Iannis Xenakis, 1st part / Athens Conservatoire, Rigillis Str.
Iannis Xenakis, 1st part / Athens Conservatoire, Rigillis Str.
17 October
Δημιουργική Ομάδα

Alexandros Giovanos (percussion)
Nicolas Prevezianos (cello)

2st GNO Online Festival

Iannis Xenakis, 1st part / Athens Conservatoire, Rigillis Str.

Available Dates

  • 17 Oct 2020

Starts at: 20.00 | clock  

The video will remain available online until 17/11



The Festival is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach


 Iannis Xenakis, 1st part / Athens Conservatoire, Rigillis Str

One of the most famous and most impressive works of Iannis Xenakis for solo percussion, Psappha (Sappho), along with the work for solo cello Kottos are performed by soloists Alexandros Giovanos (percussion) and Nicolas Prevezianos (cello), at the emblematic building of Athenian modernism, the Athens Conservatoire.

THE MUSIC: One of the most important composers of the 20th century, Iannis Xenakis shaped his completely personal language from quite early on, redefining the content and the goal of the art of music. He was an architect himself, with a small but significant work as he collaborated with Le Corbusier.
One of Xenakis’s most famous compositions for solo percussion, Psappha (Sappho), is at the same time one of the most impressive. It was commissioned by the English Bach Festival with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and dedicated to the famous percussion soloist Sylvio Gualda, who was also the first to ever perform it in London in 1976.
Kottos, a work for solo cello, first premiered in 1977 at La Rochelle Festival.
THE ARCHITECTURE: In 1959 a tender was held for the creation of the Cultural Centre of Athens that would include a state theatre, a building for concerts, dance theatre and conferences, an open air theatre, a library, a museum and a gallery, a building for scientific organizations, a large square and a hotel. From this complex, the Athens Conservatoire is the only building that was constructed but remained unfinished to this day. Ioannis Despotopoulos’s unadorned style gives it a place among the most important buildings of modernism in Greece. 


Ministry of Culture and Sports

2nd Greek National Opera Online Festival


A “consonance” of Greek art music with public architecture

27 September – 31 October 2020

nationalopera.gr/en, Facebook, YouTube, digitalculture.gov.gr     


The Greek National Opera presents its 2nd Online Festival titled “Counterpoints”*. The festival is curated by Giorgos Koumendakis and sheds light upon the relationship between Greek art music and architecture. The Festival’s videos will be streamed online from 27 September to 31 October 2020 and will remain available to the public for 30 days after their premiere. The videos will be streamed online at nationalopera.gr/en, on GNO’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as on the website of the Ministry of Culture and Sports digitalculture.gov.gr.


Architecture and music are two arts that share a lot in common: the primacy of structure, the importance of shapes, contrasts and textures, and the deep and immediate communication with the viewer. Through the dialogue of these primordial arts, emblematic buildings of Athens converse with great works from the historical repository of Greek art music. Reaching from the Cretan Renaissance to the present day, works of architecture and music of a respective historical period and style complete each other, offering a fruitful experience to the audience. The Festival’s ultimate goal is to bring out our country’s musical and architectural legacy through the harmonious and equitable pairing of the images of the buildings with the sounds of the works, while communicating to the audience the Greek music and architectural creation.

The Festival was shot at some of the greatest buildings of Athens, such as the Church of the Holy Apostles at the Ancient Agora, the Gennadius Library, the French Institute, the Little Stock Exchange, the Athens Conservatoire, and the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”. In these places, celebrated Greek artists perform works of Londariti, Konstantinidis, Kalomiris, Ravel, Kounadis, Adamis, Dragatakis, Xenakis, Hatzis, Papadatos, Alexiadis, etc. The Festival is curated by Greek National Opera’s Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis.

Giorgos Koumendakis notes: “When last March, in the midst of the pandemic, we began planning a new online artistic programme, we could not imagine how successful our 1st Online Festival (May-June 2020) would be. Each of its video performances attracted tens of thousands of viewers and many positive comments from across the globe.

After a lot of demanding shooting in the summer, the time has now come for the Greek National Opera’s 2nd Online Festival, titled Counterpoints, which shall engage Greek art music into a creative dialogue with public architecture. Our wish is to celebrate Greek musical creation, from the Cretan Renaissance to this day, bringing to the foreground some of the most remarkable compositions of great Greek composers, such as Londariti, Konstantinidis, Kalomiris, Kounadis, Adamis, Dragatakis, Xenakis, Hatzis, Papadatos, Alexiadis. We asked distinguished artists of the GNO and beyond, to study and interpret these emblematic art music works in prestigious buildings that form part of the historical legacy of Athens. From 27/9 to 31/10, we invite you to travel with us –through the screen of your computer, tablet or mobile phone– using our music and architectural legacy as a vehicle, and making stopovers at the Cretan Renaissance, the Interwar period, the encounter of our folk music with art music, modernism, Xenakis’s universe and the 21st century.”

* Counterpoint is the way that many melodies are harmonically interconnected – the simultaneous consonance of many different melodies resulting in a harmonious composition.

The Greek National Opera would like to thank the Management of the National Bank of Greece, the French Institute of Athens, the Gennadius Library, the Athens Conservatoire, the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, as well as the Ephorate of Antiquities of the City of Athens for providing permit for the shooting of the videos and for their exceptional collaboration.

The Greek National Opera would like to thank all the artists and artistic ensembles, who have given their permission for the free broadcast of these video-performances to the public, in this difficult time.