Nikolas Dunber, May 28, 2010
Gala concert in the Berlin Philharmonie marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus
On April 30, 2010 one Cypriot and two Cretan musicians delighted a 1,000-strong Berlin audience in the Berlin Philharmonie, Herbert-von-Karajan-Strasse 1, with the premier of moments of a Face by Alkinoos Ioannidis.
Alkinoos returned to standing ovations at the end of the performance and treated the audience to an encore with an a cappella rendering of a traditional Cypriot lullaby. His Excellency Mr Pantias Iliadis the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, the Argentinean; Syrian; Qatari and Ukrainian Ambassadors, as well as diplomats from countries such as the USA, Canada, Ireland, Iran, Lithuania, Finland and Greece; the parliamentary state secretary Thomas Rachel; the Berlin chief of protocol Rolf Schütte; high-ranking civil servants from the German Foreign Office and the Berlin Senate; numerous journalists and a large number of German guests and Greek emigrants were present.
The work moments of a Face comprises two major suites and five songs. The first part of the concert is the 45-minute piece Athyr, which is based on ancient epitaphs. The second part, however, is made up of several pieces: Dauer der unerwarteten Zeit for orchestra, choir and poems by the composer’s brother Linos Ioannidis, two orchestrated mediaeval Cypriot songs and three songs for orchestra and choir by Alkinoos. The impressive programme is a manifestation of the artist’s intense exploration of Cypriot folk music, the music of ancient Greece, Byzantine music, as well as of the music of western civilisation from the Baroque to the present day.
Participating musicians were the famous Greek soprano Sonia Theodoridou, Yiorgos Kaloudis (Cretan lyre, percussion), Linos Ioannidis (lyric poetry) and Alkinoos Ioannidis (vocals, lute, guitar, contrabass flute, percussion). Further participants in the concert were the Berlin Orchestra Camerata Europaea and the Ernst-Senff Choir (production Steffen Schubert). The skilful incorporation in the orchestral ensemble of the soloists, especially Yiorgos Kaloudis´ interpretation of the cello, lute and Cretan lyre was accomplished under the dynamic directorship of Maria Makraki, the daughter of the eminent Heraklion ophthalmologist Michail Makrakis. The virtuoso Yiorgos Kaloudis from Rethymno—one of Alkinoos’ permanent staff—had extended the tonal features of his grandfather’s lyre to carry the audience off to the music of the Cretan mountain peaks and plateaus, which is mentioned because, despite the author’s foreign-sounding name, he does in fact come from Crete.