11 Nov The Artist on the Composer
Third commission: Ioanna Pantazopoulou | A Summer Evening
22, 23, 24 Sep 2023
Visual Arts programme • New production
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera – SNFCC
Starts at: 22/9, 19.30 & 21.00 23-24/9, 19.30
Curators: Giorgos Koumendakis (GNO Artistic Director) – Elina Kountouri (NEON Director)
Artist: Ioanna Pantazopoulou
Architectural design: Fanis Kafantaris, Nikolas Arnis
Lighting: Eleni Choumou
Music: George Crumb Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III)
Piano: Nikos Kyriosoglou, Stefanos Thomopoulos
Percussion: Kostas Argyropoulos, Kazuyo Tsunehiro
The Artist on the Composer –a pioneering programme run by the Greek National Opera in collaboration with NEON – connects contemporary artists with classical music and opera since 2019.
For its third iteration, the programme -curated by GNO’s Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis and NEON’s Director Elina Kountouri- commissions the artist Ioanna Pantazopoulou to create an immersive installation in which visual arts and music invite audiences to discover a magical, fairy tale world.
A Summer Evening is a suspended installation consisting of 135 sculptures that disappear and reappear in a meticulously choreographed sequence, accompanied by the thirty-six-minute music score Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III) by contemporary American composer George Crumb performed live by Nikos Kyriosoglou and Stefanos Thomopoulos (amplified piano) as well as Kazuyo Tsunehiro, Kostas Argyropoulos (percussion).
The work is choreographed progressively, inextricably linked to the music, and reveals a playful yet dystopian environment. A tropical island drawn from Pantazopoulou’s childhood memories of her visits to her father in the Seychelles, where he was Consul General of Greece. A natural landscape resembling to a childhood dream, between the world we know and a blur, uncertain threat. A place threatened by overexploitation yet protected by rituals, myths and the imagination.
Ioanna Pantazopoulou lives and works in New York. She creates sculptural monuments and immersive installations that seek to disrupt and challenge the conventional approach of spaces and objects. Her works overturn the notion of experience and participation and attempt – through unexpected collisions – to create new connections between the past and the present, to what has been lost and recovered. Her works appear in several permanent collections: Solomon R. Guggenheim and MCA Chicago, Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection.
George Crumb (1929-2022) is one of the most important avant-garde contemporary music composers of the 20th century. Crumb established a unique musical language while his work has received, among other prizes, a Pulitzer Prize for music (1968) and a Grammy Award (2001). His work is included in the repertoire of preeminent musical ensembles and organizations around the world.
Makrokosmos is a series of four volumes of pieces for piano, The name alludes to Mikrokosmos, a set of piano pieces by Béla Bartók. The third volume, entitled Music for a Summer Evening is scored for two amplified pianos as well as percussion
Participation in the co-production of Greek National Opera is made possible by a Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] grant for enhancing the GNO’s artistic outreach.
NEON is solely funded by its founder Dimitris Daskalopoulos.
The Artist on the Composer programme – run by the Greek National Opera and NEON – connects pioneering contemporary artists, filmmakers and producers with live performances of orchestral music. For each new commission, the artist communicates and initiates a dialogue with scores by classical composers. Freed from typical musical conventions and storylines, the intention is to reach audiences who potentially was not interested in opera.
The first commission of the programme was to Nikos Navridis in 2019; an installation that extended in all Stavros Niarchos Hall, GNO areas, with live performance of works by Gustav Mahler and György Kurtág.
The second commission of the programme in 2022 was to the award-winning Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos who created Bleat, a short film presented with live performance of works by J. S. Bach / Knut Nystedt and Toshio Hosokawa.