The Corfu Festival of Arts, the new cultural institution which embarked on its journey this year in Corfu, was completed with great success. All the events of the Festival took place in venues filled with spectators, proving that the new institution was warmly embraced by all residents and visitors of Corfu. Artistic Director of the Festival is the European-awarded clarinetist Dionysis Grammenos, who had the insipiration and the idea for the creation of that Festival.
The events of the Corfu Festival of Arts took place in renowned monuments and sites of the island of Corfu: the Palace of St. Michael and St. George (Museum of Asian Art), Achilleon Palace, Ionian Academy and Mon Repos. It must be noted that some of these sites, such as the famous “Throne Room” in the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, were licensed for the first time to be used for cultural events.
The Festival featured acclaimed artists such as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the String Quartet “Arriaga” with the renowned pianist Sonja Park, the solo harpist Anneleen Lenaerts of the famous Vienna Philarmonic Orchestra and the theatre group “Vice Versa” which presented Aristophane’s “Wealth”. Dionysis Grammenos joined the Vienna Chamber Orchestra as soloist and conductor, in a concert that took place under the auspices of the Austrian Embassy in Greece.
The Corfu Festival of Arts was being realized with the contribution of donors, led by the “Ioannis Latsis Foundation” and the Aegean Airlines. The Greek Radio-Television (ERT) was the communication sponsor of the Festival.
Friday, July 8, 2011, Palace of St. Michael & George, harp recital by Anneleen Lenaerts
“The opening of the Festival was held in the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, with a solo recital by harpist Anneleen Lenaerts. The 24-year old much-awarded artist from Belgium, which holds the position of solo harpist in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, impressed the audience with her virtuosity and sensitivity, confirming once again her reputation as an internationally acclaimed artist. The velvet interpretation of Chopin’s Nocturne together with the magical atmosphere in the Throne Room gave a truly unique experience to the audience”.
“The magical Achillion Palace hosted the second concert of the Corfu Festival of Arts. The Arriaga Quartet guaranteed a romantic programme presenting some of the finest pieces of the era from Mendelssohn, Schubert to Brahms. Internationally acclaimed pianist Sonja Park joined the string quartet for an energetic performance of the Brahms piano quintet. The ensemble showed its experience and knowledge by bringing out all the musical elements that the piece requires. Once more the public was able to enjoy important classical repertoire in the beautiful surroundings of Corfu”.
Saturday, July 10, 2011, Ionian Academy, Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Dionysis Grammenos, soloist and conductor
“The Ionian Academy was the perfect setting for the third and final concert of the festival with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, featuring clarinetist Dionysis Grammenos, Artistic Director of the festival. The orchestra immediately set a captivating atmosphere, opening with an intense and colorful Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, followed by a greatly executed Serenade for Strings by Antonin Dvorak, enchanting the fully packed Academy. After the break Grammenos made his debut conducting the Vienna Chamber Orchestra in the Adagietto from the Fifth Symphony of Gustav Mahler, holding great musical energy and intensity throughout the whole masterpiece. With the Carl Maria von Weber Clarinet Quintet the concert reached its full climax. The young virtuoso raised the orchestra to another level with a great mastery of his instrument and profound musicality. Throughout the different movements of the piece Grammenos impressed the public with his warm sound, beautiful phrasings and mind blowing technique”.
“The performance of the Vice Versa theatrical group, composed of students and workers in 12 different countries, presented a superb example of the creativity that can flow from multicultural communication and cooperation. At the same time, Aristophane’s Wealth served as the most pertinent commentary on the current global condition. The “cheap” materials used by the Group for the scene and the costumes of their performance, was a reminder of the ephemeral nature of wealth, which may appear to be the powerful regulator of everyone’s life but in reality, is the source of mental and emotional poverty of those who hunt it”.
More on the Festival at www.corfufestivalofarts.com