Symi FestivalSymi Festival 2007Wonderfully Alone with the Southern Cross: Premiere Preview

In a few hours time, the Official Premiere of the 13th Symi Festival will be under way in the central square in Yialos. This year, the Grand Opening is reserved for a concert with the leading Greek composer Thanos Mikroutsikos, accompanied by the singers Manolis Mitsias, Giannis Koutras and Rita Antonopoulou.

The concert is part of a summer tour that started in the Lycabetus open-air thatre in Athens last month and will include three decades of Mikroutsikos music: from the eighties album "Southern Cross" ("Ο Σταυρός του Νότου"), one of the most influencial Greek albums, where Mikroutsikos set to music poems by Nikos Kavadias with the voice of Giannis Koutras, to his latest work "Wonderfully Alone" ("Υπέροχα μονάχοι"), where Alkis Alkeos wrote the words and Manolis Mitsias is the lead singer. This is the second time the two (Alkeos and Mikroutsikos) have come together in an album. Twenty-four years ago, they crated songs such as "Roza" and "Erotiko/Piroga" which are two of the most famous Greek songs (see first two videos below).

The consert is dedicated to the memory of Yiannis Diakogiannis, the instigator and founder of the Symi Festival who passed away in December 2006 and is supported by the Hellenic Parliament and the Foreign Ministry. The performance will be presented by the journalist Alexis Kostalas.

SymiGreece will cover the Festival Premiere with live updates throughout the evening, so make sure you log on to the the Festival Pages later today.

For a little preview of what will happen tonight in Symi, have a look at the following videos.

A short biography of Thanos Mikroutsikos (edited from Wikipedia)

Thanos Mikroutsikos was born in Patras in the west of Greece and studied music theory and piano at the Patras Philharmonic Society. He has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Athens.

Mikroutsikos has composed many songs based on poems by Greek and foreign poets, such as Euripides, Aristophanes, Constantine P. Cavafy, Giorgos Seferis, Yannis Ritsos, Odysseas Elytis and Nikos Kavvadias as well as Bertolt Brecht, Nazim Hikmet, Wolf Biermann and Maurice Maeterlinck. He has also written operas, symphonic music, chamber music and music for the theatre and cinema.

Mikroutsikos has also been involved in Greece's political life since the 60's. During the military junta (1967-1974), he was persecuted by the regime and when the junta collapsed he continued being actively involved in politics, especially in the first years after the restoration of democracy. After the elections of October 1993 he was appointed by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) which formed the new government, as Alternate-Minister of Culture with the late Melina Mercouri as Minister. In 1994 after the death of Melina, he was appointed Minister of Culture. He remained at this position until 1996.

Updated 21/07/2007, 02:53 // 2612 hits