The cultural spring season in Cyprus could not reach its pinnacle without the International Pharos Chamber Music Festival. Recognised as one of Europe’s preeminent music festivals and acknowledged all over the world as Cyprus’ most important annual classical music event, the Pharos Festival has steadily and solidly gained an unequalled reputation for the quality of its concerts as well as its enchanting atmosphere and settings.
With an important history of 19 years, the International Pharos Chamber Music Festival has evidently and admirably placed Cyprus, especially the area of Pafos, on the international cultural map: It was the first festival of classical chamber music to have been established in Cyprus, it has so far organised over 150 unique concerts with a vast number of world renowned soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras, and it has created an unprecedented relationship with thousands of audience from all over the globe, who visit the island especially to be part of this exceptionally uplifting music experience.
The International Pharos Chamber Music Festival also maintains a strong tradition of community service, having made chamber music more accessible to the general public and giving the unique opportunity to students in Cyprus to benefit through its educational and outreach activities at absolutely no cost to them!
THE 2019 EDITION:
Organised between 14 May and 6 June 2019, the 19th International Pharos Chamber Music Festivalwelcomes to Cyprus some of the most remarkable artists on the international music scene.
The Festival will open on Tuesday 14 May 2019 at the Pharos Arts Foundation’s recital venue, The Shoe Factory, in Nicosia with a concert by the renowned Belgian ensemble Het Collectief and the celebrated soprano Katrien Baerts, who has been described as “Breathtaking” and “astoundingly beautiful” (Place de l’ Opera), with “a voice and interpretation that are nothing less than a revelation” (Trouw) and “hair-raising feats of vocal agility” (The Telegraph). Their programme consists of an amazing blend of French chamber and vocal repertoire by Ravel, Debussy, Dutilleux and Philippe Gaubert interspersed with pieces by the Finnish Kaija Saariaho who is one of the foremost composers on the planet and one of the leading creative figures of her generation.
For its second concert at The Shoe Factory, on Wednesday 22 May 2019, the 19th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival collaborates once again with the Keyboard Charitable Trust in London, to present for the first time in Cyprus pianist Jiyeong Mun – one of the most exciting young musicians of our times and First Prize winner of the Geneva International Competition in 2014 and the Busoni International Competition 2015. Described as treading on the path of the great Martha Argerich, Jiyeong Mun will deliver a formidable programme of works by Beethoven, Ravel and Chopin.
As always, the highlight of the International Pharos Chamber Music Festival is the series of chamber concerts at the Royal Manor House in Kouklia – one of the finest surviving monuments of Frankish architecture in Cyprus and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This year, the Festival encompasses four concerts, from Saturday 1 until Tuesday 4 June 2019, with some of the world’s most celebrated and finest soloists: amongst them, Alexander Ghindin – unanimously acclaimed by critics and music lovers as one of the most charismatic and original pianists of our times and winner in such prestigious competitions as the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (the youngest ever laureate), the International Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in Brussels, and the Cleveland International Piano Competition; the sensational violinist Christel Lee – First-prize winner of the 2015 International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki; violinists Anna Tifu and Doriane Gable as well as pianist Olga Zado – considered amongst the leading female musicians of their generation; the return visits of the remarkable Lars Anders Tomter (described as the “Giant of the Nordic Viola”), and pianist Ashley Wass(described by Gramophone as “a thoroughbred who possesses the enviable gift to turn almost anything he plays into pure gold”), violist David Abrahamyan and cellist Alexander Chaushian. The Festival will also welcome the wonderful Cypriot soprano Zoe Nicolaidou.
What better way to conclude the 19th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival than by setting up the stage of Pharos’ magical open-air venue, The Olive Grove, in Delikipos? For its final concert, on Thursday 6 June 2019, the Festival has invited the brilliant Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra to team up with soloists Anna Tifu (violin), Christel Lee (violin) and Ashley Wass (piano), under the direction of conductor Yiorgos Kountouris. Surrounded by the idyllic forest of Delikipos, in an exceptional atmosphere and landscape, the audience will indulge in an impressive programme that will include works by Mendelssohn, Sarasate and Vitali.
WHAT, WHEN & WHERE:
Tuesday 14 May 2019 @ The Shoe Factory, Nicosia: Chamber concert with ensemble Het Collectief and soprano Katrien Baerts in works by Ravel, Debussy, Dutilleux, Philippe Gaubert and Kaija Saariaho
Wednesday 22 May 2019 @ The Shoe Factory, Nicosia: Piano Recital with Jiyeong Mun – First Prize winner of the Geneva and the Busoni international competitions – in works by Beethoven, Ravel and Chopin.
Saturday 1 June – Tuesday 4 June 2019 @ Royal Manor House, Kouklia: Four chamber concerts with some of the world’s most renowned soloists (amongst them pianists Alexander Ghindin and Ashley Wass, violinists Christel Lee and Anna Tifu, violist Lars Anders Tomter) in an exciting and wide-ranging programme.
Thursday 6 June 2019 @ The Olive Grove, Delikipos: A grand finale in the open-air with the Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra, soloists Anna Tifu (violin), Christel Lee (violin) and Ashley Wass (piano), under the direction of conductor Yiorgos Kountouris.
**Concerts start at 8.30pm
Donwload the full programme
The Shoe Factory, Nicosia is situated in the old part of Nicosia, near the buffer zone. Through it, the Pharos Arts Foundation is helping to revitalize this beautiful and historic section of the capital city by attracting a wide and diversified younger audience. All concerts are characterized by a unique feeling of intimacy and music is performed in an exceptionally inspiring setting: a modern venue decorated with contemporary art by mainly local artists; a venue situated in the “run down” part of Nicosia that offers the audience the unique opportunity to sit within an amazing proximity to world famous artists and experience performances in a venue like no other.
The Royal Manor House, Kouklia is one of the finest surviving monuments of Frankish architecture on the island and an unparalleled venue for intimate chamber music performances. The building also houses an archaeological museum, which records the rich history of human activity in the region from about 2800 BC to the present day. The Royal Manor House, which is part of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s “Aphrodite’s Cultural Route”, is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Palaipaphos, or Old Paphos, was a city-kingdom of Cyprus and one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centres of the ancient Greek world. It was the site of a famous sanctuary of Aphrodite, the oldest remains of which date back to the 12th century BC. Join us in a leisurely exploration of the history and cultural heritage of the western region of Cyprus.
The Olive Grove, Delikipos is a world-class, open-air concert venue, which aims to deliver relaxed and informal events so that intimacy is developed between the artists and the audience. The venue is surrounded by the idyllic forest of Delikipos and is adorned with wooden decks, shallow pools of water, zen landscaping and a uniquely atmospheric lighting. The audience can relax on the chairs, blankets and pillows with a glass of wine.
THE ARTISTS: (click on each name for biographical info)
Ensemble: Het Collectief and soprano Katrien Baerts
Piano: Jiyeong Mun, Alexander Ghindin***, Ashley Wass, Olga Zado,
Violin: Anna Tifu, Christel Lee, Doriane Gable
Viola: Lars Anders Tomter, David Abrahamyan
Cello: Alexander Chaushian
Soprano: Zoe Nicolaidou
Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Yiorgos Kountouris
INFORMATION & TICKETS:
Tickets: €15 / €10 (Concessions, Members of the Pharos Arts Foundation)
Box Office: www.pharosartsfoundation.org or tel. +357 22663871 (Monday – Friday 10:00am-3:00pm)
Tickets also available from: Kyriakou Fullpage Bookshops: 30 Ellados Ave., 8020 Paphos, Tel:26822850
How to get to Kouklia from Nicosia / Limassol:
On the motorway towards Paphos, take the exit ‘Kouklia-Archimandrita’ (this is the next exit after the exit of Aphrodite Hills). Turn left and drive straight for a few metres until there is a stop sign (facing the sea).
Turn right and follow the main road. Keep following the main road until you see a sign Kouklia and from there, turn right and go up the little hill. You are at Kouklia! If you get there a bit early you will get the chance to see the archaeological site in daylight, get your tickets and enjoy a glass of wine before the concert!
click here for directions to the Olive Grove, Deilikipos