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A curated list of diverse music festivals around Greece, from July to August. SOURCE: greece-is.com
Festival season in the capital begins in June and ends early in July, before Athenians have the chance to escape the city for more alluring summer destinations. Three major music festivalsare organized each year in Athens, which attract big names from the international music scene. World-famous groups like Sigur Rós, Beirut and Suede have come and gone already, while more are on their way, like the Editors, James, Muse and Unkle. But festivals extend well beyond the capital; different places all over Greece, including many islands, do their best to lure travelers with unique international and local sounds, ranging from classical music to thrash metal rock. Below is our list of small and big events in chronological order. Check the dates, pick a destination, and prepare yourselves for several inimitable sonic journeys.
1. HELIOS FESTIVAL, CORFU | 8-10 JULY
Wild nights await the lovers of electronic dance music on the Ionian island of Corfu. Helios Festival celebrates its 5th birthday and its organizers, Element Productions, have prepared three nights of pure, youthful frenzy. Pre- and after-parties at Club 54 and the famous beach club Pazuzu frame the main event, which takes place on the 9th of July at Olympos stadium next to the airport, where local and international djs – including the world-famous Dutch duo Bassjackers – will spin the decks. Dancers, fire and laser shows, fireworks, and various other happenings add to the fun, while the island itself naturally entertains Greek and foreign party animals during the day, with its gorgeous beaches, historical landmarks and a charming Venetian town.
2. SANI FESTIVAL, HALKIDIKI | 8 JULY – 13 AUGUST
Every summer for 24 years now, music enthusiasts have been flocking to Sani hill in Halkidiki for an international feast of music and culture. The menu has always focused on jazz, classical, but also Greek entehno (art house) music, while the medieval-tower backdrop and surrounding sea have repeatedly contributed to creating an elevated experience for both artists and audiences. This year’s festival opens with the section “Jazz on the Hill,” which will feature three virtuoso jazz pianists — Michael Wollny from Germany, Yaron Herman from Israel, and Hiromi from Japan — to be followed by the internationally acclaimed British composer and soul singer Joss Stone. Classical music aficionados might also want to embark on a baroque journey with renowned British violinist Daniel Hope. For those less interested in the international scene and more into the local entehno, the concerts of veteran singers/musicians Alkistis Protopsalti and Dionysis Savvopoulos will not fail to satisfy.
3. THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE AEGEAN, ERMOUPOLIS, SYROS | 10 – 23 JULY
Syros, the aristocratic gem of the Aegean, hosts one of the most acclaimed classical music festivals in Greece, now marking its 12th year. Founded in 2005 by Greek-American conductor Peter Tiboris, the festival attracts world-class musicians, dancers and actors, while it has also become a summer destination for lovers of the arts from Europe and beyond. This year, it opens with a performance of Haydn’s Mass No.10 in C major and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique symphony, both conducted by Peter Tiboris himself, while its piece-de-resistance is Leoncavallo’s famous opera Pagliacci. The festival’s location is the historic Apollo Theatre, which some consider as the miniature Scala of Milan – hence its pet name “La Piccola Scala” (the small Scala).
4. UP FESTIVAL, AIGIALI, AMORGOS | 12 – 17 JULY
Amorgos, the charming Cycladic island popular with those preferring less crowded destinations, hosts the 5th edition of the indie Up Festival. With a line-up of Greek artists and bands worth discovering (for free), those attending will have the option to enjoy the performances with their feet dug in the sand, as the location is beautiful Aigiali beach. Psychedelic, vintage pop, folk rock, electronic, and dance are some of the genres featured in the festival, even though – in true indie manner – most bands would hate to be associated with just one genre. If you are looking for unusual sounds, check out the Villagers of Ioannina City and their rock renditions of traditional Greek folk songs from the district of Epirus; and The Boy, the solo project of prolific songwriter and film director Alexandros Voulgaris, who never stops experimenting – solo or in collaboration with other artists.
5. CHANIA ROCK FESTIVAL, CHANIA, CRETE | 15 – 17 JULY
The old town of Chania in Crete may sound too graceful a destination to host a rock festival. But the Venetian Bastion of San Salvatore, erected in the 16th century next to the famous Venetian harbor, has been hosting the event since 2014. It makes for an ideal venue, in fact, as it lends plenty of acoustic and visual drama to the performances. This year’s line-up includes thrash metal band Kreator from Germany, metal band Therapy? from Northern Ireland, the British Cutting Crew (famous even to non-rock fans for their 80s mega-hit “(I just) died in your arms”), and Sweden’s Crazy Lixx, a band attempting to bring back the hard-rock sound of the 80s.
6. JAZZ IN PAROS, PAROS | 20 – 25 JULY
The festival is part of the Paros Jazz Academy, an intensive 5-day workshop organized every year since 2011 on the island of Paros. It is attended by amateur jazz musicians and singers from various corners of the globe who wish to improve their technical skills and deepen their understanding of jazz under the tutelage of professionals. The latter, including the festival’s artistic director – Greek composer and bassist Petros Klampanis, who has made a career for himself in New York – will be performing at this year’s “Jazz in Action” concert-marathon on the 23rd of July. You can also catch several jamming workshop sessions throughout the duration of the festival.
7. SARONIC CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL | 28 JULY – 9 AUGUST
This annual festival is, in fact, a get-together of 10 friends and chamber-music devotees from Europe, North America and Australia who, for the past five years, have been meeting on the Saronic islands of Hydra, Spetses, Poros and Galatas (a town in the Peloponnese across from Poros) to practice and share their passion for classical music with local residents and tourists. Together they form the Leondari Ensemble. They are all world-class musicians and regular performers with many of the world’s most renowned ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic. This summer, they have added the remote island of Kythira to their destinations and, joined by guest artists, they will be performing works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Mendelssohn – among others.
8. SAMOS YOUNG ARTISTS FESTIVAL, SAMOS | 7 – 13 AUGUST
Between Turkey and Greece, the gates to the Orient and the Occident, the island of Samos quite appropriately becomes, for the 7th year in a row, a musical bridge. Established and young artists come together from all over the world, to share their music and perform for a diverse audience of locals and visitors. The festival takes place at the small, 4th century B.C. open-air theater of Pythagorion, perched on a hillside overlooking the harbor city of Pythagorion (the oldest man-made harbor in the Mediterranean, named after the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, said to hail from Samos) and the sea. A variety of music genres comprise this year’s program, including classical, jazz, opera, folk and world music – a treat meant to satisfy many musical tastes.
9. MOLYVOS INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL | 16 – 19 AUGUST
The island of Lesvos, which has been in the spotlight this past year as the reception point of multiple waves of migrants and refugees, decided, despite the challenges, to persist on its love for classical music and host for a second year the Molyvos International Music Festival (MIMF) –symbolically titled “Crossroads.” The festival takes place on the enchanting village of Molyvos (aka Methymna) and becomes a cultural exchange hub for international young talents and the biggest names in classical music. Its mission is to make classical music more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds through its main program, but also through innovative workshops, informative education projects and unique street-concert teasers, the so-called “Molyvos Musical Moments.”
10. MUSIC VILLAGE FESTIVAL, PELION | 18 – 24 AUGUST & 26 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER
This is no ordinary music festival. It is rather an ever-changing community of people from around the world, who – for 11 years now – have been gathering at the medieval village of Aghios Lavrentios on Mt. Pelion to learn, create and experience music. Two different workshop sessions are offered this summer, and their theme is “poetics of sounds and words in 20 movements”. Various artistic activities take place on a daily basis, and each session wraps up with a group performance, highlighting the work of students and their tutors. More than 100 musicians, actors and dancers are expected to participate in each of these performances, the entrance to which is free for visitors.
Collections from 22 Greek museums will be on display Starting on June 1 and lasting till October 10, National Geographic will bring an extraordinary cultural experience to Washington, D.C. THE GREEKS: Agamemnon to Alexander the Great is an exceptional journey through 5,000 years of Greek history and culture. This...
Memories of an old, cosmopolitan Athens come alive at this historic hotel Giota Sykka | May 24th, 2016 On the corner of Patission and Averof streets – one of the most neglected parts of Athens – cement mixers buzz while workers pave the sidewalk.Abandoned for three decades, the imposing...
University of Crete revokes doctorate of German academic
The Political Science department of the University of Crete has stripped Heinz Richter, former professor of Greek and Cypriot modern history at the University of Mannheim, of an honorary doctorate.The 75-year-old professor was tried by a Greek court for his 2011 book “Operation Mercury: The Invasion of Crete,” in which he addressed what he saw as myths regarding the resistance movement on the island during WWII, marking the first time an individual was being charged under a new Greek anti-racism law.
While Richter was acquitted, the Cretan faculty was irked by comments he made to Kathimerini earlier this month in which he pointed out that if the university revoked his title it would be the second time in history that a German was stripped of such a title, following the case of Thomas Mann whose doctorate was revoked by the Nazi regime.
In a statement, the faculty said the title was based on “established conditions founded on merit” and criticized Richter for his “generalizing derogatory references to history and the people of Crete, in the public domain.”
Musical festival is back with a lineup of free live international jazz and events for all ages Greece Is MAY 25 — MAY 29 Technopolis, 100 Pireos Street, Gazi Musical events begin from 20:00 on all festival days. Entrance is free. The Technopolis at Gazi (Old Gas Factory) is joining...
Location of Aristotle’s tomb to be revealed at Thessaloniki conference Thursday
An announcement regarding the tomb of Aristotle in Ancient Stageira in northern Greece was expected to be the highlight at an international conference held in Thessaloniki on Thursday.
International delegates attending the “Aristotle 2400 Years” World Congress on Thursday were expected to hear that archaeologists carrying out a 20-year excavation at the ancient Macedonian city believe the site’s most important finding to be the Greek philosopher’s tomb. Aristotle, who was born in the same city in 384 BC, died in Evia in 322 BC.
The conference is organized by the Interdisciplinary Center for Aristotle Studies of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
The Athens Boogie and HiRollers dance troupes will be taking part in an open-air sunset dance party to the sounds of swing, jive and rock’n’roll at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in the Faliro Delta on Saturday, May 28. Admission is free of charge. Starts at 8 p.m.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Faliro Delta, Evripidou & Doiranis, Kallithea, tel 210.877.8396-8, www.snf.org
The summer heat has arrived, making the asphalt on Stadiou Street turn sticky and the city’s unpainted facades seem even grayer under the sun. With my eyes fixed on the pavement while walking, and occasionally throwing quick glances to the side where colorful shop displays interrupt the monochrome setting, I stop at the corner with Voukourestiou Street, drawn by the beguiling view of a sandy beach. The turquoise hues of the sea extend towards the horizon and join the deep-blue sky. In the next window is a gorgeous green gorge. Captivated by the lush Mediterranean vegetation, I stand and gaze at the windows.
“This is the Samaria Gorge (in Crete),” points out Alexandra Kehayoglou, who is in Athens to oversee the placement of her woven textiles in the windows of Hermès boutique.
Born in Buenos Aires, she is the granddaughter of Greek emigrants who left Asia Minor for Argentina during World War I, finding success thanks to “grandmother Elpiniki’s loom.” Her family’s hard work on the loom bore fruit in the New World, where it led to the creation of a large and successful carpet industry.
“Born in Buenos Aires, she is the granddaughter of Greek emigrants who left Asia Minor for Argentina during World War I.”
Raised literally among carpets, Alexandra took her family’s long weaving tradition and turned it into art. “At the beginning I felt obliged to follow my destiny. My grandmother had the loom; my grandfather a successful business. I began by studying business and communication, but I dropped out after a couple of months and began my own search. I took advice from career consultants, even astrologers. Everyone told me I had to join the family business, but I was only interested in art. I didn’t want any more carpets. I wanted to set myself free. I studied fine arts at IUNA (Instituto Nacional del Arte in Buenos Aires) in my search for my own expression. I experimented with painting, photography, video, installations, and then I discovered – with the help of my father – a special weaving gun. And everything fell into place. I would continue the family tradition, through art.”
In her work, which consists of ample woven surfaces and carpets, nature looms large. Her main source of inspiration are Argentina’s pastizales(grasslands), which are fast disappearing due to intensive farming and industrialization.
“When I started working on this idea, the first thought that crossed my mind was what my grandmother Elpiniki would say about my work. As I was contemplating the legacy she left behind, I found out I was pregnant. I took this to mean something; there was a connection between my own genetic line continuing to live on, and that of nature which was dying. It was then that I became certain that my role as an artist was to capture in my work the disappearing natural landscapes.
Her work lies at the crossroads of art, design and utility. “Connected with dreams, safety and comfort, carpets emulate something archetypal.When an adult and a child sit on the same floor, something magical happens; the relationship is transformed and what obstacles exist are overcome. I also like to see the effects carpets have on people. Carpets are functional pieces, but they also need care – just like nature.”
“I wanted to set myself free. I studied fine arts at IUNA (Instituto Nacional del Arte in Buenos Aires) in my search for my own expression.”
Her big break was the autumn fashion show of Dries Van Noten in September 2011. And all thanks to social media. Her Instagram accountwww.instagram.com/alexkeha(which has 36,500 followers) became the medium through which the Belgian designer discovered her, and made her debut a reality. The rest all happened very fast after that.
After her collaboration with Hermès in Athens and London, she will exhibit her work at Art Basel in Switzerland. Meanwhile, she has a series of collaborations lined up in the near future, from Taiwan to Australia and from New York to Italy.
“Greekness” (what Greeks call Hellenism) is an integral part of her life, even though her relationship with Greece is an indirect one. “I don’t speak Greek. I never met my grandmother, but the Greek community is part of my life. I was baptized, and my father is … very Greek. He loves food, family, music; he’s very loud and (almost) always right! And my five-year-old son tells everyone he’s Greek.”
Now, Alexandra feels like she is back to her “roots” – where everything began. “The windows at Hermès symbolize for me a journey that is now complete. My grandmother’s weaving tradition, hailing from this part of Europe, traveled to Argentina, took on a new form, and is now returning to its homeland.”
The luxury brand Hermès invites artists to take part in its competition “Artist Window”, which focuses on fresh and innovative window displays for its shops around the world.
Alexandra Kehayoglou’s creations will be on display at the Hermès boutique
•4 Stadiou and 1 Voukourestiou streets in Athens throughout the spring-summer season.