Great stars of the violin, piano, opera and dance will shine this year on the stage of Megaron the Athens Concert Hall: Among them will be violinists Leonidas Kavakos, Viktoria Mullova, Vilde Frang and Janine Jansen, pianists Yuja Wang, Maria João Pires, Nikolai Lugansky and Rafal Blechacz, and lyrical singers Joyce DiDonato and Lise Davidsen. Standing out among the Greek artists is Dimitris Papaioannou with the Greek premiere of his much-awaited work “INK”, while Englishman Akram Khan and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will visit Athens with new productions.
The tone of the artistic season 2022-2023 is set by the new music cycles Violin Masters, Piano Days and Jazz@Megaron, which are combined with the successful Spring Festival launched last year and with the audience’s favourite cycles Great Orchestras and Great Soloists.
In the new Violin Masters series of events, Megaron becomes the meeting place for acclaimed as well as up-and-rising soloists who excel in the world’s major concert halls. Thus, during the new season we will enjoy in Christos Lambrakis Hall Viktoria Mullova, whom the Greek audience already knows and appreciates, the amazing Dutch virtuoso Janine Jansen, and our own popular violinist Leonidas Kavakos in a recital with piano star Yuja Wang. In the spring, we will make the acquaintance of Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, a soloist with a strong presence in the international music scene.
As for opera afficionados, they will have the opportunity to enjoy two of the greatest voices of our time: American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, both of them appearing at Megaron for the first time.
The piano holds a special place in this year’s artistic planning. The end of January will feature Piano Days, a new event to be held for the first time.This festive two-day event marks the beginning of Megaron’s collaboration with the Steinway Prizewinner Concerts Network, a world-class artistic body promoting soloists who have garnered awards in major international competitions. Among others, we will listen to Jean-Louis Steuerman, Alexia Mouza, Achilles Wastor, Nefeli Mousoura and Olga Davnis.
In addition, this season, three of the most important pianists of our time will appear in Megaron’s concert halls: Maria João Pires and Nikolai Lugansky, both of them quite popular with the Greek audience for many years now, as well as the young Polish virtuoso Rafal Blechacz, who swept the awards at the 2005 Chopin International Competition.
The symphonic sound is always at the heart of the Great Orchestras cycle of events, which during the 2022–2023 season will host the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with Daniele Gatti at the podium. The season’s programme also includes concerts by the baroque group Les Arts Florissants under William Christie with the delightful tribute “Molière et ses musiques”, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano,the Festival Strings Lucerne ensemble, the Sinfonia Varsovia and the orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro, specialising in historically informed performances of pre-clasical music, under its chief conductor Maxim Emelyanychev.
November will be the month of jazz (Jazz@Megaron), with well-known names from Greece and abroad: Stefano di Battista Quartet, Dimitri Vassilakis – Gil Weinberg – Shimon Robot & Friends (for the first time in Greece), Espen Berg Trio, Sakis Papadimitriou, Tasos Pappas, Stavros Lantsias, Alexandros Drakos-Ktistakis and Dimitris Kalantzis.
Great Orchestras – Great Soloists
The curtain rises with William Christie and the baroque ensemble Les Arts Florissants (2/10/2022), which for more than four decades have been instrumental in fully restoring early and pre-classical music at the centre of the world’s music scene. They will present an exciting concert-tribute to the music of the Molière period as part of the global celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the great playwright’s birth.
Pianist Alain Lefèvre, who is particularly fond of Greece, teams up with Hélène Mercier in a recital in which the two Canadian virtuosos present, among other works, two compositions by their compatriot André Mathieu (5/10/2022). They will end their programme with the version for two pianos of Maurice Ravel’s “Boléro”, arranged by the composer himself.
Sir Antonio Pappano, currently music director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London and scheduled to take over as chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra as of September 2024, conducts the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (26/11/2022).
The orchestral ensemble Festival Strings Lucerne, whose first appearance at Megaron enchanted music afficionados, returns, especially for the Athenian audience, for a musical “summit” with pianist Maria João Pires (18/2/2022).
The Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino comes again to Athens, this time under the musical direction of maestro Daniele Gatti (1-2/3/2023). The following month (1/4/2023), as part of the same festival, Megaron welcomes Sinfonia Varsovia and piano virtuoso Rafal Blechacz.
Soprano Lise Davidsen (15/10/2022),whose star shines bright on the world’s major lyrical theatres and is considered to be one of the top singers of our time, makes her first appearance at Megaron the Athens Concert Hall, in a special opera gala.
Pianist Yuja Wang and Leonidas Kavakos (30/11/2022) chose Megaron as one of the stops of their world tour. Their appearance has already been hailed by critics as one of the most eagerly awaited ones of the 2022-2023 season.
Grammy-awarded mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, whose voice is “nothing less than 24-carat gold” according to The New York Times, will present her new project, “EDEN”, leading us on a journey in search of harmony through our connection with nature. Her companions on this journey will be the members of the baroque ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev (30/5/2023).
The 2022-2023 season includes the new Violin Masters cycle that opens with Viktoria Mullova (26/10/2022), a violinist that is very popular with the Greek audience, who will give a recital with the pianist Alasdair Beatson. The cycle continues with violin virtuoso Janine Jansen (26/11/2022) who is visiting Megaron with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.At the end of November, Leonidas Kavakos (30/11/2022) teams up with pianist Yuja Wang in a rare recital at Megaron, which takes place thanks to the kind sponsorship of AEGEAS cultural and public benefit work non-profit civil company.
(see also Orchestras – Great Soloists).
Finally, in April, the Megaron Spring Festival will welcome Norwegian violin soloist Vilde Frang and pianist Denis Kozhukhin (4/4/2023).
Jazz@Megaron (5-13/11/2022) is another new series of events in this year’s artistic planning. A cycle of concerts representing the entire spectrum of jazz musical creation, scheduled to also use alternative Megaron venues. Participants include Stefano di Battista Quartet (5/11/2022), Dimitri Vassilakis-Gil Weinberg-Shimon Robot & Friends (Georgia Institute of Technology, 7/11/2022), the Norwegian Espen Berg Trio (8/11/2022), pianist and composer Sakis Papadimitriou (9/11/2022), piano soloist Tasos Pappas in a programme combining the jazz and the symphonic sound (10/11/2022), Stavros Lantsias (11/11/2022), Alexandros Drakos-Kistakis (12/11/2022) and Dimitris Kalantzis (13/11/2022).
Christmas at Megaron
December features a host of events for the whole family, such as the performance “This is Lilipoupoli” – The songs (3-4/12/2022), the concert of the Mozart Boys Choir Vienna (17-18/12/2022) andtheunexpected rock musical “Scrooge”,based on CharlesDickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, set to original music composed by Stefanos Korkolis and directed for the stage by Christos Sougaris, with Panos Mouzourakis leading a group actors and singers appearing in surprise roles (22-30/12/2022). Distinguished organist Ourania Gassiou reveals again this year Megaron’s magnificent organ, the symbol of its Christmas events, with a programme featuring works by J. S. Bach, Haendel, Mendelssohn and other composers (23/12/2022). Karagiozis celebrates his 10th year at Megaron, with a journey to spectacular Paris, full of musical adventures. In their journey to the City of Light, Elias Karellas and his shadow figures will be accompanied by Georgia Kefala and a special band of musicians (21 & 23/12/2022, 25-30/12/2022). Megaron’s foyers will be filled with festive melodies, played by upcoming bands from conservatories and music schools of Attica, while Christos Lambrakis Hall will welcome a Christmas gala dedicated the musical (co-produced with the Athens State Orchestra), with songs and excerpts from musicals by Cole Porter, Frederick Loewe, Leonard Bernstein and other composers, performed by Myrsini Margariti (soprano), Nadia Kontogeorgi (mezzo-soprano), Giannis Kalyvas (tenor) and Giorgos Papadimitriou (bass).
At the podium will be Michalis Economou (30/12).
Dance at Megaron
“INK”, the much-awaited latest work by Dimitris Papaioannou, will premiere in Greece at Megaron the Athens Concert Hall (12, 13, 14, 15 and 19, 20, 21/1/2023).
Iro Vassalou-Snap Dance Company (10-12/3). “Symposium” will evolve into a group dance performance that will be presented as part of the Megaron Underground cycle. Three dancers and a musician interact with stage props and set materials, composing a multi-coloured body collage.
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (8 & 9/4/2023). Known for its subversive productions that break free from classical form, the renowned dance ensemble from Quebec, Canada, comes to Megaron with two new choreographies.
Akram Khan listens and creates. His new production, “Jungle Book Reimagined” (14 and 15/6/2023), is about the climate crisis. “… And, as it is our children that will inherit our mistakes, I want them to know that the environmental crisis was and still is a cultural crisis more than ever.”
Megaron Spring Festival
April 2023 features the Megaron Spring Festival (1-9/4/2023), the spring celebration of music and dance, which was held for the first time last year with great success.
The Festival’s programme is as follows:
1/4/2023 Sinfonia Varsovia – Rafal Blechacz (piano):The Festival opens with one of the most important orchestras of Poland, founded by Yehudi Menuhin and conducted for many years by the great Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki. Together with them, in Chopin’s Second piano concerto, Rafal Blechacz, the pianist-phenomenon who swept the awards at the 2005 Chopin International Piano Competition.
3/4/2023 Vox Clamantis: An internationally acclaimed choral ensemble from Estonia, whose repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant to works by contemporary composer Arvo Pärt.
4/4/2023 Vilde Frang (violin) – Denis Kozhukhin (piano):Two bright stars of the 21st-century’s musical firmament team up for a chamber music concert.
6/4/2023 Ensemble Intercontemporain (IRCAM):Megaron welcomes one of the world’s leading contemporary music ensembles, which returns after many years to Athens to perform representative works of the 20th century avant-garde (Chamber Concerto by György Ligeti, Jalons by Iannis Xenakis etc.).
7/4/2023 Nikolai Lugansky (piano) – Athens State Orchestra:The Russian virtuoso performs Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Third piano concerto, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
8-9/4/2023 Les Grands Ballets Canadiens:(see Dance at Megaron)
On the last weekend of January (28-29/1), Megaron organizes a celebration dedicated to the piano. Two days of concerts that will showcase the instrument’s adaptability to the different genres of music, accompanied by educational activities for children and adults alike, and unexpected musical encounters. This celebration also marks the launch of the collaboration between Megaron the Athens Concert Hall and the Steinway Prizewinner Concerts Network (SPCN), for presenting in Athens the winners of the most important international piano competitions. The soloists to participate include, among others, Jean-Louis Steuerman, Alexia Mouza, Achilles Wastor, Nefeli Mousoura and Olga Davnis.
Towards the future
Over the years, Megaron the Athens Concert Hall has consistently promoted young artists from both the domestic and the international music scene. In addition to the significance it attaches to performances by young Greek soloists at Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall, this season Megaron is strengthening its international collaborations, with the aim of promoting young talented musicians. During the 2022-2023 season, we will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the following young soloists:
In the context of Megaron’s new collaboration with Steinway (SPCN), the 18-year-old Russian Olga Davnis, who won the first prize in the famous Bach Competition in Leipzig.
Three Rising Stars, in collaboration with the European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO): virtuoso percussionist Vanessa Porter (9/2/2023), violin virtuoso Diana Tishchenko (20/2/2023) and the Aris String Quartet (8/3/2023).
The winners of the Nadia & Lili Boulanger Voice-Piano International Competition, Paris (15/3/2023).
The young musicians Ilias-Ion Livieratos (viola), Timotheos Gavriilidis-Petrin (cello) and Vassilis Varvaresos (piano), with whom Leonidas Kavakos teams up for two chamber music concerts (12 & 4/2/2023). This series of musical events is based on an idea by L. Kavakos that is implemented by Megaron, which thus demonstrates in practice its long-standing support of, and trust in, the new generations of artists.
Greek Soloists at Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall
The cycle Greek soloists at Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall continues during the artistic season 2022-2023, introducing us to the new, rising generation of Greek musicians and presenting acclaimed soloists in chamber music works, in the context of unique partnerships between distinct musical personalities.
13/10/2022 Alexandra Nomidou (piano) – Édua Zádory (violin) – Aare Tammesalu (cello).
17/10/2022 Danae Kara – Aeolus Wind Quintet.
19/10/2022 Giorgos Zacharias (violin) – Marios Panteliadis (piano).
22/11/2022 Efi Agrafioti (piano) – Giorgos Kontrafouris (piano).
28/11/2022 “The sea within us and our own sea” – Alexia Voulgaridou (soprano) – Korina Vougiouka (guitar).
7/12/2022 Ilias Livieratos (viola) – Spyros Mourikis (clarinet) – Nefeli Mousoura (piano).
17/1/2023 Uwe Matschke (piano) – Danae Papamattheou-Matschke (violin) – Kerstin Feltz (cello).
6/2/2023 Dimitris Tiliakos (baritone) – Titos Gouvelis (piano).
4/3/2023 Dimitris Desyllas (percussion) – Vassilis Varvaresos (piano).
20/3/2023 Aenaon Quartet – Myrsini Kagarli (piano).
28/3/2023 Antonis Sousamoglou (violin) – Stamatis Vlachodimitris (piano).
26/4/2023 Alexis Karaiskakis-Nastos (cello) – Alexandra Papastefanou (piano)
10/5/2023 Alexandros Gavriilidis-Petrin (violin) – Timotheos Gavriilidis-Petrin (cello) – Konstantinos Destounis (piano).
24/5/2023 Mina Polychronou (soprano) – Angelica Cathariou (mezzo-soprano) – Dionyssis Mallouchos (piano).
“Ex Femina”: A cycle of three early music performances, dedicated to women who have left their imprint on music creation and practice.
16/2/2023 Isabella d’Este: Theodora Baka (mezzo-soprano), Elektra Miliadou (viola da gamba), Theodoros Kitsos (renaissance lute, renaissance guitar, artistic and musicological curation).
23/2/2023 Isabella Leonarda: Fani Vovoni (baroque violin), Angie Kasda (baroque violin), Iason Ioannou (baroque cello), Markellos Chryssikos (organ).
9/3/2023 Barbara Strozzi: Eleni Moleski (dramatist, actress), Elena Krasaki (mezzo-soprano), Fani Vovoni (baroque violin), Angie Kasda (baroque violin), Dimitris Tingas (violone), Markellos Chryssikos (organ), Theodore Kitsos (theorbo, artistic and musicological curation).
Adagio – Music for the days of Easter
“The lament’s myrrh” (10/4/2023): A musical journey of the soul, centring on laments across time and places. The performers include the main orchestra of Giorgos Kotsinis, the orchestra of Katia Papadopoulou, the Epirus Five-Member Polyphonic Ensemble and others.
“Missa Solemnis” (12/4) by Ludwig van Beethoven (co-production with the Athens State Orchestra in Residence of the Mansion), with the solo vocal parts performed by Karen Leiber (soprano), Ingeborg Danz (mezzo-soprano), Jenish Ysmanov (tenor) and Petros Magoulas (bass). Conducted by Christoph Poppen. With the ERT Choir and the City of Athens Choir.
The curtain rises with “Enoch Arden”, Alfred Lord Tennysson’s masterpiece set to music by Richard Strauss (12 & 14/9/2022), which is presented in co-production with the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus. Directed by Lefteris Giovanidis.With Nikos Karathanos in the role of the Narrator.On the piano, Theodore Tzovanakis.With the participation of soprano Anna Stylianaki.
The theatrical productions of the 2022-2023 artistic period also include the play “Full Moon”, written and directed by Christoforos Christofis (16-21/12/2022). The action takes place in Paris in the 1970s, during the era of political emigrants and widespread political and economic turmoil across the Americas and Europe.
Magda Mavroyianni, creator of the stage performances “Portraits of women”, presents on the stage the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (13-14/2/2023).
Megaron’s collaboration of the Megaron with the Drama School of the Athens Conservatoire also continues in the new season. This year, theatregoers will watch the theatrical performance “Gaucheries, a way not to make it”, directed by Elias Kounelas (22 & 23/10/2022).
Concerts with great Greek singers.
Dionysis Savvopoulos, “I was born in Salonica”(10/12/2022): Well-known and loved songs of the composer presented in new orchestrations for symphonic ensemble. This cycle also includes the concert by Manolis Mitsias (4/2/2023), the collaboration of Maria Farantouri with Alkinoos Ioannidis (at a date to be announced) and the new performance of Dimitra Galani (10/2/2023) at Megaron, with favourite songs about love.
The popular cycle Bridges presents, for yet another year, productions that represent all areas of musical creation. Alexandra Gravas presents a multicultural evening with songs from her musical journeys around the world. The talent of the Xylouris family members meets the consummate technique of the Dutch Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (26/10/2022), while at the event “In the steps of Greco”, composer Christos Tzifakis, inspired by the philosophy and aesthetics of our great painter as well as of Nikos Kazantzakis, creates a multicoloured, attractive bridge of dance and music between Crete and Spain. With the participation of the ERT Contemporary Music Orchestra (6/5/2023).
At the same time, the highly successful initiatives Animegaron (24/2/2023), in collaboration with Animasyros, and Open Platforms, in collaboration with the Music Works’ Rightsholders Cooperative (EDEM), will continue dynamically in the new season.
Musics of the World
Eight well-known virtuosos participate in the musical marathon “The oud in Greece” (24/11/2022), conceived and curated by Taxiarchis Georgoulis.
The “international” Greek jazz performer Petros Klampanis (double bass) teams up with Grammy-awarded Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab in her first performance in Greece (13/3/2023), which will also feature the female choir chórεs.
Megaron for Kids
This season, the programme of events addressed to Megaron’s young friends and their families, is the richest ever.
The world’s most famous castaway, Robinson Crusoe, is the protagonist of the homonymous musical theatre performance for the whole family, which is presented for the first time at Megaron (new production), directed by Tatiana Lygari and adapted by George Galitis,from October 2022 to April 2023. A wonderful children’s show, full of humour, with impressive interactive screenings, to original music by Minas I. Alexiadis –performed live on stage– and imaginative sets and costumes by Yannis Metzikoff.
Sunday concerts for the whole family: In the show “Haydn has run away” (6/11/2022), Nadia Kontogeorgi, accompanied by the ERT Symphony Orchestra, will tell the fascinating story of the creation of Symphony No. 45 by the great Austrian composer. The popular actress and the ERT Symphony Orchestra will also present Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” (at a date to be announced), a composition based on William Shakespeare’s famous work of the same name.
The Athens International Children’s Film Festival (14-20/11/2022) renews its annual appointment with the young spectators and their families, with a rich programme of screenings.
Finally, Elias Karellas, after last year’s success of the “The Sound of Shadows”, welcomes us again, for a second year, to this original educational spectacle addressed to children of all ages (October 2022 – April 2023). In the performance “Karagiozis in the music games”, the shadow figure player’s lit curtain will be the place where we will meet the giant figures of Karagiozis and his friends, while at the same time listening to sounds of the past and sounds of today, to intense rhythms and enchanting melodies. E. Karellas’ musical companion in this performance will be Areti Ketime (voice, santoor).
Throughout the season, every weekend, Megaron proposes activities for children and grown-ups alike (families, children, young persons, adults, schools), introducing those that will take part in them to a magical world, through their experiential and interdisciplinary contact with music and its dialogue with the other forms of art. Megaron invites us to become acquainted with the musical instruments, to watch concerts, storytelling events and screenings, to take part in workshops, to take a tour of its premises, to discover the professions of the people who work there and to meet the persons that contribute to the events of the artistic programme.
After the screening of the film “Smyrna, the destruction of a cosmopolitan city”, this year another historical documentary by Maria Iliou is screened at Megaron: the film “Athens from East to West, 1821-1896” (4-5/11/2022). The director, the historical consultant Alexander Kitroeff and their team unfold the engrossing story of the transformation of Athens, in a documentary that was first presented at the Benaki Museum in 2020 for a few days only, as the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
production: Proteas & Proteus NY Inc. sponsors: Jaharis Family Foundation, Pindaros Foundation, Daphne & George Hatsopoulos, Coumantaros Foundation, Moscahlaidis Foundation, Anonymous Donor.
Under the auspices of the City of Athens.
Orchestras in Residence
During this artistic period too, the Athens State Orchestra (ASO)and the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) will be with us with concerts that shed light on well-known and unknown pages of the international and Greek music repertoire.
Also at Megaron…
The music event “Memory of Asia Minor”, a co-production of the Megaron and the Athens Philharmonia Orchestra (10/11/2022).
The concert of the ΜεĪΖοΝ Ensemble, in an imaginative program with works originally written or adapted for a capella male voices (21/11/2022).
Nikos Xanthoulis’ recital for seven-stringed ancient Greek lyre, with original works by Greek and foreign composers.
annexM – Megaron’s centre for the visual arts
The new exhibition by Giorgos Xenos (born 1953), curated by Anna Kafetsi, is designed around the idea of a closed-open archive of images, sounds and concepts, which is hidden and revealed as a stage and as an unreachable place. Public “murals” alternate with miniature paintings and inaccessible archives of drawings. Archetypal images of the private home and of empty interiors, labyrinths, number-faces, shadows, primordial cryptic writings, conundrums and mythical symbols, create familiar and disturbing dreamy topographies of confinement and freedom, interiority and contemplation, in black-and-white. The dream, in its Freudian meaning, an incomprehensible writing making use of images, free from compulsions, finds in the works of Giorgos Xenos its visual art analogue. His painting, as a place of meditation, seeks the thought it would dream of (December 2022 – February 2023).
Note by Janis Vakarelis, Artistic Director of Megaron the Athens Concert Hall
In 2022, the anticipation of the end of the pandemic and the return to “normality” met with geopolitical developments and the urgent need to focus on climate change and the environment. The prolonged periods during which our activities were restricted were for all of us a time of reflection. A time characterised by the strong need to understand our ever-changing everyday life.
What remains common in this spiritual path is the need of people to come together. Art remains this discreet thread that sometimes becomes a safety net and at others a hair ribbon fluttering carefree in the wind – yet above all, it is the thread that keeps us together.
The artistic planning of the 2022-2023 season is full of stories and opportunities for people to get close to one another.
With a multifaceted programme –which embraces classical music and contemporary artistic creation, draws on tradition with a fresh eye, introduces the new generation of artists, challenges us, “plants” the seeds for the future, is open to improvisation, highlights the female presence and is sensitized about nature and the environment– our ambition is for our audience to interact even more with Megaron. So that we can create the common ground where the “tribes” of music, dance, theatre and opera will meet. A Megaron for All.
210 72 82 333, www.megaron.gr