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Ioanna Forti & Athens Quintet "Dimitris Dounis"

The festival's musical journey begins on 4/8 with a musical coexistence of the major mezzo-soprano singer Ioanna Forti and the Athens Quintet "Dimitris Dounis", a special quintet of plucked string instruments, which was established in 2009 to honor one of the greatest mandolin virtuoso, member of the famous "Athenian Mandolinata" by Nikolaos Lavdas. The program of the Athens Quintet includes a wide range of works starting from Baroque and Vivaldi, the Napolitan Tarantella of Raffaele Calace, the Chitarrata of Spyros Samaras, up to the contemporary soundtrack music (of Nicola Piovani from the film La Vita e bella) but also the Concert of Manos Hadjidakis. Ioanna Forti, one from the most experienced and flexible Greek singers, has excelled in an unusually broad and diverse repertoire, that includes opera, operetta, baroque music, Greek music, musical and rock music.
The Italian rising star in mandolin Raffaele La Ragione will perform, as guest star, with Athens Quintet at their Megaro Gyzi concert. 
Ioanna Forti, mezzo-soprano
Athens Quintet "Dimitris Dounis":
Giorgos Goumenakis, mandolin
Michalis Sidiropoulos, mandolin
Yannis Goumenakis, mandola
Giorgos Theodoropoulos, mandocello
Vassiliki Leondaris, classical guitar
Guest star:
Raffaele La Ragione, mandolin
Photos from the concert΄s evening (4/8/2014)
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.

The European Festivals Association (EFA) has been uniting distinguished music, dance, theatre and multidisciplinary arts festivals from Europe and beyond for more than 60 years.Thanks to EFA’s history and the continuous support of its members, EFA was chosen to implement the pilot project EFFE by the European Commission.

                The first of EFFE’s initiatives is a quality label. This label is given to festivals with an artistic commitment, involvement in their local communities and a European and global outlook.

                Gyzi Megaron Festival has been selected to receive the EFFE Label 2015-2016. It is now part of the EFFE Platform, initiated by the European Festivals Association, which consists of festivals that stand for artistic quality and have a significant impact on the local, national and international level. The Label recipients represent 31 European countries and offer a wide range of genres and activities to their audiences.

2016 has been defined as Greece’s Year in Russia and Russia’s Year in Greece, by an agreement formed as a joint statement, signed by the two countries in October 2013.

                This year aims to build useful partnerships of mutual benefit with substantial development in both countries’ cultural, scientific, business and social relations, expanding Greek accessibility in Russian society, especially the province, opening up new areas of cultural, scientific, academic and business cooperation, and seeking new markets for tourism, Greek products and Greek innovative productivity.




Catholic Bishop Greeting
Artistic Directors Greetings
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Gyzi Megaron Festival 2016
 festival logo  photo booklet fullposter
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