NEW YORK – Composer Dinos Constantinides’ music delighted the audience once again at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on September 30. Presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) The Music of Dinos Constantinides the evening of Mediterranean-inspired music by Greek composer Dinos Constantinides, whose works have been performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia, featured Louisiana State University School of Music faculty members performing his original compositions.
The performers included Maria Asteriadou on piano, Kurt Nikkanen on violin, Johanna Cox Pennington on English Horn, Luis Casal on violin, Isaac Casal on cello, Esther Waite on flute, Gabriella Werries on harp, Caio Diniz on cello, Perla Fernandez on violin, Mireille Lopez on violin, Christopher Lowry on viola, soprano Sandra Moon, and the Kutztown University (KU) Chamber Players with Conductor Peter Isaacson
The concert marked DCINY’s 12th presentation of Constantinides’ music and began with the evocative and lyrical Piano Concerto No. 2 (Grecian Variations) for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, LRC 261, skillfully performed by Asteriadou on piano and the KU Chamber Players.
Threnos of Creon for English Horn and String Orchestra, LRC 218, featured the talented Johanna Cox Pennington and the KU Chamber Players. Nikkanen gave an impressive performance in the third piece, the beautiful, emotionally-charged Concertino- Mountains of Epirus for Violin and String Orchestra, LRC 72, along with the KU Chamber Players.
Following the intermission, Asteriadou, Waite, and Werries charmed the audience with the Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra- Piano Version, LRC 268b, which featured three parts, Reflections, Hymn, and Dance, as noted by Constantinides in the program notes, were influenced by the poetry of Constantine Cavafy, the Delphic Hymn, and traditional Greek dances respectively. Constantinides writes, “In reality, the entire piece is derived from my background as a Greek musician.”
The concert continued with Reflections II for Voice and Viola, LRC 86a, featuring the immortal poem “How Do I Love Thee?” by Elizabeth Barret Browning performed by soprano Sandra Moon with Christopher Lowry on viola. Kaleidoscope Fantasy for Solo Cello, LRC 26, showcased the talents of cellist Caio Diniz. Hellenic Dance for Two Violins and Viola, LRC 15b, performed by Perla Fernandez and Mireille Lopez, both on violin, and Lowry on viola, was another dynamic and expressive piece that enchanted the audience.
The final piece of the evening was Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra- Piano Version, LRC 275b, performed by Asteriadou and the Casal brothers, Luis on violin and Isaac on cello. The evocative piece, based on the composer’s personal experience and associations, remembering his youth when he played violin for the Greek cinema, beautifully highlighted the talents of the performers and drew thunderous applause from the appreciative audience.
Constantinides is Boyd Professor and Coordinator of Composition at the School of Music at Louisiana State University. He received diplomas in Theory and Violin at the Greek Conservatory in Athens, Greece, and a diploma in Violin at Juilliard School. He received his Master’s Degree in Music from Indiana University and his Ph.D. in Composition from Michigan State University. He has also studied at Brandeis University, Meadowmount School of Music, and the Athens Conservatory. He has studied violin with Dorothy Delay, Ivan Galamian, and Josef Gingold.
As a composer, he has received First Prizes in the Delius Composition Contest, the L’Ensemble Competition of New York, the National Brooklyn College Chamber Opera Competition, and the First Midwest Chamber Opera Theatre Conference. He has also won twenty-three consecutive ASCAP Standard Awards in Serious Composition.
Constantinides has published 129 compositions with Allyn and Bacon, Cimarron Music and Reproductions, Conners Publications, Dorn Publications, Editions Nakas, Publications of the University of Veracruz, Seesaw Music Corporation, Society of Composers, Inc., and TAP Music Sales. His music is recorded on Capstone Records, Crest Records, Crystal Records, New Ariel Recordings, Orion Master Recordings, Vestige Recordings, and Vienna Modern Masters.