The Athens State Orchestra has packed its bags with great works from the Greek and international repertoire and is all set to leave for Romania. There, it will have the honor and the joy of participating in one of Eastern Europe’s most important classical music festivals, the historical George Enescu International Festival, a press release issued by the Public Diplomacy Office of the Greek Embassy in Bucuharest.
This year, to mark the 140th anniversary of the birth of George Enescu, for many the most important Romanian composer of them all, the Orchestra will be performing a highly symbolic program. The performance will take place on Saturday September 4 on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum, starting with 4;30 p.m.
It will begin with five of Nikos Skalkottas’ thirty-six Greek Dances, popular works by the Greek modernist composer who transformed the Greek musical tradition into a personal style with a global impact. The Dances will be followed by George Enescu’s recently discovered and rarely performed Concert-fantasia for piano and orchestra. The program will end with César Frank’s expressive Symphony in E minor, a relatively unknown jewel of the French symphonic repertoire. In the solo role, Saskia Giorgini, a skilled pianist with a profound knowledge of Enescu’s oeuvre. On the podium, the internationally renowned Stefanos Tsialis.
“I am honoured and delighted to be conducting the Athens State Orchestra at one of the world’s largest classical music festivals. Indeed, that our Orchestra’s will be taking part in this musical celebration alongside some of the greatest ensembles on the international music scene, fills me with something like awe. At the same time, though, it will be a wonderful challenge for everyone involved. Although the A.S.O. has made regular appearances at important European festivals in recent years, this participation is special, and not just because of the calibre of the Enescu Festival. It is also that it was here, in Romania, two hundred years ago, that the Greek Revolution started, and we will be honoring this anniversary with a performance of five of Nikos Skalkottas’ thirty-six Greek dances,” Stefano Tsialis, the conductor of the prestigious Athens State Orchestra.
The program at a glance
NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949)
Five Greek Dances
GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955)
Concert-fantasia for piano and orchestra
CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
Symphony in E minor
Saskia Giorgini, piano