for the BBC in London, has issued CDs with Musical Heritage and Philips labels and has appeared on television more than 350 times.
Nikos Venner was born in Athens, Greece. His musical talent showed from a very young age and he began his studies at the National Conservatory of Athens. He studied under the internationally acclaimed pianist Dimitri Toufexis and in June of 2018 he received his concert piano diploma with the distinction of ‘excellent unanimously and first prize’ at the I. Sygelakis Conservatory.
Nikos is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Deree-The American College of Greece and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music. During his undergraduate studies he became the recipient of the Frances L. Rich School of Fine and Performing Arts Scholarship as well as the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Achievement Award for his artistic activity. Additionally, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music with honors in Music Performance from the Open University of England.
He continued his studies, graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) with a Masters in Music Performance under professors Aaron Shorr and Fali Pavri, in 2021. He has won the third prize at the National Competition of the Municipal Conservatory of Larissa, as well as the third prize in 2016 and the second prize in 2018 at the National Competition of UNESCO. Additionally, he was awarded the second prize at the International Piano Competition (ISCART) of Lugano, Switzerland in 2021, as well as the second prize at the International Moscow Music Competition (IMMC) in September 2021. Finally, he was awarded with the Order of Letters and Fine Arts prize by the Academy of Athens in April 2022. As a soloist, he has played recitals in many concert halls including the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), the Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera as well as the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, in Austria.
Christos Yonas-Kontos was born in Athens in 1993. He is a graduate of the Hellenic American Educational Foundation: Athens College – Psychico College with an International Baccalaureate. In 2016, he received the Piano Soloist Diploma from the Musical Horizons Conservatory in the class of professor Betty Gaitanou-Barzouka. In 2020, he completed his studies in Music at the Frances Rich School of Fine Arts of The American College of Greece, where he studied classical piano under the guidance of the renowned pianist, Dimitri Toufexis. He has been awarded multiple pianistic awards and he is a graduate and member of the Contemporary Music Composition and Interpretation Workshop, where he has studied with the composer Dr. Alexander Kalogera.
Among other appearances, he has performed at the Alternative Stage of the National Opera in the confines of the Piandaemonium International Piano Festival (2017); at the Tinos Cultural Foundation (2012); at the Contemporary Greek Music Festival (2017) in Chios, and the International Musical Meetings Festival (2017, 2018) in Naxos.
After two years away from music exploring the fields of mathematics and games, Christos found himself on a recursive trajectory back to music with his primary concern being the creative exploration of the present moment through sound, performance and the piano. He is currently a founding member of the jazz experimental music group Frall together with the musicians Augustinos Michalopoulos-Stathopoulos and Dimitris Kokkos.