Raffaele La Ragione, mandolin
|HD videos from the concert's evening (4/8/2014)|
Ioanna Forti, mezzo-soprano
Ioanna Forti was born in Athens. She studied piano, music theory and singing.She began to sing professionally in 1993 as a member of the ERT (Hellenic Radio) Choir. As a soloist, she debuted in 2000 at Carnegie Hall, New York.
She is one of the most experienced and versatile Greek singers, having distinguished herself in an unusually wide and eclectic repertoire, including opera, operetta, baroque music, classical and popular Greek music, musical theatre and rock music.
She has collaborated with many important composers, conductors, singers and directors, both in Greece and abroad, as well as with most notable Greek cultural institutions (Greek National Opera, ERT Orchestra and Choir, Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls, Athens Festival, Dimitria Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre, Orchestra of Colours, Mikis Theodorakis Orchestra, Latinitas Nostra Early Music Ensemble, Vasistas Theatre Group, BIOS Cultural Centre etc.). Lately, she has been collaborating with "The Beggars’ Operas” Music Theatre Company and the Neuköllner Oper, Berlin.
She has participated in seven CDs with works by Greek composers. Most notable is the recording of Mikis Theodorakis’s Zorbas Ballet, Adagio, Carnaval with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Charles Dutoit (DECCA), which was voted Best Classical Record of 2004 by the New York Times.
Athens Quintet “Dimitris Dounis”
The Athens Quintet “Dimitrios Dounis” was founded in honor of one of the greatest mandolin virtuosos, member of the prominent “Athenian Mandolinata” of Nicolaos Lavdas at the beginning of the 20th century, who became internationally known as one of the most important violin teachers due to his innovative teaching methods. Less well known, however, is his activity as a mandolin soloist, which allowed him to play major tours in USA and Europe, using always a pseudonym, so that he could not be recognized as the already famous violin teacher.
In 2010, Athens Quintet performed at Bergamo (sala Locatelli) and Cremona (teatro filodramatici) in Italy, honoring “Athenian Mandolinata” and its conductor on the occasion of the centenary of its award-winning performance in the same town. The Quintet has also given concerts at F. Nakkas and Athenaeum conservatories, the Philarmonic Society of Patras Conservatory and “C. Palamas” Hall of Athens University.
In 2013 they participated in the recording of an album entitled “Greek Rhapsody” with selected works of Greek composers, in a co-production with Orchestra di mandolini e chitarre “Citta di Brescia”, Athenian Mandolinata “N. Lavdas” and orchestra leaders Claudio Mandonico and Ugo Orlandi.
Beyond an authentic classical repertoire, Athens Quintet “D. Dounis” aspires to contribute to the promotion of the history of plucked string instruments (mandolin, mandola, mandocello, guitar), by encouraging and promoting the creation of contemporary works.
Guest star: the Italian rising star in mandolin Raffaele La Ragione.