By Aria Socratous
The internationally acclaimed and distinguished Greek artists Vinia Tsopelas and Andreas- Foivos Apostolou will be performing four concerts at Bargemusic “the perfect chamber-music hall as many critics say, on November 10-13, 2016.
Moored in Brooklyn just under the Brooklyn Bridge, Bargemusic presents great music up to five days a week, every week of the year into a wonderfully intimate wood-paneled room with thrilling views of lower Manhattan and excellent acoustics.
Their repertoire consists of demanding romantic and contemporary works, as well as premiers. On November 10, Apostolou will be playing Rameau, Mendelssohn and Carl Vine. On November 11, he will be playing Schubert, Rameau and Dutilleux. Both of the recitals on November 10 and 11 will include premiers of Apostolou’s works “Collage” and “Transformations”. His style draws inspiration from jazz, electronic music, minimalism, as well as extended techniques, such as knocking parts of the piano for a percussive effect. On November 12, Tsopela will be playing Liszt, Chopin, Hatzidakis and De Falla. Tsopela will be performing “Six Sketches”, a ballet for piano based on Greek folk songs by Manos Hatzidakis for the first time in New York. November 13 features the Tsopelas and Apostolou Duo. The artists will be interpreting works by Schubert, Rossini, Rachmaninoff, Ligeti and Barber.
Vinia Tsopelas, Professor of Piano Performance, has received international recognition for her passion, sensitivity, and dynamism as a pianist.
Born in Athens, Vinia Tsopelas studied at the Athens Conservatory and graduated in Piano with the distinction of First Prize. She later studied with the renowned French pianist Yvonne Lefèbure on a full scholarship from the French Government, and in 1972, came to the U.S. where she continued her studies on a full scholarship at the Juilliard School in New York. She received at the Juilliard both the Diploma and the Post-Graduate Diploma.
The Washington Post has written “A concert rich in flavor, interpretation.Tsopelas conveyed the sense of improvisation in this music as well as its distinctive melodic and rhythmic contours..The first movement of Robert Schumann’s Phantasie in C, Op. 17, came on like a tropical storm – one, I must add, with very deep and mellow tones.”
“As far as my recital is concerned which takes place on Saturday November 12th, I start with Manos Hatzidakis six sketches, a ballet for piano based on Greek folk songs. It’s going to be the New York premiere and it’s very important because it’s based on six very well known old rempetika. The first one is “Sinnefiasmeni Kiriaki”, it’s considered the Greek anthem. What is interesting is that Hatzidakis tried to to keep the authenticity of these songs. Those are very well known melodies that people love and they still sing it. Then you can give the same feelings and all the sentiments about what the composer portrays like love and desperation. I would like to portray the authenticity of the songs. I finish with “El amor brujo” (Love the magician) which it is based on a ballet. In the middle I play the Listzt Valle d’Obermann from Années de Pèlerinage, which it’s one of the most mature works, it’s extremely philosophical, extremely dramatic and it compasses the whole life. It’s a journey and his life, how he started, how he developed, all his existential problems, love, passions, the despair. The program is one of the most beautiful programs I’ve ever assembled together.”, said Tsopela to THN.
Andreas- Foivos Apostolou was born in Athens in 1991 into an artistic family. He graduated with distinction of a unanimous First Prize in Piano from the Conservatoire in Athens, he studied Piano and Composition at the Boyer School of Music, Temple University with Charles Abramovic, Harvey Weeden, Richard, Brodhead and Jan Krzywicki and he graduated with a double Major MM in Piano Performance and Composition at Jacobs School of Music in 2016. Vinia Tsopela is his aunt and his mentor.
As a composer he has written for piano, chamber ensembles, choir, symphony orchestra and has scored soundtrack for theater and short films.
“I’m trying to do different things. I play a lot of electric guitar, so I am trying to mix electric guitar with piano and some other electronic medium with my performance and also possibly writing for film music.”he told TNH.
Andreas-Foivos is the recipient of several prestigious grants from both Europe and US and a very promising young artist.