An extraordinary debut for Dionysis Grammenos with the London Philharmonic

Last Friday, Greek conductor Dionysis Grammenos received an unexpected phone call, inviting him to step in at just 30 minutes’ notice to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Megaron, Athens.

In the gym at the time, Grammenos rushed home to change and made his way to the venue, where the concert had already begun. Replacing Karina Canellakis, who had suddenly fallen ill that evening, Grammenos took to the podium to conduct Brahms Symphony No. 4 with no prior experience of conducting the orchestra and no rehearsal time, and to a full Christos Lambrakis Hall audience, including Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

With calm and composure, Grammenos delivered an exceptional performance of the work, acclaimed by audience members, journalists and the orchestra’s musicians alike:

‘At the last minute, young conductor Dionysis Grammenos was called upon to guide the orchestra through Brahms’ 4th Symphony without rehearsal. The risk was great, as was the applause…
The concert took off in the second part with Grammenos on the podium. And we emphasise this because, as we later learned, Grammenos found out that he would replace the internationally renowned Greek-American chief musician suddenly on the afternoon of Friday with zero rehearsals with the London Philharmonic(!).
In the finale, the packed [Christos Lambrakis Hall] shook with applause and cheers. In another case, we would have had an “encore,” but having not rehearsed any short composition beforehand, Grammenos and the London Philharmonic left after a few back-and-forths due to the prolonged applause…’
Ilias Magklinis, Kathimerini

‘The Greek conductor was also applauded, not only by the audience but also by the musicians, who knew that something very unique had been accomplished.
It is certain that the London Philharmonic Orchestra left Athens with the best impressions, as did the listeners of this concert.’
Dimitra Grous, Athens Voice

‘…his presence on the podium was a true feat, the kind that one rarely witnesses in their life – once in a lifetime, as the British would say.’
Spyros Kakouriotis, Monopoli

Click here to read Intermusica’s press release.