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Culture

Composer Dinos Constantinides at Carnegie Hall

February 22, 2017
Eleni.Sakellis

NEW YORK – An evening of chamber music at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall by acclaimed Greek composer and Louisiana State University (LSU) professor Dinos Constantinides was held on Tuesday, February 21 at 8 PM presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY).

The program offered a selection of the composer’s chamber works, performed by talented artists and educators. A survey of Constantinides’ work showcased the composer’s remarkable range from early serial to neo-Romantic and more. The intimate evening of Mediterranean-inspired and original music by Constantinides delighted music-lovers and fans of the composer’s work.

Among the works performed were Mountains of Epirus for Two Violins, Four Interludes for Violin Alone, 20th Century Studies for Two Violins, Lazy Jack and his Fiddle, Family Triptych for Two Violins, Three Compositions for Voice Alone, Midnight Fantasy II, Two Works for Piano, and Music for Two Saxophones.

The first half of the concert focused on the violin with the two performers Yova Milanova and Mariana Todorova playing the charming and evocative pieces by Constantinides skillfully. The second half of the concert began with the dramatic vocal performance of soprano Sandra Moon. Maria Asteriadou on piano and Athanasios Zervas on saxophone performed beautifully a lyrical piece. Asteriadou’s moving performance in Two Works for Piano delighted the audience.

Zervas and Jeremy Justeson also on saxophone closed the show with a wonderful piece that one audience member said caused her to rethink her feelings about the saxophone as an instrument.

Constantinides then took to the stage to thank everyone for attending, especially the performers who he noted came from four different countries to take part in the event, including Greece. Constantinides also thanked President of LSU Dr. F. King Alexander, and the Dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts Dr. Todd Queen.

Dr. Queen noted Constantinides remarkable 53 years at LSU and wished for another 53 and more for the beloved and talented composer. Dr. Queen also announced that Constantinides and his wife Judy had recently set up an endowment for new music and travel for the school’s ensemble.

Dinos Constantinides studied at The Juilliard School, and is presently Boyd Professor, the highest academic rank at Louisiana State University, and head of the Composition area with a studio of 25 students. His music, encompassing more than 250 works in total, has been performed around the world and is featured on over 65 recordings. He is also the recipient of numerous awards and grants for his performed works.

As the Director of the prestigious LSU Festival of Contemporary Music for 22 years, Constantinides presented the top composers of the continent, including Carlos Chavez, John Cage, Milton Babbitt, Karel Husa, and Ernst Krenek. He has served on the Board of Directors of many national societies, is a member of ASCAP, and has been an evaluator for the MacArthur Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Constantinides spoke to The National Herald, noting his appreciation for the connection to the homeland the paper provides.

Athanasios Zervas, saxophonist, composer, theorist, and conductor, spoke with The National Herald after the concert, noting that it was his 5th time performing at Carnegie Hall, which includes twice with Stavros Xarhakos, and twice performing works by Constantinides.

Zervas who is an Associate Professor of Music Theory-Music Creation at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki and Professor of Saxophone at the Athens Conservatory said it is a great honor to perform Constantinides’ work which connects the ancient with the modern in such an extraordinary way, combining the influences of ancient Greece, Byzantine music, paradosiaka, traditional Greek music, and the classical with modern techniques to express deep, inner emotions.

Dinos Constantinides’ music is available online. More information about the DCINY Artist Series – The Music of Dinos Constantinides is available online https://www.dciny.org/concerts/the-music-of-dinos-constantinides-5/
The Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) was founded in 2007 by Iris Derke and Jonathan Griffith, with its first public concert presented in January of 2008. DCINY is a leading producer of dynamically-charged musical entertainment in renowned venues.

With its unforgettable, world-class concert experiences, empowering educational programs, and global community of artists and audiences, DCINY changes lives through the power of performance. Commemorating their 10th Anniversary season in 2018, DCINY is proud to have presented life-changing performances for over 40,000 performers and 170,000 audience members since its inception.

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