by Emilios Harbis
It is said that good musicians perform equally well whether they’re in the studio, on stage… or in the shower. That tends to be true, but it’s also true that some concert spaces (such as the ancient theaters of Epidaurus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus) provide so much weight and atmosphere that they stimulate even stronger performances. It’s especially true when we look at new talents, artists who are just starting their careers and are easily inspired. The Pythagorion theater in Samos, the venue for the Samos Young Artists Festival, is like that.
Organized by the Schwartz Foundation, the festival brings us accomplished young musicians from various parts of the world; a promising program of high quality performances. “Our goal is to present all kinds of cultivated music. That doesn’t mean that we’ll only be hearing classical works, however. On the contrary, there will be a good dose of contemporary works, as well as a traditional music performance by Savina Yannatou (on August 13) that will attune to the island setting,” said the festival’s young Artistic Director, Alexis Karaiskakis-Nastos.
He (a skilled violoncello player) and other young Greek musicians have a stronger presence than ever during this year’s event. “From the beginning we wanted to bring more Greek artists, to show that there are many talented ones here, because that’s the truth. Aside from the successful Leonidas Kavakos, there are also other equally remarkable, albeit less well-known, musicians,” Nasto explains.
However, perhaps the most important aspect of the Samos Young Artists Festival is another; at a time when nationalist trends are reappearing and people start to imagine dangerous enemies across the borders, an island like Samos, situated just 1.2 km from the Turkish mainland, seems a perfect bridge for people to come together, cooperate, and shatter discriminating views. “We have plenty of Turkish guests this year, and for the first time, a Greek-Turkish artistic partnership, aiming to show how music can be an example of openness and conversation,” Nasto concludes.
All the concerts take place at the ancient Pythagorion Theater, every evening at 20.30, between August 7-14.
See here for the full festival program.