All the halls and lobbies of The Megaron – Athens Concert hall – including Christos Lambrakis Hall with its magnificence pipe organ, unique in Greece – are decked out for Christmas. (Photo by TNH/ Constantine S. Sirigos)
ATHENS – The Megaron – Athens Concert Hall is presenting a series of concerts for the Christmas season and on Friday evening, December 17 presented the 9th Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven.
The featured singers were soprano Eleni Calenos – well known and beloved in New York’s Greek-American community, mezzo-soprano Barbara Kozelj, tenor Mario Zeffiri, and baritone Dimitris Tiliakos, who joined the ERT Choir and the Amadeus Choir from Nice, France. The Athens State Orchestra was led by the renowned Estonian conductor Mihkel Kütson.
In the Christian West certain signature pieces of music have come to be associated with the important dates on the ecclesiastical calendar – Bach’s Bass in B Minor for Easter, Handel’s Messiah at Christmas. Each nation in Europe – north, south, east, west, also has its own holiday favorites, the ‘kalanta’ being the beloved songs of Christmas and New Year’s in Greece. If there is one piece of music, however, that beautifully and powerfully conveys late December’s twin messages of ‘Joy’ and ‘peace on Earth and good will to all’ across the continent and all over the world, it is Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, known as the Ode To Joy because it concludes with a chorus and four featured singers joining the orchestra to present the poem of the same name by Beethoven’s fellow German Romantic, poet Friedrich Schiller.
The Megaron’s magnificent main auditorium was filled to 80% capacity – the audience all wore masks and had to present proof of COVID vaccination – enjoying the music and the Christmas decorations. The front of the stage was festooned with festive poinsettias and in the lobbies were displayed delightful Christmas trees. The wonderful Marc Chagall painting in the delightful café area reminded New Yorkers of Lincoln Center
CIANJUR, Indonesia — More rescuers and volunteers were deployed Wednesday in devastated areas on Indonesia's main island of Java to search for the dead and missing from an earthquake that killed at least 271 people.
A frigid November 20th Sunday was a Greek derby day with the NY Pancyprian Freedoms playing the NY Greek Americans in the Metropolitan division of the Eastern Premier Soccer League (EPSL) and in the Over 30 division of the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL).
After a late goal from Asteras Tripolis New York, the Hellenic-American soccer team ended its fall regular season in a 2-2 draw against historic Cosma Damiano at College Point Field on last Sunday evening.
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