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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ An exciting week of music making ]

An exciting week of music making

For eight nights starting Thursday an ancient site in Paphos will be transformed into the international hub of chamber music. SASKIA CONSTANTINOU takes a look at what is going on

Eight evenings of great chamber works performed by internationally acclaimed artists will be set in motion this week with the opening of the Ninth Chamber Music Festival in Kouklia, organised by Pharos Trust.

As usual, the concerts take place at the Royal Manor House, presenting concert goers with a unique opportunity to meet, mingle and socialise with the musicians, not only at the concert venue, but in the surrounds of the Columbia Beach Resort, which offers a variety of packages.

And it is not only audiences that not keenly await the next festival. According to its artistic directors, violinist Levon Chilingirian and Alex Chaushian, “the Pharos Festival is celebrated among musicians around the world, and we are inundated with requests to participate – we are now busy with 2011’s programme.”
As this year marks 200 years since the death of Haydn and the birth of Mendelssohn, the programme will focus on their contribution to classical music but will also include a balance of 20th century composers and some lesser known works.

Ensembles that perform together develop a certain style and sound quality, but for festivals musicians can meet only days before a performance. “The quality of the musicians is very high” explains Chaushian, “most of them are familiar with the repertoire and of course come prepared. So, with few rehearsals, great music making is possible. Sometimes, the very fact that the ensembles vary keeps everyone very alert.”

The artists are almost all prize winners of top, internationally recognised competitions with a stream of accolades and honours even including knighthoods and OBEs.

“What we have is a unique and extremely exciting week of music making. I believe that the Royal Manor House captures the essence of chamber music which is intimate, atmospheric and warm,” enthused Music Coordinator Yvonne Georgiadou. That said, it is a difficult venue to work with. “As we are in an ancient site in a rural area, rather than the traditional city hall, if we are not careful, things can easily get out of control. Apart from setting up a stage, audience chairs, getting larger instruments to the venue etc, we also have hundreds of visitors wandering around during rehearsals.”

But occasionally, issues arise beyond the control of any organisation. “One year I remember hearing funny noises just outside which although the audience couldn’t hear, were disturbing the musicians. We eventually discovered that it was a rare bird – so it was something we had to live with.”

With a varied programme and such an intense number of concerts over the eight-day period, the Kouklia festival is an ideal way to attract musical tourists to the island. Cultural tourism is something that President of the Pharos Arts Foundation, Garo Keheyan feels strongly about. “Our tourism infrastructure needs upgrading and despite talking about a new strategy to attract quality tourism, it has been with little effect. Cultural tourism can be an important component of this with the festival offering an attractive tool for the tourism authorities. By supporting it and using it to project a different image of Cyprus, we could attract a more sophisticated, discerning visitor. The Chamber Festival is in its ninth year, and has established an enviable reputation throughout Europe for its artistic excellence with some of the most sought after musicians of the world. Turkey’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture has invested heavily in promoting Istanbul as an important destination for the visual and performing arts. Why can’t we invest a little in those who put Cyprus on the international cultural scene?”

This year sees the return of some artists from previous festivals – cellists Steven Isserlis and Rohan de Saram, violist Diemut Poppen and pianists Ashley Wass and Philippe Cassard.

New faces include violinists Daishin Kashimoto, Karen Gomyo, Georgios Demertzis and Movses Pogossian, violists Heiichiro Ohyama and Vladimir Mendelssohn, cellists Timothy Park and Bernhard Naoki Hendenbrog and pianists Alessio Bax and Greek-Israeli Keren Hanan.

Danish Gitta Maria Sjoberg who is the leading soprano with the Danish Opera in Copenhagen will undoubtedly thrill with her evenings of Schubert and Sibelius’ songs.

9th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival
May 28 to June4. All concerts 8.30pm at the Royal Manor House, Kouklia, Paphos. €20/€17/€12. Tel: 22 663871, www.thepharostrust.org


May 28 Haydn Andante and Variations in F minor, Hob 17/6
Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49
Franck Piano Quintet in F minor
May 29 Haydn Piano Trio in E Major, Hob XV/28
Schubert Songs
Mozart String Quintet No. 3 in C major, K. 515
May 30 Mendelssohn Piano Quartet No. 2 in F minor, Op. 2
Schnittke Piano Quintet
Schumann Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47
May 31 May Rachmaninov Two Pieces for cello and piano, Op. 2
Julius Isserlis Ballade for cello and piano
Mikhail Pletnev Cello Sonata
Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66
June 1 Gli?re Duos for violin and cello, Op.39
Kod?ly Duo for violin and cello, Op. 7
Blooming Sounds for solo violin
Kod?ly Sonata for cello solo Op. 8
Ravel Sonata for violin and cello
June 2 Sibelius Songs
Sch?nberg String Quartet No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 10
Mendelssohn String Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20
June 3 Brahms Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60 “Werther”
Sch?nberg Verkl?rte Nacht for String Sextet, Op. 4
June 4 Mendelssohn Viola Quintet No. 2 in B flat major Op. 87
Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor Op. 25



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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