BOSTON – Epirus Ensemble is the first music educational program in Boston, which aims to offer a real experience of the rich musical culture of Epirus to Greek-American music students and professional musicians. It is founded and directed by composer and educator Vasilis Kostas while being supported and hosted at the Greek Institute in Boston. The program provides participants with an opportunity to learn about the various stylistic approaches within the music of Epirus, meet master musicians from this region of Greece and prepare for presentations and live concerts in 2021. Specifically, the program's goal is to fully prepare its students during this academic year and bring eight Greek American students to Greece next summer where they will study with local master musicians, absorb this region's culture and present a concert in the heart of Epirus in Pogoni.
Kostas spoke to The National Herald about the program. He said, “The Epirus Ensemble is a vision of mine since 2017. This is when I started the first steps of this program with rehearsals at a smaller scale with musicians in Boston. After two years of preparation, the group of my students and fellow musicians was able to perform in Boston with the master of the Greek Lute Christos Zotos at the age of 81 years old. The current Epirus Ensemble music educational program is an outcome of three years of working and experimenting on its final form.”
The Greek Institute introduces Epirus Ensemble, a new educational program with Artistic Director Vasilis Kostas, composer, laoutist and educator, focusing on the music of Epirus. )Photo: Matthew Muise / poster designed by graphic designer Vasilis Garoufis)
Kostas told TNH that “Epirus Ensemble has 10 students signed up for this first year so far.”
Vasilis Kostas is an acclaimed composer, laoutist and educator from Epirus, Greece and a member of Grammy Award Winning pianist Danilo Perez's Global Messengers group. The Soul of Epirus, his recent Duo Album with legendary Greek clarinetist Petroloukas Halkias was voted 'The Best Album of 2019' by the Balkan World Music Chart while getting positive reviews by international media outlets such as RootsWorld Magazine and New York Jazz City Record. Kostas is a 2019 Artist Fellow in the Traditional Arts in Massachusetts and a graduate of the Masters Program of Berklee College of Music where he was accepted with a full scholarship. He is based in Boston, MA where he presents and teaches the music of Epirus, through workshops and masterclasses, to academic institutions such as Tufts University, Harvard University, and Emerson College. http://www.vasiliskostas.com.
Master of the Greek lute Christos Zotos performed with Vasilis Kostas and Berklee College of Music students and professors as well as special guests in a concert directed by Kostas and supported by The Greek Institute in Boston.
(Photo: Courtesy of Vasilis Kostas)
More information about Epirus Ensemble and about supporting students with scholarships is available via email: [email protected].