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  • Press Release


    2 20 JUNE 2017




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    BBC Music Magazine, March 2012

    Since its inception 17 years ago the International Pharos Chamber Music Festival has established itself as the

    most important annual classical music event in Cyprus, and has gained an international reputation for its

    quality concerts and magnificent settings. Guided by a visionary spirit and dedicated to artistic excellence, the

    Festival is now recognised as one of Europe's preeminent music festivals, having placed Cyprus on the

    international cultural map and garnering enthusiastic acclaim from music lovers all over the world, while it has

    made chamber music more accessible to the general public by presenting exciting programmes and

    performances of the highest level by some of the worlds most renowned soloists. The Festival also maintains a

    strong tradition of community service, with educational concerts organized for students of public schools and a

    number of master-classes for young instrumentalists.

    Organized between 2 and 20 June 2017, the 17th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival welcomes to

    Cyprus some of the most remarkable artists on the international music scene, for an extensive fortnight of

    music-making in two unique venues in Cyprus: the Royal Manor House in Kouklia one of the finest surviving

    monuments of Frankish architecture in Cyprus and a UNESCO World Heritage site, and The Shoe Factory, a

    contemporary recital venue situated in Ermou Street near the buffer zone in Nicosia. Exploring the many forms

    of the chamber music genre, the Festival will encompass an impressive array of instrumental combinations and

    repertoire, ranging from the Baroque to the 20th century, as well as a number of rarely performed masterpieces.

  • THE 2017 EDITION:

    The 17th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival will open on Friday 2 June 2017, at The Shoe Factory in

    Nicosia, with a voice and piano recital by the renowned Danish coloratura soprano Susanne Elmark. In great

    demand around the world for the last twenty years, Elmark has been engaged in houses like Deutsche Oper Berlin,

    Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Teatro Real Madrid, Opera Oslo, Oper Frankfurt,

    Oper Cologne, Opernhaus Zrich, and Royal Opera Copenhagen. For her recital in Cyprus, Susanne Elmark will join

    forces with the international repetiteur Christian Westergaard, winner of the 2015 International Lied Duo

    Competition, in a programme of songs by Debussy, Berg, R. Strauss, Prokofiev and Grieg.

    A week later, on Friday 9 June 2017, The Shoe Factory will welcome the return visit of the sensational young pianist

    Vitaly Pisarenko, winner of the First Prize in the 8th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition and Third Prize

    winner at the 2015 Leeds International Piano Competition. His recital, which is organised in collaboration with the

    Keyboard Charitable Trust in London, will include works by Schubert, Schumann and Liszt.

    After an intensive week of educational activities and master-classes for students from all over the world, the 17th

    International Pharos Chamber Music Festival will move to the Royal Manor House of the ancient village of Kouklia

    near Paphos, which is specifically transformed by the Festival to a first class recital hall. Some of the worlds

    greatest musicians will join forces for six concerts, between 15 and 20 June 2017, in an impressive array of works.

    The Festival will host one of the most renowned names of the great Russian piano school, Sergei Babayan, claimed

    for the immediacy, sensitivity and depth of his interpretations, the rare emotional intensity and bold energy of his

    performances and his extraordinary mastery in exploring stylistically diverse repertoire. Babayan was the first

    pianist from the former USSR who was able to compete without government sponsorship after the collapse of the

    system, and immediately after his first trip outside of the USSR, he won consecutive first prizes in several major

    international competitions including the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Hamamatsu Piano

    Competition and the Busoni International Piano Competition. The Festival will also feature one of the most

    musically dynamic and technically gifted performers of the new generation of pianists, the Gold Medallist of the

    2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Vadym Kholodenko, who is internationally recognised for his

    powerful and exhilarating performances that show the guts of a true super-artist. Alongside them, the Festival is

    thrilled to present the return visit of the amazing Yevgeny Sudbin, hailed by The Telegraph as potentially one of the

    greatest pianists of the 21st century and by the International Record Review as one of the most important pianistic

    talents of our time.

    Besides the Festivals regular guests distinguished cellist and artistic director of the Festival Alexander

    Chaushian, the impressive Russian violinist Boris Brovtsyn, violinists Levon Chilingirian and Monika Urbonaite,

    violists Diemut Poppen and David Abrahamyan, and cellist Tim Park, this years Festival will also host for the first

    time the exceptional violinist Alena Baeva, who is fast emerging as one of the finest violinists of her generation,

    having already carved out an impressive career to date working regularly as a soloist with some of the worlds most

    important orchestras, one of the most brilliant and engaging French violinists of our times Nicolas Dautricourt,

    who has been voted "Classical Discovery of the Year" at the Midem in Cannes and awarded the Sacem Georges

    Enesco Prize, the prodigious violinist Clara-Jumi Kang, prize winner in several major competitions, including, Tibor

    Varga, Seoul, Hannover and Indianapolis violin competitions, and the fascinating violist Jennifer Stumm,

    recognised as one of the worlds dynamic and creative advocates for her instrument, whose TED talk The

    Imperfect Instrument was named editors pick of all talks on ted.com.

    The 17th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival will also welcome the return visits of French cellist Marc

    Coppey, who was discovered by Lord Yehudi Menuhin at a very early age and who is nowadays considered one of

    the leading cellists in the world, the renowned Italian flutist Massimo Mercelli, who is the dedicatee of numerous

    works by some of the most important contemporary composers including Philip Glass, Giovanni Sollima, Sofia

    Gubaidulina and Krzysztof Penderecki, and the newly founded Cyprus Guitar Trio, which comprises three renowned

    classical guitarists from Cyprus Vasilios Avraam, George Christofi and Socrates Leptos.

  • WHAT, WHEN & WHERE: Friday 2 June @ The Shoe Factory, Nicosia: A voice and piano recital with coloratura soprano Susanne Elmark and pianist Christian Westergaard Friday 9 June @ The Shoe Factory, Nicosia: A piano recital with Vitaly Pisarenko in works by Schubert, Schumann and Liszt Thursday 15 Tuesday 20 June @ Royal Manor House, Kouklia: Six chamber concerts with some of the worlds

    most renowned soloists in a wide-ranging programme.

    **Concerts start at 8.30pm

    THE VENUES: The Royal Manor House, Kouklia is one of the finest surviving monuments of Frankish architecture on the island and an unparalleled venue for intimate chamber music performances. The building also houses an archaeological museum, which records the rich history of human activity in the region from about 2800 BC to the present day. The Royal Manor House, which is part of the Cyprus Tourism Organisations Aphrodites Cultural Route, is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Palaipaphos, or Old Paphos, was a city-kingdom of Cyprus and one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centres of the ancient Greek world. It was the site of a famous sanctuary of Aphrodite, the oldest remains of which date back to the 12th century BC. Join us in a leisurely exploration of the history and cultural heritage of the western region of Cyprus. The Shoe Factory, Nicosia is situated in the old part of Nicosia, near the buffer zone. Through it, the Pharos Arts Foundation is helping to revitalize this beautiful and historic section of the capital city by attracting a wide and diversified younger audience. All concerts are characterized by a unique feeling of intimacy and music is performed in an exceptionally inspiring setting: a modern venue decorated with contemporary art by mainly local artists; a venue situated in the run down part of Nicosia that offers the audience the unique opportunity to sit within an amazing proximity to world famous artists and experience performances in a venue like no other.


    Piano: Sergei Babayan, Vadym Kholodenko, Yevgeny Sudbin, Vitaly Pisarenko, Christian Westergaard Violin: Boris Brovtsyn, Alena Baeva, Nicolas Dautricourt, Clara-Jumi Kang, Levon Chilingirian, Monika Urbonaite Viola: Jennifer Stumm, Diemut Poppen, David Abrahamyan Cello: Alexander Chaushian, Marc Coppey, Tim Park Flute: Massimo Mercelli Guitar: Cyprus Guitar trio Soprano: Susanne Elmark

    INFORMATION: PHAROS ARTS FOUNDATION Tel: +357 22-663871 Website: www.pharosartsfoundation.org