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Maestro Marios Papadopoulos to Lead Oxford Philharmonic in U.S. Debut

October 7, 2016
Eleni.Sakellis

NEW YORK – On Oct. 3, the American Friends of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra (AFOP) New York Dinner Committee held a reception in honor of Maestro Marios Papadopoulos, Founder and Music Director of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra (OP), the Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford. The event was held at 21 Club in Midtown Manhattan.

Among those in attendance, the Maestro himself, Ambassador and Mrs. Andreas Jacovides, Consul General of Cyprus Vasilis Philippou and his wife Anthi, Dr. Catherine Boura, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Greece to the United Nations, Peter and Catherine Pappas, Carlene Soumas, and Daisy Soros.

The gathering offered an introduction to the OP for supporters of classical music in New York who will undoubtedly appreciate the opportunity to introduce the orchestra to an even wider audience in the United States by joining the AFOP.

Maestro Papadopoulos noted that “this little gem is one of the leading orchestras of Europe” and regularly collaborates with top artists in classical music.

He pointed out that there is also “an educational component” to the orchestra’s work, giving opportunities to students, help with tuition, and touring programs that add educational programs.

This season features some of the most renowned musicians of our time, including Artist in Residence Maxim Vengerov who will be performing at the US Premier Performance of OP on October 31 at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan as well as at the historic Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford.

Conductor Valery Gergiev will appear in March. Pianist Lang Lang will make his second appearance with OP performing Rachmaninov in July. As Papadopoulos observed, “You see from the caliber of artists that this is a very special orchestra.”

“Proud to be associated with Oxford,” he noted that it was just ranked the top university in the world.

Pianist/Conductor Papadopoulos will perform and conduct at the October 31 event. Described by The Times at his 1975 piano recital debut as “having all the attributes of one of the world’s greatest players,” Papadopoulos has gone on to enjoy an international career both as pianist and conductor.

He has appeared as soloist with and conducted many of the world’s great orchestras, and worked with a host of eminent musicians including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Helene Grimaud, Maxim Vengerov, and Renee Fleming, Vadim Repin, and Nigel Kennedy.

His recordings of the Beethoven sonatas have been compared to Schnabel, Brendel, Barenboim, and Wilhelm Kempff (Daily Telegraph, Classic FM Magazine Critics’ Choice).

Papadopoulos has conducted the complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies and directed from the keyboard the five piano concertos in the Oxford Philharmonic’s 2008 Beethoven Festival, a feat he repeated again to celebrate the Orchestra’s 15th anniversary in the 2013-14 concert season.

As part of the worldwide celebrations for Mozart’s 250th anniversary year, he directed from the keyboard the composer’s complete cycle of piano concertos with the OP.

A prolific recording artist, Papadopoulos’ catalogue includes his critically acclaimed Beethoven sonatas, performances of Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Hyperion), works by Mozart, Mussorgsky, Cesar Franck and the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich.

Most recordings are now available on the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra record label. He conducts the Oxford Philharmonic in new recordings to be released soon of the Brahms and Sibelius violin concertos with Maxim Vengerov as soloist.

As a pianist, he and Maxim Vengerov have recorded the complete Brahms violin sonatas in 2015. On September 27, he performed the Brahms Sonatas with Maxim Vengerov in a sold out concert at Vienna’s Musikverein.

In February 2017, he will conduct six performances of Cosi fan Tutte for the Greek National Opera in the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre.

Papadopoulos is dedicated to nurturing young talent and through his vast experience is able to impart knowledge to young artists, particularly during the prestigious Oxford Piano Festival, which he founded in 1999. In 2015, he served on the jury of the Leeds International Piano Competition.

Papadopoulos earned a doctorate in music from City University and is both a member of the Oxford University Faculty of Music and Fellow by Special Election of Keble College Oxford.

He became an Honorary Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 2010 and was awarded Oxford City’s Certificate of Honour in 2013.

Papadopoulos was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to music in Oxford.

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