Programme of Anniversary Events
With emblematic concerts, new compositors, workshops , masterclasses, podcasts, publications, exhibitions and online activities, the Friends of Music Society will celebrate the 70 years of contributions to the cultural life of the country.
Seventy years have passed since 1953, when lyrical singer Alexandra Trianti and Lambros Eftaxias inspired and united institutionally elected members of the Athenian society and the hellenic diaspora, establishing the Friends of Music Society. Their primary vision was to give their country the first cultural centre for artistic events, which later became Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall.
With Christos Lambrakis as its pillar, the Society expanded its activities with the establishment of the Great Music Library “Lilian Voudouri”, the creation of the Camerata Orchestra, the establishment of scholarships for young artists and the creation of educational programmes throughout Greece.
After the passing of Lambrakis, his successors founded the Camerata Junior, The Friends of Music Youth Orchestra, the MusixLab workshop, organised important exhibitions for music and a multitude of programmes on music, education and research, while further developing the Society’s synergies and scope of action.
Multifaceted activities are addressed not only to professionals, but to young people and the general public as well.
The anniversary events of the Society, reflect the diversity of the activities in which the Society has been active for years, were presented at a press conference held on 24 January at the Megaron by the President of the Friends of Music Society Panayiotis Dimaras, the Director Alexandros Charkiolakis and the Director of the Music Library Stephanie Merakos.
Brief speeches were given by the President of the Megaron Nikos Pimblis, the Artistic Director Janis Vakarelis, the Artistic Director of the Athens State Orchestra Lukas Karytinos, the Content Director of DiaNEOsis Thodoris Georgakopoulos, a well as the soprano Christina Poulitsi, maestro Nikos Haliassas, the associate professor of the Department of Music Studies of the University of Ioannina Lorenda Ramou, the President of Athens 9.84 Popi Domazou and Tzortzis Kontos Director and artist of Marni Films, who represent the organisations that will brighten the anniversary events of the Society with their participation. All the speakers praised the Society’s achievements and pointed out, each on their part, different aspects of its long history and contributions.
Welcoming and thanking the attendees, the President of the Society announced the renaming of the Polychoros to “Giannis Marinos Hall”, a decision made by the Board of Directors in order to honour the contributions of journalist and economist and 40-year member of the Board of Directors and Secretary General of the Friends of Music Society.
During the Interview, a short clip from the animated film created with the sponsorship of Marni Films was shown to capture the long history of the Society.
In detail, the events of 2023 are as follows:
Με την ευγενική χορηγία της Θεοδώρας Βαλεντή και της Marni Films δημιουργήθηκε ταινία animation που αποτυπώνει μερικά από τα σημαντικά γεγονότα στην ιστορία του Συλλόγου.
The 70 Years Logo
The Society’s anniversary logo was designed by graphic designer Al. Papantoniou.
The new logo depicts the number 70 in line with the Society’s visual identity.
Revival of the first concert in favour of SFM (1955, New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos)
In collaboration with the Athens Concert Hall and the Athens State Orchestra, the Society will present in the autumn of 2023, at the Lambrakis Hall, an emblematic concert that will reflect the programme and atmosphere of the first concert that was given in 1955 in support of the Society’s aims. At the time, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Honorary Member of the Friends of Music, included Athens in the tour of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, in order to financially support and promote internationally the aims of the newly established institution. The expenses of the Orchestra were covered by Vassilis and Elisa Goulandris, also Members of the Society.
The 2023 concert will be held in collaboration with the Athens State Orchestra and will largely include the programme performed in 1955 by D. Mitropoulos. The name of the conductor who will direct the concert will be announced shortly.
70 Years The Friends of Music Society - 70 new works in one night
In the context of its interests in musical creation, the Society invited Greek composers, regardless of age and level, to compose a miniature for a piano solo lasting one minute, in order to gather 70 works by as many composers as the years of the Society. The call was answered with such excitement that 178 different entries were submitted. The works will be donated to the Society, posted in its Digital Library and will be free to use and perform.
The miniatures will be presented in a concert on 23 November 2023 at the Mitropoulos Hall. The new compositions will be performed by final year pianists from the Department of Music Studies at the University of Ioannina.
Event and research presentation on Culture in collaboration with diaNEOsis
The Society will collaborate with the diaNEOsis research and analysis organisation in an event that attempts to highlight and analyse the cultural reality of Greece. In particular, a systematic mapping of Greek cultural life will be attempted and cutting-edge and topical issues concerning culture as a driver of society’s development will be investigated.
In this modular event, which will begin in the Society’s premises and continue in the D. Mitropoulos Hall in the autumn of 2023, the diaNEOsis’s new research will be presented for the first time, followed by a musical programme.
Publications - Exhibitions
- The Music Library “Lilian Voudouri” is preparing a musicological edition in ebook form with original texts from musicologists who researched and studied archival material and its collections with a scholarship provided by the Society through the “Kyveli – Yannis Horn” Endowment (fellowship). The publication will also include selected texts from the Society’s scientific staff.
- The book “Texts on Music” by Rainer Maria Rilke, which has been sold out on the Greek market, will be reprinted in collaboration with Perispomeni Publications. The book contains, among others, Rilke’s most important poetic musical texts “Notes on the Melody of Things”, “Notes on the Birth of Tragedy by Fr. Nietzche” and “Primordial Scream”.
- At the foyer entrance of the Megaron, a small exhibition with photographs and other souvenirs from the 70-year history of the Friends of Music Society will be hosted.
Lyrical Song Masterclass by Christina Poulitsi
The internationally renowned soprano and former scholar of the Society will offer during the week of 22 – 25 May 2023 a masterclass on lyrical singing to selected students, who will then perform this specific repertoire in two concerts at the Society’s premises.
Camerata Junior, The Friends of Music Youth Orchestra
The youth orchestra Camerata Junior, under the artistic direction of Nikos Haliassas, is being changed this year from a string orchestra to a symphonic, as after an audition, a section of young musicians will be added to the wind instruments, resulting in the orchestra expanding its repertoire and capabilities. At the same time, individual chamber music ensembles are being created by the orchestra musicians, which will also develop independent activities.
Series of Podcasts: 7 Decades - 7 Discussions
Seven discussions about music will be held and released in Spring 2023, in podcast form, in collaboration with the radio station Athens 9.84.
The director of the Station Margarita Mytilineou and the Director of the Society Alexandros Charkiolakis will be talking to seven men and women from public life, who are not musicians; politicians, athletes, journalists, directors, technocrats, actors, etc. They will discuss their relationship with music, their experiences and what they have gained from it.
Animation film about the Society’s history
Through the kind sponsorship of Theodora Valenti and Marni Films, an animated film was created that captures some of the important events in the Society’s history.
Actions on Facebook
Throughout 2023, the Society’s facebook page will host the answers of 70 important personalities of the cultural life of Greece, who have collaborated with the Society’s in various ways, to the question “What does the SFM mean to you and what is your relationship with it?”. The short posts will accompany their photos and will be presented in a special template with the Society’s new logo.