AWARDING OF THE PRIZE «DIMITRI MITROPOULOS»
TO RENOWNED COMPOSER & CONDUCTOR
National Historical Museum of Greece
OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE OF GREECE
WEDNESDAY 13 JANUARY 2016 12PM
13, Stadiou Street, (Kolokotroni Square), Athens
Adagio & Cantata “For the Lost Species” by Eleftherios Kalkanis
“Prometheus Bound” & “Olympic Flame” by Panagiotis Karousos
Vanessa Kalkanis, soprano
Vassilis Asimakopoulos, bass
Irene Konsta, soprano
HELLENIC ORCHESTRA AND SOLOISTS
CONDUCTED BY ELEFTHERIOS KALKANIS
Guest of Honour: Mrs Marianna Vardinoyannis, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
Greetings: Mr. Ioannis Maronitis, President of the Club for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands and Member of the Executive Council of the World Federation of Clubs, Associations and Centres of UNESCO (WFUCA) for Europe and North America.
Presentation: Panagiotis Karousos, composer and director for the Department of Opera and Classical Music for the UNESCO Club of the Department of Piraeus & Islands.
He studied music at the Athens Conservatoire as well as in Brussels and Berlin, with Ferruccio Busoni among his teachers. From 1921 to 1925 he assisted Erich Kleiber at the Berlin State Opera and then took a number of posts in Greece. At a 1930 concert with the Berlin Philharmonic, he played the solo part of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 and conducted the orchestra from the keyboard, becoming one of the first to do so. In addition to his orchestral career, Mitropoulos was an equally important force in the operatic repertoire. He conducted opera extensively in Italy and from 1954 until his death in 1960 was the principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, although the Met did not officially use that title at the time. His musically incisive and dramatically vivid performances of Puccini, Verdi, Richard Strauss and others remain models of the opera conductor's art. The Met's extensive archive of recorded broadcasts preserves many of these fine performances.
He died in Milan, Italy at the age of 64 of heart failure, while rehearsing Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony. A recording exists of the performance of Mahler's 3rd Symphony given by Mitropoulos with the Cologne Radio Symphony on 31 October 1960, just two days before his death.
As a Symphony Orchestra Director, he has conducted operas, operettas, masses, oratoriums, and major works for Symphony Orchestra from the international repertory in Greece and abroad.
He has composed scores for symphony orchestras, electronic music, as well as operas, concertos, chamber music works.
Since 1995 has been the Artistic Director of the Municipal Conservatory of Agia Varvara. Since 2001 till 2003 he was Artistic Director of the Municipal Conservatory of Glyfada where he also formed the Chamber Orchestra of Glyfada. He taught from 2000 to 2005 at the following faculties: Conducting, Composition, Orchestration and Music Analysis at the University of Indianapolis Athens. From January 1996 until April 2003 he was Artistic Director of the 18 Music Ensembles of the Athens Municipality where he still is the principal Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra, giving numerous concerts throughout the world. He was honored by the “Hellenic Writers Union” ,Center of European Studies «Ioannis Kapodistrias», The Great Nation School, the Spanish Embassy, the Greek Communities of Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, etc., for his contribution in the spreading and development of Symphonic and Choral Music as a Conductor, Professor and Composer. For the same reason he was also honoured by the Church of Greece and archbishop Christodoulos. Maestro Kalkanis, in 2003 he was honored by the City council of the municipality of Athens with the Medal of The City Of Athens.