Programme announcement of the 7th International Kalamata Music Days

Dear friends and music lovers, dear audience,

International Kalamata Music Days is returning for its 7th consecutive year, and we are delighted to invite you once again to a fresh and virtuosic concert programme full of contrast, richness, and energy! From historically informed performances of Baroque music to the idiosyncratic sounds of Helmut Lachenmann, the city of Kalamata will be filled with music and musicians, once again opening an established channel of musical communication between Greece and abroad.

The festival will raise its curtain on Friday 28th July in the Main Hall of the Kalamata Dance Megaron, with the Greek debut of Piano Trio Isimsiz.  Performing works by Haydn, Korngold, and Brahms, the trio consists of Pablo Hernán Benedí (violin), Edvard Pogossian (cello) and Erdem Misirlioglu (piano), all of whom enjoy successful careers as soloists. “They are well-matched players who demonstrated exquisite ensemble playing in their performances. From the Trio Isimsiz we will certainly hear a lot in the future.” (IOCO – Kultur im Netz / Festival de Stavanger Norway / August 2016)

The Trio Isimsiz. From left: Edvard Pogossian, Pablo Hernán Benedí and Erdem Misirlioglu. © Verena Chen

The following day, on Saturday 29th July, the ensemble Ex Silentio will perform a programme based on the popular pastoral style of the Baroque era, in the mystical setting of the Ancient Theater of Messene. Using the main theme of the four elements that the people of the time believed constituted the world, the ensemble will present arias and concertos by significant composers of the 17th century, such as Vivaldi, Handel, Rameau, and Rebel. Under the direction of flautist Dimitris Koundouras, Ex Silentio is undeniably one of the top early music ensembles in Greece. The concert is organized in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Messenia and admission is free.

On Sunday 30th July, the festival programme will continue with three concerts. At 6pm, in the Concert Hall of the Municipal Conservatory of Kalamata, the talented young pianist Angeliki Giannopoulou will appear on stage for a piano recital featuring works by Kyriakou, Chopin, Ravel, Bach, and Prokofiev. Angeliki Giannopoulou is an alumnus of our festival’s piano masterclass, and the winner of the “Listening to the Youth 2023” Competition, which is organized by the Foundation Kaloy of Corinth in collaboration with the Athens Concert Hall, the Third Programme public radio, and the association DIAZOMA. This recital is part of the festival’s new concert series, Young Talents in Concert. At 7pm, the same venue will host the final concert of the violin, viola, and chamber music masterclass with Pablo Hernán Benedí. Lastly, the day will conclude with a silent cinema night at Efkalypton Square (Municipal Railway Park) in collaboration with the Filmhouse – New Film Club of Kalamata. The Kalamata-based ensemble Moving Band will accompany two short films by Buster Keaton: The Scarecrow (1920) and One Week (1920). Following this, Trifonas Typou (piano) and Arionas Gyftakis (double bass and composition) will perform alongside the projection of The Red Balloon (1956) by Albert Lamorisse. Admission is once again free for all of these performances.

The following day, Monday 31st July, participants of the piano and violin masterclass – under the tutorage of Alexia Mouza and Felix Froschhammer respectively – will present their work in the Studio of the Kalamata Dance Megaron. The concert will begin at 8:30pm and admission is free.

Violinist Charlotte Spruit. © Marco Borggreve

For Tuesday, 1st August, we have scheduled two concerts. At 9pm in the Studio of the Kalamata Dance Megaron, highly acclaimed violinist Charlotte Spruit will make her Greek debut, performing solo violin works by Biber, Westhoff, Lawall, Ysaye and Bach. According to the Dutch Het Kersjes Fonds, “Charlotte Spruit is convincingly establishing herself as one of the most promising young talents”. Following this, at 10:30pm, exceptional double bassist Arionas Gyftakis’ New Circle Quartet will perform in the same venue. This time, with a single jazz work titled “A triangle, a sideways rectangle, the notes and my thinking”, the four musicians will guide us into different musical realms. A single ticket will allow entry to both concerts.

The festival programme will continue on Wednesday, 2nd August, with the final concert of the orchestra conducting masterclass with Joshua Weilerstein. This will take place at 7pm on the Main Stage of the Kalamata Dance Megaron, with free admission. The same evening, our audience will enjoy for the first time in Greece the TRIO vis-à-vis, who are dedicated to experimentation and the research of the “unknown” in contemporary music. During this concert titled “Vestiges of…”, they will present works for flute, voice and violoncello which are exclusively of our time; something extremely rare in Greece. Indeed, a large proportion of the pieces performed in this concert will be Greek premieres, and the work “Penelope – Studie über das Warten” (2021/22) by Helena Cánovas i Parés and Maike Graf will be making its world premiere on stage.

On Thursday 3rd August, in collaboration with the Vassilis and Carmen Konstantakopoulos Foundation and as part of our new concert series Young Talents in Concert, Maria Rahmatulla (violin), Dante Lind (viola), and Idil Bursa (cello) will perform works for string trio at Navarino Agora, Navarino Waterfront (Pylos). Maria Rahmatulla and Idil Bursa are alumni of the festival’s masterclasses.

On Friday 4th August, the Kalamata Festival Orchestra will perform works by Tchaikovsky, Haas, and Skalkottas on the Main Stage of the Kalamata Dance Megaron. The orchestra will largely be under the baton of acclaimed conductor Joshua Weilerstein, with one of the works being conducted by a student especially selected from the festival’s conducting masterclass. The Kalamata Festival Orchestra, born out of the International Kalamata Music Days, was founded in 2021. It is a chamber orchestra consisting of invited festival musicians, alongside musicians from Kalamata, participants in the masterclasses, and external collaborators. Within its ranks, highly professional orchestral playing is nurtured and preserved.

Conductor Joshua-Weilerstein. © Yuri Tavares

On the last day of the festival, Saturday 5th August, the participants of the viola and violoncello masterclasses with Ilias Sdoukos and Indira Rahmatulla respectively will present their work at 7pm on the stage of the Studio of the Kalamata Dance Megaron. Admission will be free. The festival will conclude with the long-established final concert, featuring the masterclass tutors. This will be at 9pm on the Main Stage of the Kalamata Dance Megaron. In this concert, Felix Froschhammer (violin), Ilias Sdoukos (viola), Indira Rahmatulla (violoncello), and Alexia Mouza (piano) will perform chamber music works by Clarke, Britten, Rachmaninoff and Brahms.

The violin, viola, and chamber music masterclass with Pablo Hernán Benedí will take place from 25th–30th July. It will be followed by the piano masterclass with Alexia Mouza and the violin masterclass with Felix Froschhammer (both 25th–31st July), the violoncello masterclass with Indira Rahmatulla (27th July–3rd August), the orchestra conducting masterclass with Joshua Weilerstein (27th July–2nd August), and finally, the viola masterclass with Ilias Sdoukos (31st July–5th August). The lessons will be held at the Municipal Conservatory and the Philharmonic Amphitheatre of Kalamata. Attendance to all masterclasses is free for the public.

We would like to extend our special thanks to the Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation, for their financial support of the masterclasses, and to the Kalamata Friends of Music Association, for awarding four scholarships for participation in the masterclasses to students of the Municipal Conservatory and the “Maria Callas” Music School in Kalamata.

The festival is organized by the Municipality of Kalamata, the FARIS – Kalamata Municipality Beneficiary Organization, the Municipal Conservatory of Kalamata, the Association of Parents and Guardians of the Students and Friends of the Municipal Art Schools of Kalamata – TERPSIS, under the auspices and support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the Peloponnese Region.

The festival’s Grand Sponsor, almost since its inception, is the George & Victoria Karelia Foundation.

The International Kalamata Music Days is awarded the quality art festivals label EFFE LABEL 2022-2023.

You can find the full concert programme here.

We look forward to seeing you at this great celebration of music!

With appreciation,

The founding and organizing team of the festival:

Indira Rahmatulla, Stathis Gyftakis, Dimitrios Lampos