GREEKS AROUND THE WORLD
By Fotios Kaliampakos
VIENNA – Vienna has never lost its eminent position as far as the developments in classical music are concerned. But now after the end of the Cold War and the reunification of central Europe through the European Union, Vienna has obtained again the central position it had in the 19th century, a place where young musicians can meet, study music of all genres, and seek opportunities. There are many high-level cultural institutions, for example: two universities for music studies, one public university and one private university, the State Opera, and the famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. There are also plentiful opportunities for musicians who come from all over the world. In Vienna they can study, work, and become distinguished in an ideal, but also extremely competitive, environment – one that is sometimes really tough on a young musicians’ dreams. However, the musicians’ skills in Vienna are beyond expectations.
George Kokkos, a musician himself, chose this place (as it is associated with the history of music and it is also a city where many talented musicians live and work) to find people for the realization of his daring dream that has just started to take shape. He is creating an orchestra that specializes in cinematic music, something that wasn’t available until now in the Austrian capital. It is widely believed that there are only a few cinematic orchestras in the world and those are not able to cover the needs of the many film productions that take place daily. As a result, there is room for the creation and development of new orchestras of a high quality.
After a careful selection process, Kokkos chose exceptional musicians, some of them members of famous orchestras from Austria, Central Europe, and Greece, and created GK Film Orchestra. Apart from the musicians, the Orchestra features a choir and there is also the capability to use traditional musical instruments from all over the world, in order to meet the needs of every film production. With a different constitution, the Orchestra can also play jazz, as it is so common a musical genre in American films.
There are also composers available, in case the film or TV production who cannot find music for their specific needs. The Orchestra aspires to meet the various needs that can turn up in a film production.
One of the composers that support this endeavor is Austrian Gerrit Wunder, who lives and works in Hollywood. He has composed music for the National Geographic and BBC films and documentaries, for the world-famous TV series Law and Order and he has also received the BMI award (Award for Aspiring Film Composers in Los Angeles). Furthermore, Wunder offered an original composition for the Orchestra’s website, gk-movies.com.
Every visitor to the site can find out more information about the Orchestra’s qualifications in different kinds of music. There are two excerpts from the musical compositions “Nero’s Adventure” and “Galactic Odyssey” by the composers Adam Lukas and Victor Gangl, respectively. The first one is suitable for an adventure film and the second one is suitable for a science fiction film.
There is also a short soundtrack “Lullaby from Hell” by Wunder, a composition suitable for a suspense film.
The Orchestra Musical Director Anastasios Strikos has studied orchestral conducting, piano, and dramatic theory in Athens, Wurzburg, and Vienna. He conducted all of the recordings.
The Orchestra adds a new dimension in the rich musical culture of the city and the potential for financial growth of the wider area.
This attempt also includes two visionary elements. Its founder’s passion to provide the film directors and producers with new possibilities and his desire to give the chance to talented artists to find a profitable occupation and become distinguished, especially young people and of course, to Hellenes abroad.
The GK Film Orchestra, apart from the recordings that take place in a studio, also performs film as well as classical music on stage, in collaboration with well-known musicians.