Like every year, the Pharos Arts Foundation opens its Fall season with a new edition of the International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival. Reflecting the Foundation’s deep commitment to music creativity and innovation, this was the first festival of new music ever to be established in Cyprus, and since its early days, it has been recognized as one of the most innovative annual events in Europe.
For over a decade, the International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival has been decisive in acquainting the general audience of Cyprus with the music of our times, while it has served as an important platform for composers to collaborate with some of the most eminent soloists and ensembles in the world. The Pharos Contemporary has presented dozens of world premieres, but also numerous Cyprus premieres of neglected masterpieces of the 20th century as well as works by the new generation of composers.
Organised from 5 until 14 October 2022 at The Shoe Factory in Nicosia, the 13th International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival presents four distinct and exciting concerts, alongside an array of ground-breaking interdisciplinary events, such as lectures, workshops, and educational activities for the youth. All concerts start at 8:30pm.
The Festival will open on Wednesday 5 October with a concert from the internationally acclaimed Fidelio Trio. Praised for their “fine performances… leavened with lyricism and compassion…” the Fidelio Trio are enthusiastic champions of the piano trio genre, performing the widest possible range of repertoire on concert stages across the world. Shortlisted for the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, the Fidelios have an impressive list of commissions and first performances from the leading composers of our time, and boast a large discography of highly acclaimed recordings. For their Cyprus debut, the Fidelio Trio will perform works Gabriel Faurè, Sofia Gubaidulina, David Fennessy, and Judith Weir.
The second concert of 13th International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival, on Friday 7 October, is a rare and remarkably captivating event since it presents for the first time in Cyprus the Dutch pan-flute virtuoso Matthijs Koene. Internationally recognised as one of the foremost panpipes players of our time, Koene is celebrated for his ground-breaking vision and approach, which have vastly expanded the technical and expressive capabilities of this ancient instrument, and introduced it to the classical music world. With a repertoire spanning from the early Renaissance to the 21st-century, Matthijs Koene has inspired numerous composers to write pieces for panpipes, and has received several awards, including the Vriendenkrans Prize from the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and a Diapason d’ Or. For his recital in Nicosia, which is supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Cyprus, Matthijs Koene will perform works by Claude Debussy, Steve Reich, Calliope Tsoupaki, Evis Sammoutis, Ron Ford, Roderik de Man and Daan Manneke.
The Ergon Ensemble – one of the leading Greek ensembles of contemporary music – returns to The Shoe Factory on Wednesday 12 October 2022 for a concert dedicated to the great pioneer of 20th century music, Iannis Xenakis, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.
An explorer of the furthest frontiers of music, architecture and thought, Greek composer, music theorist, mathematician, and architect Iannis Xenakis is commonly recognised as one of the most important post-war avant-garde figures. His dazzling mathematical constructions changed the face of music forever, and his organic structures lent poetry to post-war architecture.
Shimmering strings, thundering percussion, heartfelt voices stemming from his inimitable imagery, while his daring imagination empowered audiences and musicians with a passion born out of a tumultuous and traumatic life. This fascinating concert exploring Xenakis’ smaller and lesser-known works is kindly supported by the Embassy of Greece in Cyprus.
The 13th International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival is concluded on Friday 14 October with the exciting sounds of Trio Zukan – one of the most notable and experimental ensembles of the contemporary music scene in the Basque Country, which has emerged from the combination of three uncommon instruments: accordion, percussion and txistu (traditional Basque flute that can be played with one hand, leaving the other one free to play a percussion instrument).
The concert, which is supported by the Embassy of Spain in Cyprus, will include works by Salvatore Sciarrino, Georges Aperghis, Evis Sammoutis, María Eugenia Luc, Francisco Dominguez and Mikel Chamizo.