LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN:
COMPLETE WORKS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO
Nikos Pittas [violin]
Nicolas Costantinou [piano]
19:30, Pallas Cinema-theatre, Lefkosia
Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano have a central role in the history of keyboard chamber music. The first performances of these works aroused strong reactions from both audiences and critics, and their influence on later generations of performers and composers, remains profound. Revered by nineteenth-century violinists and pianists, they remain classic works in the recital programmes of modern performers.
Ledra Music Soloists presents, for the first time in Cyprus, Beethoven’s complete works for violin and piano in four concerts with two of the most talented Cypriot soloists, Nikos Pittas and Nicolas Costantinou. You are invited to join us in a journey of discovery, which is abundant in astounding melodies and diffuse energy.
26 October 2013
Rondo WoO 41
Sonata for piano and violin No. 1 in D major, op. 12, no. 1 (1797–8)
Sonata for piano and violin No. 2 in A major, op. 12, no. 2 (1797–8)
Sonata for piano and violin No. 3 in E flat major, op. 12, no. 3 (1797–8)
7 December 2013
Sonata for piano and violin No. 4 in A minor, op. 23 (1800)
Sonata for piano and violin No. 5 in F major, op. 24 (1800–1) «Spring»
Twelve Variations on the cavatina ‘Se vuol ballare’ from the Mozart’s opera Le Nozze di Figaro, WoO 40 (1792–3)
Six Ggerman Dances, WoO 42
15 March 2014
Sonata for piano and violin No. 6 in A major, op. 30, no. 1 (1801–2)
Sonata for piano and violin No. 7 in C minor, op. 30, no. 2 (1801–2)
Sonata for piano and violin No. 8 in G major, op. 30, no. 3 (1801–2)
24 May 2014
Sonata for piano and violin No. 9 in A major, op. 47 (1802–3) “Kreutzer”
Sonata for piano and violin No. 10 in G major, op. 96 (1812, rev. 1814)
Nikos Pittas, violin
Nikos Pittas was born in Lefkosia, Cyprus. He started playing the violin under the guidance of Stavros Papandoniou at the Ethnikon Odeon of Cyprus where he also received piano, theory and history lessons. He has taken Master Classes with Professors such as Artash Terzian in Athens, Boris Kushnir and Arkadi Vinokourov in Vienna, Stelios Kafandaris in Karlsruhe, and Pinchas Zuckerman in USA. At the age of 16, he was awarded his violin diploma with distinction and awards, and was invited by Eleni Mouzala and Hara Kalomiri to give a recital at the Island of Samos in honour of the memorable musician Manolis Kalomiris. The same year, he obtained his LRSM Certificate from the Royal School of Music in England.
Mr. Pittas is the first prize-winner in a national music competition and represented Cyprus at the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra. In 2004 he received the first prize, Gold Medal from Unicef and Unesco, and special awards for best performance at the National Hellenic competition in Athens, including a recording contract from the Ministry of education in Greece. In 1999, Mr. Pittas was the first prize-winner of a Pan-Cyprian Competition and was declared “Soloist of the Year”. After that he made his debut with the Cyprus State Orchestra with the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saëns. In the summer of 1999, he was invited to play Bach’s Double Concerto for violin and oboe in C minor with the European Union Chamber Orchestra in Scotland.
Mr. Pittas continued his musical training and education at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where he received the degrees BM, GPD, and Masters in music, Under the guidance of Professor Herbert Greenberg, he played many recitals and won several competitions such as the Baltimore Music Club Competition, the Towson University of Fine Arts competition, and the Maryland ASTA Solo Competition.
In 2002, Mr. Pittas appeared with the State Chamber Orchestra of Cyprus, led by Spiros Pisinos, with the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. In spring, 2004, Mr. Pittas performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for the Fulbright Scholarship Society. In June 2004, Mr. Pittas gave his second benefit concert at the Presidential Palace of Cyprus. In August, Mr. Pittas attends the Aspen Music Festival with full scholarship where Maestro David Zinman, the director of the festival, gives Mr. Pittas the opportunity to perform in chamber music with one of the most well known pianists and professors in the world, Leon Fleisher. In September 2005 Mr. Pittas performed H. Wieniawski’s second concerto with the Moravian Philharmonic in the Kypria festival in Cyprus.
Mr. Pittas has been the concertmaster and the first violin coach of the Cyprus Youth Orchestra. He has been a soloist and the concertmaster of the National Conservatory of Music Orchestra and a soloist and guest member of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. He has been a leading member of the renowned Chamber music group “The Pharos Soloists”, a guest concertmaster for the Ensemble Philharmonia led by Spiros Pissinos, and performed for Ledra Music Soloists. In the states he has been freelancing with numerous orchestras including The Baltimore Symphony, The Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, and the Alexandria Symphony. He has been a member of the Orquesta Simfonica de Castilla y Leon in Spain for three years, a member of the Thessaloniki State Orchestra, and a guest member of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He has given numerous recitals for the UN, for the relations of Cyprus with other nations and for various benefit concerts. He has also appeared in many TV and radio shows of the Cyprus Media. Mr. Pittas is a Scholar of the A.G Leventis Foundation and a Scholar of the Economou Foundation. Future engagements include recitals in Spain, solo concerts with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, and a CD recording made possible by the Greek Government and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Nicolas Costantinou, piano
Dr. Nicolas Costantinou is renowned for impressing his audience with his daring selection of repertoire, old and new, and his ability to perform with extraordinary instrumental ensembles. He has been hailed by critics as ‘…an artist of deep emotions, who is capable of performing music with his whole being and soul…’ whilst his interpretations have been described as ‘colossal’ and ‘dramatic’.
He has given numerous concerts in Austria, Cyprus, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Portugal, Turkey, Switzerland, the UK and the USA and regularly appears in prestigious halls such as Wigmore Hall, the Brahms Saal of the Musikverein in Vienna, the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, and the grand Hall of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. He is regularly invited to perform at international festivals around Europe such as the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Oulunsalo Soi Music Festival (Finland), the Gödöllő Chamber Music Festival (Hungary), the Ledra Music Soloists International Chamber Music Festival and the Kypria Festival (Cyprus). His debut in London’s prestigious Wigmore Hall was received with favourable reviews. He has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg, the Budapest Concert Orchestra, the Failoni Chamber Orchestra, and the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, with maestros such as Konrad von Abel, Juri Gilbo, Esa Heikkilä, Notis Georgiou, Spiros Pisinos, Maciej Zoltowski and Ayis Ioannides. In the field of chamber music, he has performed with Gustav Rivinius, Erkki Rautio, David Cohen, Péter Somodari, Vilmos Szabadi, Tytus Miecznikowski, Gábor Varga, Francesco Quaranta, Wolfgang Schroeder, Chloë Hanslip, Kazuhiro Tagaki, and the Meta4 and Akadémia String quartets. He regularly performs works by Cypriot composers in Cyprus and abroad including a number of world premieres.
Nicolas Costantinou graduated from the Greek Hellenic Academy of Music, the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Szeged, the Ferenc Liszt University of Music in Budapest summa cum laude and holds a Master of Music in Performance from the U.S. Cleveland Institute of Music. Recently, he has been awarded a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) from London’s Royal College of Music under the supervision of Prof. Paul Banks, Dr. Julian Jacobson and Dr. Jane Roper. His thesis is entitled The Chamber Music of Ernő Dohnányi; Tradition, Innovation and ‘Hungarianness’. He has also studied with Márta Gulyás, Dr. Daniel Shapiro, Sándor Falvai, Ferenc Kerek, Tania Economou and Wanda Economou-Constantinou and he has participated in master classes held by acknowledged pianists such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Nicolas Economou, Vadim Suchanov and Ferenc Rádos.
Nicolas is currently teaching prodigious children in his home country. Many of his students have won numerous prizes at international piano competitions, and have participated in esteemed piano master-classes with renowned professors. Some of his students have been accepted in highly esteemed Academies and Universities, amongst others the Reina Sofía Escuela Superior de Música in Madrid and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, USA. Dr Costantinou currently holds an Adjunct position at the University of Nicosia and at the Nicosia Music Lyceum.
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