The first cycle of events of the ANO International Organ Festival on the island of Syros was completed with an organ recital performed before a live audience for the first time after the pandemic’s restrictions. Once completed, the cycle now passes the baton to the festival’s annual cycle of events which will be held in August.
Τhe concert by young Croatian organist Tea Kulaš at St. George’s Cathedral, Ano Syros, was presented by Nikos Kanellopoulos. H.E. Aleksandar Sunko, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Greece, was the guest of honor. The concert marked the finale of a week of educational and artistic actions funded by the EU Program Erasmus+/European Youth Together Project and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. It was implemented by the Syros Greek Catholic Association and assumed a symbolic character since, performed on June 21, it celebrated not only the European Music Day but also 2022, the European Year of Youth.
Eight, local, young people under 30 enthusiastically joined the Ecclesiastical Organ Workshops under the tutelage of organist Tea Kulaš. They demonstrated their piano knowledge and tested their skills on Greece’s oldest, still functional, ecclesiastical organ. The workshops’ educational actions were part of the SONIC Project.
Two days before the Ecclesiastical Organ Workshops, sixteen young people aged 10-16 joined the Free Reed Harmonium (Aerophone) Workshops under the tutelage of teachers Nikos Roussos and Yannis Rigoutsos. The specific aerophone the young people practiced on was crafted in Paris in the period 1870-1880. In 1885, it was donated by the Consulate of France in Hermoupolis, Syros, to the Holy Catholic Church “Annunciation of Our Lady” also in Hermoupolis. The cost of its repair was undertaken by the Catholic Diocese of Syros. All repairs were supervised by Konstantinos Kapellos, the person in charge of the ecclesiastical organ’s maintenance situated in St. George’s Cathedral. In his efforts, Mr. Kapellos was assisted by Nikolaos Venieris, chairman of the Friends of the Ecclesiastical Organ Association. The educational actions are part of the “Young Organists in Syros” Project and aim at showcasing the cultural heritage of Syros and concluded with a short concert with works written for free reed harmonium and piano by Fathers Julio Gramena and Vasilios Frantzeskos. The concert has been videotaped and will be shown side by side with a similar event of the 6th ANO International Organ Festival (August 22-27).
Photography: Dimiris Vamvakousis, Nikos Desypris
Concert poster design: Konstantinos Katagas
“Young Organists in Syros” poster design: Tasos Maragos
SONIC logo design: Filippos Alatzoglou