Axion Estin Foundation Names Nektarios Antoniou as New Executive Director

Nektarios Antoniou, the Principal Cantor at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, spoke about Romanos the Melodist. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

NEW YORK – The Axion Estin Foundation has named Nektarios Antoniou as its new Executive Director, succeeding Angelo Lampousis PhD, who served in the position since the foundation’s inception in 2005. “We are thrilled to welcome Nektarios with his new insights, vision, and great vibrancy into a leadership position of our organization” said Maria Dikeakos, President of the Axion Estin Foundation Board of Directors.

Antoniou is scheduled to take over on January 4, 2019, which also marks the Axion Estin’s annual acclaimed concert series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this year presenting the “Armenian Pop-Ups.”

Antoniou presently serves as the Principal Cantor at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York. Over the last twenty years, he has taught at the Music Department of his Alma matter, Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Conservatory of Northern Greece, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Conservatoire de Thessalonique, and the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conservatory in Thessaloniki as its founder.

He has lectured, curated and directed annual concert series at Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Harvard. While at Harvard, he researched, worked on, edited, and published Maestro Dimitri Mitropoulos’ earliest known music manuscript with funding from the Laureate Boston Symphony Orchestra President and Harvard Professor Nicholas C. Zervas.

Antoniou is a two-time recipient of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music Director’s Award (2003-2005) and has recorded and filmed extensively for Margot Fassler’s (President of the Medieval Academy of America), Documentary on Chant. While at Yale, he served as the Music Editor for Palimpsest, the Yale Graduate Arts Magazine, and curated the music of the Alternative Audio Guide for the Yale Art Gallery.

Antoniou is a founding member of the Dunya Ensemble, which received a Grammy nod, for their monumental “A Story of the City: Constantinople-Istanbul” which was an official selection and was presented at the European Cultural Capital in 2010. He is the Founding and Artistic Director of the Hellenic College Schola Cantorum which made its NPR debut at the Concert of Credo Settings in Honor of Jaroslav Pelikan at Yale. Antoniou co-curated with Dr. Pelikan and co-directed with Simon Carrington and is last featured with Schola Cantorum as soloist and conductor in the Byzantine Soundscapes Project for USC/University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He will be the featured Axion Estin Chanter at Axion Estin Foundation’s Metropolitan Museum of Art collaboration on January 11, 2019 at the Met. This event will feature a new live score by composer Mary Kouyoumdjian for the screening of Sergei Parajanov’s Armenian avant-garde film, The Color of Pomegranates.

Outgoing Executive Director Lampousis, noted that “Nektarios’ versatility, fluency in all aspects of Byzantine arts, and unparalleled networking abilities in both Greece and the U.S., hold a very significant promise for bringing the foundation to higher levels. He has my complete support.”

Dr. Lampousis departs with an outstanding record of establishing memorable concert series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 2008, organizing academic conferences at Columbia University and the City University of New York, and editing book and music publications. Dr. Lampousis established a steady multi-year funding stream from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation USA, and many private New York City-based philanthropists.