LMS presents PIANOFEST2, a piano festival featuring four virtuoso Cypriot pianists, Christos Yiallouros, Andreas Ioannides, George Mannouris and Nicolas Costantinou.
Music interpreters, in their capacity as universal performing artists, have always served as ambassadors of transnational artistic creation. Through their performances, they communicate to audiences an endless and diverse spectrum of meanings and messages, which, in its totality, ranks as the gateway to understanding human existence. As a deed of altruism, music sets the conditions for mutual understanding, solidarity, empathy and love. Works that once emerged from the inherent need for personal expression, and which constituted catalysts for spiritual uplift, now offer a glimmer of hope that humans will ultimately coexist. By contrast, works, which were originally intended to awaken national sentiment, have come to operate as bridges of familiarity and communication between different cultures and peoples. During their lifetime, many composers were severely criticized, if not persecuted, for the messages they sought to convey, precisely because the power of their music was regarded as a threat to the regime.
Have you ever wondered what the Six Partitas of the German Johann Sebastian Bach would have been like without the influence of the French clavecinistes, what meaning the works of the Hungarian Franz Liszt would have had without the influence of Italian art, or, even, what kind of dialectic the Russian Sergei Rachmaninoff would have infused into his works without the influence of the Polish Chopin—and what style would Constantinos Y. Stylianou’s Préludes have without the example of the French Claude Debussy and the inspiration drawn from the works of such visual artists as the Dutch Piet Mondrian, the English J. M. W. Turner, the Swiss Alberto Giacometti or the Portuguese Paula Rego?
LMS and the four distinguished pianists of PIANOFEST2 resist vehemently any form of division and alienation, and insist on promoting these timeless values in the furtherance of a better and more peaceful state of affairs, within which humanity may prosper in harmony.
We invite you to honour us with your presence and support in our effort to stand up against all kinds of division and hatred, and for the preservation of peace and love. Art unites.
31 | 05 | 2022 | 20:00
STROVOLOS MUNICIPAL THEATRE
- Bach: Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830
- Economou: Nocturnes 1, 3, 4, 6, 7
- Liszt: Deux Légendes [Two Legends], S. 175
- Dutilleux: Piano Sonata, Op. 1
PIANOFEST2 is inaugurated by Christos Yiallouros, with a unique and varied programme. The young pianist, who is giving his first professional solo recital in Cyprus, studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Christos enjoys performing works from the baroque period, contemporary music, as well as lesser-known repertoire. He also frequently collaborates with multimedia and animation artists.
The Six Partitas hold a special place in the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, as they constitute the first collection of works whose publication Bach himself financed in 1731. It is a kind of instrumental suite, consisting of linked sections or movements of stylized contemporary dances. Technically demanding, the Six Partitas are some of the most sublime instrumental compositions Bach ever composed. The Partita in E minor is the last in the set, and the last suite that Bach composed.
Nicolas Economou composed his Eight Nocturnes in the 1970s and early 1980s. He recorded them sometime in the 1980s without having notated them first, a task that was undertaken by the German musicologist Reiner Starzonek posthumously. The Nocturnes are characterized by dark colours and dynamic juxtapositions, and are charged with intense and contrasting emotions.
Liszt’s Deux Légendes, written in 1863, are based on legends concerning the Italian saints, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis of Paola. These works are set against a narrative background and are two of the composer’s finest examples of conjuring up natural imagery at the keyboard: the first through its delicate imitation of the chirping of birds, and the second through its vivid description of a storm at sea.
The programme concludes with the Piano Sonata, Op. 1 (1946–8), by the French Henri Dutilleux. This is an extensive work in which the composer managed to move away from the Ravelian influence that plagued much of French music in the 1930s and early 1940s, and extolled a “sensual, not too dry” pianism.
5 | 06 | 2022 | 20:00
STROVOLOS MUNICIPAL THEATRE
- Fryderyk Chopin: Twelve Etudes, Op. 10
- Twelve Etudes, Op. 25
Next up is a recital from Andreas Ioannides, which also marks his professional debut in a solo recital in Cyprus. Andreas has an impressive number of appearances to his credit, as both a solo recitalist and a concerto soloist. He has given recitals in Europe, Asia, North, and South America in concert halls such as the Boston Symphony Hall, the Great Hall of Music in Hamburg, the Lucerne Cultural and Conference Centre, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Seoul Arts Centre and the Temppeliaukio Kirkko in Helsinki.
Andreas’s programme is devoted to Chopin’s two series of piano études, Op. 10 (1833) and Op. 25 (1837) that are, even today, considered to be the foundations of modern piano technique. Each étude presents a specific technical challenge to the pianist, but in a way that goes beyond its original pedagogical purpose, which turns each specimen into an exquisite “character piece” of the Romantic era.
7 | 06 | 2022 | 20:00
STROVOLOS MUNICIPAL THEATRE
- Liszt: Five Études: Waldesrauschen, Un sospiro, Études d’exécution transcendante, 139, Nos. 10–12
- Chopin: Sonata for piano No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35
- Rachmaninoff: Sonata for piano No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 36
PIANOFEST2 continues with a recital by George Mannouris who, with this performance, also makes his professional debut in a solo recital in Cyprus. Having studied at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid, the New England Conservatory and Brandeis University in Boston, George has performed in some leading venues in Europe and North America. In addition to being a concert pianist, George is also an award-winning poet and a historical musicologist; he has already given a series of lectures on the Romantic movement, Liszt, Wagner, nineteenth-century opera, music and philosophy, and music aesthetics.
The programme begins with five virtuosic studies by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. Three derive from a series of twelve compositions, which Liszt entitled Études d’Exécution Transcendante. This final set was published in 1852 as a revision of an 1837 series, which in turn was an elaboration of a preliminary series of smaller studies written in 1826, when the composer was only fourteen years old. The three studies, no. 10 in F minor, no. 11 “Harmonies du Soir” and no. 12 “Chasse Neige” alternate with two other studies. The first, entitled “Waldesrauschen” (“Whispers in the Woods”), originates in the set Two Concert Studies, while the second, “Un sospiro” (“A Sigh”), comes from the set Three Concert Studies.
These are followed by the Second Piano Sonata by Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin. It rates as one of the greatest sonatas in the piano literature. The Sonata centres on the famous funeral march, the composition of which preceded that of the other three movements.
The programme concludes with the Second Piano Sonata by the Russian Sergei Rachmaninoff, a work inspired by Chopin’s Second Sonata. The two works also share the same tonality, B-flat minor.
14 | 06 | 2022 | 20:00
STROVOLOS MUNICIPAL THEATRE
- Constantinos Y. Stylianou:
- 12 Préludes, Book I
PIANOFEST2 concludes with a recital by Nicolas Costantinou, who has recently been awarded the title of Steinway Artist. Nicolas is active not only as a soloist, but also as an enthusiastic pianist in chamber music and classical ensembles. He has recently recorded Constantinos Y. Stylianou’s Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in C major, with Péter Somodari, and his Two Sonatas for Viola and Piano with Máté Szűcs.
Nicolas will give the world premiere of the complete cycle of the First Series of 12 Préludes for solo piano by Cypriot composer Constantinos Y. Stylianou, which were completed between 2008 and 2014. Each Prelude is inspired by a work of art. These include: the statue The Victory of Samothrace, the paintings Composition in Yellow and Blue, by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, L’Étang des Sœurs, by Paul Cézanne, Snowstorm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, by J. M. W. Turner, “The Weeping Angel,” from Robert Campin’s The Seilern Triptych, Die Lebensstufen (The Stages of Life), by C. D. Friedrich, the statuette Homme qui marche (Walking Man), by Alberto Giacometti, the paintings La Leçon de Piano (The Piano Lesson), by Henri Matisse, Der Kuss (The Kiss), by Gustav Klimt, Le Rond Rouge (The Red Circle), by Wassily Kandinsky, Ο Κόσμος της Κύπρου, by Adamantios Diamantis and The Dance, by Paula Rego.
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SEASON PASS €45
Full-price €15 | Concessions* €10
* LMS members, pensioners, full-time students, soldiers
Important notice: We encourage patrons to purchase tickets in advance as seating is limited and assigned numerically. Alternatively, patrons may purchase available tickets or returns at the box office only on the evening of the performance.
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