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The music of today

By Maria Gregoriou

THIS week (it seems) is one for piano recitals and opera singing that is somewhat out of the norm.

First up is a piano recital by young Cypriot pianist Drosostalida Moraiti on Thursday, who will be performing works by modern Cypriot composers Agis Ioannides, Akis Pavlou, Giorgos Stavrou, Aris Tsigaras and Evagoras Karagiorgis, as well as works by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu and the Latvian Peteris Vasks.

Moraiti graduated from the Ethnikon Odeion of Cyprus at 17 and went on to study piano performance at Charles University of Prague, from which she graduated with distinction in all subjects and a number of awards. This excellence earned her a Cyprus state scholarship towards a doctoral degree, which she is currently undertaking with research into Alfred Schnittke’s piano music at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

The young pianist gave a world premiere performance and presentation of Alfred Schnittke’s Piano Preludes and his Concerto for Electronic Instruments at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in November 2009. She has also performed Sofia Gubaidulina’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in London, premieres by the American composer E Guinivan at the Theocharakis Hall in Athens and at the British Embassy in Athens. Moraiti has also collaborated with a number of Cypriot composers, including A Mustukis, T Stylianou and E Karagiorgis, to perform world premieres of their works.

She regularly takes part in conferences and festivals in Cyprus and around Europe, performing Schnittke’s piano music and contemporary piano works while continuing on her mission to communicate the music of today.

If you like what you hear at the ARTE Music Academy in Nicosia on Thursday, then you can continue listening to Moriti’s piano playing on the CD entitled Alfred Schnittke – Discoveries, a recording of Schnittke’s Piano Preludes and the song for mezzo soprano and piano Magdalina.

The recital, which promises all the romanticism of today, is part of the third Contemporary Music Festival which is organised by the Centre of Cypriot Composers.

Continuing on the theme of the classical in a new light will be the Tenors of the 21st century, a group of tenors enjoying solo careers but who also come together to perform certain concerts around the world. They will be giving such a concert on Friday in Limassol.

The ten Russian tenors, who were part of the Ayia Napa Festival in September, will perform well known arias and classical hits while also putting a twist on things with songs by the Beatles, Queen, Bocceli, Lucio Dalla and others.

Each tenor, as mentioned, has his own solo career and has performed on some of the most prestigious stages in the world, and since 2006 they have shared such stages together, giving around 120 concerts a year. During their usual programmes they firstly perform individually and then take to the stage together to give a unique and dramatic performance.

Audiences have already enjoyed this in Austria, Germany, Italy, USA, Canada, Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Latvia, Kazakhstan and elsewhere. The opera singers regularly take part in cultural programmes and government summits. They have also performed in front of some of the world’s leaders, including Vladimir Putin, and former president of USA George Bush.

Piano Recital
Performance by Drosostalida Moraiti. November 27. ARTE Music Academy, 34-36 Leonidou Street, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €8/5. Tel: 22-676823

Tenors of the 21st Century
Live performance from the Russian tenors. November 28. Tracasol Cultural Centre, Limassol Marina. 8.30pm. €30 including a drink. Tel: 77-777040

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