Armonia Atenea

Performance: Marc Grauwels, flute, Oliver Weder, musical director

Where: Piraeus Society Hall

When: 19 October 2013

Armonia Atenea is the new international name of the Athens Camerata. The orchestra was founded in 1991 by the Friends of Music Society of Athens with the inauguration of the Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall. Since then it has been the resident orchestra of the Megaron. From 2001 the orchestra has spread its main activities between the Megaron and the Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens.Armonia Atenea presents a multifaceted identity, equally at home on period and modern instruments. It encompasses a wide concert repertoire from early baroque to 21st century, as well as opera and ballet productions.
The Echo Klassik winning conductor George Petrou holds the post of artistic director. Former artistic directors have included sir Neville Marriner, Christopher Warren-Green and Alexander Myrat.
The orchestra maintains a busy concert schedule in Athens and also appears in many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals such as the Musikverein (Vienna), the Théâtre des Champs – Elysées (Paris), the Innsbruck Summer festival of Early Music and the Versailles Festival. Future highlights include appearances at the Opera Royal Versailles, the Salle Pleyel, the Theatre an der Wien, the Goethe-Theater in Bad Lauchstädt, the Concertgebouw and the Bucharest Enescu Festival.
The orchestra has a long list of cd releases for companies such as DECCA, MDG, BMG, EMI Classics and ECM Records, always receiving the highest praise from the international press («Diapason 5», BBC music-«Recording of the month» and Opéra-«Découverte»). Recent releases include the world premiere recordings of Handel’s Alessandro Severo and Gluck’s Il Trionfo di Clelia (MDG).The latest recording of Armonia Atenea, Handel’ s opera Alessandro, with a star cast including Max-Emanuel Cencic, Karina Gauvin, Julia Lezhneva and Xavier Sabata that was recently released by DECCA (sponsored by The Friends of Music Society of Athens), received the highest distinctions and critical acclaim from the international music press: Diapason d’ Or, Choc Classica December/January and Choc of the year 2012, Recording of the month December – BBC music magazine, IRR outstanding (January 2013), etc. The recording will be followed by a European tour of the Opera. The orchestra has collaborated with famous conductors such as Fabio Biondi, Thomas Hengelbrock, Philippe Entremont, Christopher Hogwood, Helmut Rilling, Heinrich Schiff, Stephen Kovacevich, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yehudi Menuhin and soloists such as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Leonidas Kavakos, Radu Lupu and also Mischa Maisky.
Contemporary music is another important aspect of the orchestra’ s life. The orchestra often commissions, premiers and records works by many contemporary composers. It also shows great commitment to educational programmes, performing special concerts at schools and all over Greece. In 1996 the orchestra was awarded the Music Prize of the Greek Critics Union for its artistic and educational work.
The orchestra is supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, the Megaron and Demergon – the Daskalopoulos Foundation for Culture and Development. Grand sponsor of the orchestra for 2011-2013 is the Onassis Foundation.

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