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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cultural Centre MEGARO GYZI

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Megaro Gyzi, one of the few 17th-century old family mansions to have survived the earthquakes of 1956.  The Gyzi Megaro is a structure of exceptional architectural interest and beauty, to which (following the 1956 earthquakes) only the basement remained, where the utility room of the old estate was. It is a unique building of its era in Santorini, since the ground floors develop around a patio, which attributes a distinctive architecture due to the inner open area created; this is partly covered with an elegant cross-shaped dome and partly uncovered. The Megaro΄s front entrance decorates the Gyzi family crest. 

With the support and contribution from the Catholic Diocese of Santorini it has been carefully restored in a way that it retains much of its original character in an effort to preserve those distinct features of the local architectural heritage. The building was modified minimally to meet the functional demands of a Cultural Centre accommodating exhibition space and facilities for cultural events.




The Cultural Centre MEGARO GYZI, since its establishment and particularly during the tourist season, organizes cultural events, such as painting exhibitions, concerts, music recitals, theatrical performances, photographic exhibitions, book presentations, which attract the interest of the local residents and the numerous tourists of the island.

From 2007 and onwards the Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi has been organizing annually during August (1-23/8) the Megaro Gyzi Festival, a festival of various cultural events including music concerts, art & painting exhibitions, theatrical performances etc. The Artistic Director of Megaro Gyzi Festival for 8,5 years (from September 2006 until the end of January 2015) was Yannis Papaconstantinou, who organized with great success this prestigious festival for eight consecutive years. All visitors, foreign and Greek, enjoy these events at no charge, since there is a free general admission policy. These activities of the Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi positively contribute to Santorini's cultural life for both the local residents of the island and its numerous friends and visitors.

During the eight years 2007-2014 under the artistic direction of Yannis Papaconstantinou approximately 300 artists appeared in Megaro Gyzi. In the 8 Festivals were held 52 music concerts with 180 artists (25 of them were foreigners from 15 different countries), 9 painting exhibitions with 84 artists, 4 children's performances with seven artists. And yet, off Festival, 7 solo painting exhibitions of Santorinian artists, 2 photo exhibitions of foreign artists who live on the island, 4 presentations of books about Santorini, and also other musical evenings. Also, since 2008 Santorini through Megaro Gyzi joined the network of the European Festival of Music.

The Megaro Gyzi Festival, this August feast of culture, has been established as an institution in the cultural events of the summertime in Santorini, upgrading the cultural life of the island and attracting the special interest of the local community and the visitors of the island.





The Coordinating Body of EFFE - Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, is delighted to inform you that the Megaro Gyzi Festival has been selected to receive the EFFE Label 2015-2016. Your application was approved by our International Festival Jury following successful evaluation by the Hub Experts on a national level. Megaro Gyzi Festival 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. Through developing community and creativity within Europe, you and all your colleague festivals make Europe a better place.



For 25 years, from 1981 until 2006, Mrs. Tereza Kokkalaki, member of the Board of Directors of the Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi, had the artistic management of the cultural events.

Amongst all those events, we must point out the Painting Exhibitions by renowned Greek artists, with Santorini as theme, like Paris Prekas, Opi Zouni, Panagiotis Gravvalos, Anna Mendrinou, Meropi Preka, Kostas Plakotaris, Petros Zouboulakis, Markos Venios, Dimitris Darzentas, Christoforos Asimis, Sofia Kalogeropoulou, Themis Kontogouris, Alexandros Mavroidis and so on.

One must also notice the musical evenings featuring Concerts by well-known Greek and international artists. Some of those important artists, who have appeared all these years in Megaro Gyzi, are the famous Bulgarian pianist Jenny Zacharieva (one of the best pianists worldwide), the also Bulgarian Nina Maleeva (harp) and Darina Maleeva (violin), the famous artist from Korea Yang Woo Suk (flute), the Bulgarian Svilen Simeonov (clarinet), the Belarussian Aggelina Tkacheva (cymbel), the Russian pianists Alexei Miroshnikov and Natalia Miroshnikova, the Russian Christophor Miroshnikov (cello), the Russian pianist Tatiana Mitchko, the Greek bass singer Hristoforos Staboglis, the soprano Anna Alexopoulou, the mezzo-soprano Irini Karayanni, the Greek singers Melina Botelli, Nena Venetsanou and Melina Tanagri, Ross Daly with his group, Nelli Semitekolo (piano), Dimitris Semsis (violin), Stella Gadeli (flute), Dora Satolia (piano), Vagelis Boutounis (guitar), Yannis Zouganelis (tuba), Manos Avarakis (harmonica and recorders), the Early Music Kelsos Ensemble, Thodoros Kerkezos (saxophone) and many others.

Furthermore, the theatrical group "Erasitehniki Skini Athinon", founded and managed for 70 years (1930-2000) by the unforgettable Santorinian artist Yannis Alexakis (1909-2000), gave Theatrical Performances in Megaro Gyzi almost every year around October 28th, presenting plays of the Greek and classical repertoire with enormous success and many spectators from the local residents of the island.

From September 2006 the artistic management of the cultural events has been taken over by Mr. Yannis Papaconstantinou, an art-lover collector and new member of the Board of Directors of the Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi. He intends not only to continue this cultural contribution, but also to expand the already high qualitative standards by giving a new boost in the events of the Festival and the general Cultural Centre΄s philosophy.