On Tuesday the 13th of November, Christella Demetriou, a talented and acclaimed composer, musician and artist of Cypriot origin, breathed her last in a Melbourne hospital, after a long battle with illness.
Despite her great passion for music and the visual arts, Christella had a delightfully low-key personality. At just 52 years old, she died far too young, and left behind a remarkable body of work which deserves to be better known.
As her close friend the academic Anna Chatzinikolaou informed us, “already late last year, Christella had initiated efforts to promote her musical compositions through a major concert under the auspices of the Onassis Foundation’s House of Letters and Fine Arts in Athens. She also approached the Port Phillip City Council in Melbourne for an exhibition of her paintings at the magnificent St Kilda Town Hall.”
“To illustrate,” continued Anna Chatzinikolaou, “several works of art by Christella Demetriou were part of an exhibition that travelled to various Australian states in 2000-2002; and later, in 2007-2008, were included in an exhibition that travelled around mainland Greece and the Greek islands, as well as being shown in France (Paris). She has often exhibited work in major Athenian art galleries, and indeed has put on exhibitions of solely her own works in venues such as the Titanium Yiayiannos Gallery (2007). The latter was comprised of works inspired by the beauty and popular culture of her beloved island Kythira, and received very favourable reviews. An example of her work is even held in the National Gallery of Greece.
“Moreover, Christella’s university studies in Australia (RMIT, La Trobe and Deakin Universities, and the Victorian College of the Arts) were always directly related to her interests in Fine Arts and in Music. Indeed she holds a Master of Arts degree from the School of Fine Arts of the RMIT.”
“Only a short time ago, her second CD Echo: Sappho, Alcaeus and Other Ancient Greek Poets was produced in Greece (Polytropon, 2017). It features songs with lyrics by ancient Greek poets translated into modern Greek by [acclaimed poet] Sotiris Kakissis. These are sung by Lizeta Kalimeri and Argyris Argyropoulos, and include the participation of Alkinoos Ioannides. Sadly Christella passed away before she could formally launch her new album. It is a truly exceptional production with great thematic variety, and dynamic compositions. It can be seen as a continuation of her first CD Sappho – Cavafy (Polytropon, 2006) which featured erotic songs by these two great poets and a more traditional music, as well as Sotiris Kakissis, Lizeta Kalimeri, Argyris Argyropoulos, and the renowned baritone Spyros Sakkas who sings Cavafy. Both CDs are examples of powerful composition. The loss of Christella Demetriou really leaves a large gap for the Melbourne Greek community, to say the least.”
On Monday 19 November at 6:30 p.m. a Trisagion Service will be offered on behalf of the departed at the Church of St. Demetrios, 380 High Street, Prahran, 3181.
The funeral of Christella Demetriou will take place the next day on Tuesday, November 20th, at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of St. Demetrios, 380 High Street, Prahran, 3181.
Instead of flowers and wreaths you are invited to donate to a fund for the promotion of Christella Demetriou’s most recent musical and visual works. Please donate to the following account:
BANK OF MELBOURNE
BSB No. 193879