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Arts

The Soul of Epirus: Petroloukas Halkias and Vasilis Kostas Perform in NY

September 14, 2019

NEW YORK – The living legend of Greek traditional music Petroloukas Halkias and the virtuoso laouto player Vasilis Kostas will join forces for a special concert in New York on October 5 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 337 East 74th Street in Manhattan. The Axion Estin Foundation and the Panepirotic  Federation of America together with the Consulate General of Greece in New York and the Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum have organized this rare musical event and presentation of the Epirotic musical tradition, which was called “the world’s most beguiling folk music” in the Νew York Times Magazine.

The two gifted artists and important ambassadors of the Epirotic musical tradition will perform the repertoire of their upcoming album The Soul of Epirus, which will be officially available in Greece and in the U.S. the day before the concert.

As Petroloukas Halkias mentioned in notes for the upcoming album, “… each new generation can add its own small gem to whatever the previous generation has created, just as my generation did. Decades ago, it was the musician Kitsos Harisiadis who created his own philosophy and a brand-new playing style on the instrumental Epirotic pieces, on which we also built our own style. Here, Vasilis and I take it upon ourselves to add a little bit of our own elements and further develop each one of Kitsos’s lines. We did not ‘demolish the pillars of Parthenon;’ we just enhanced whatever was handed to us, so that the next generation will create something even better. Throughout my entire life, I have tried to express all different emotions through my clarinet. The feeling of happiness, the feeling of sadness, the feeling of being polite and good to people, but also the feeling of vulnerability and pain. There’s no end to music, and it’s my deepest hope that a new generation of musicians will take what we have created and develop it even further.”

The focus of this album and the upcoming concert is a new dialogue between the clarinet and the laouto through which the music of Epirus, a cultural treasure of immeasurable value to Greece, is now translated based on the conversation between the two musical instruments. This creative approach to the instrumental pieces and the playing style established by the great clarinetist from Epirus Kitsos Harisiadis, in the decade 1920-30, who created a unique and yet complex musical language based on the repertoire of Epirus, Petroloukas Halkias has maintained and further developed throughout his life. Vasilis Kostas now translates this playing philosophy from Halkias’ clarinet to his laouto.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-soul-of-epirus-tickets-71536113441?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.

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