The timeless genius of Tchaikovsky will be highlighted in an upcoming concert in Sydney which will be under the conducting of young Greek-Australian Panagiotis Karamanos, who plays nine instruments and aspires one day to play all the instruments of the orchestra.
In Mr Karamanos’ words, the performance will include Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky’s iconic Piano Concerto, played by the award-winning Classical pianist, scholar, and recording artist, Nicholas Kennedy.
Alongside this masterpiece, the orchestra will be playing the Swan Lake Suite, another famous work of the Russian composer.
The concert will take place on Saturday, November 25 in the Verbruggen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, which is very familiar to Mr Karamanos as he had studied there for many years.
The conductor expressed that concerts like this are extremely demanding and that preparation for them starts months ahead.
“It involves choosing the music pieces and putting the program together, sourcing the music scores for each musician, choosing the musicians, organising rehearsal times and venues, rehearsing, advertising, printing the programs and much more,” Mr Karamanos told Neos Kosmos.
He described “Swan Lake” as a “highly romantic piece of music” that incorporates all aspects of the orchestra.
“Tchaikovsky is well known for how he utilises the entire orchestra in wonderful ways to create beautiful orchestral sounds and colours,” the 27-year-old conductor said.
“This timeless masterpiece is usually associated with ballet performances, and whilst this performance won’t have any dancers on stage, the music is written in such a way that you can imagine exactly what the dancers would be doing in your imagination. For this reason, it is brilliant writing.”
Mr Karamanos will be performing the concert with Modést Orchestra, which he founded in 2015 while still at university as a means of holding a performance with Greek orchestral music at the Conservatorium.
“Following that Greek concert, we had another one featuring the Russian composer, Modést Mussorgsky’s famous piece “Pictures at an Exhibition”. It was due to the fact we were playing this piece of music that we decided to call ourselves the Modést Orchestra,” he said.
“We also liked how it was also a clever way of expressing that we are an authentic orchestra, full of humble yet extremely talented musicians. We are not just modest musicians, we are Modést musicians.”
The 27-year-old conductor has been playing music for 20 years and has extensive musical education, attending the Conservatorium High School where he majored on trumpet before going to the Conservatorium of Music to further his studies in university for an additional four years.
“It was in university that I discovered conducting, and I was taught by many great conductors in Sydney such as George Ellis, Richard Gill and John Lynch,” he said.
“I have played and conducted many different styles and genres ranging from Music Theatre to Symphonic Orchestral music to Greek Music”
Mr Karamanos, who was born in Athens and came to Australia as a nine-month old baby, revealed that it is his personal mission to be able to play all the instruments of an orchestra.
“As a conductor it is important for me to know how all the instruments in the orchestra work on an incredibly detailed level. Currently, I play nine instruments and will continue learning more until I learn the entire orchestra,” he said.
In order of competency, he can play the trumpet (which he has played since ten), euphonium, trombone, double bass, bass guitar, bouzouki, guitar, piano and the bandoneon.
The 27-year-old conductor with roots from Sparti and Kalavryta revealed that he taught himself how to play the bouzouki, having taken on a couple of students, and that he recently acquired a baglamadaki.
“I love singing, playing, dancing and listening to Greek music. I like all genres from Traditional songs and Rebetiko to Neo Kyma and Modern music,” he said.
In addition to his conducting, Mr Karamanos also teaches music to High School students from Years 7-10 which is another area he is keenly invested in.
“I am passionate about the education of students from Kindergarten-Year 12 and believe that the benefits music brings to the student’s overall development is incomparable,” he said.
“For this reason, I enjoy giving students the opportunity to experience high quality music education through the medium of orchestral repertoire.”
Tickets for the concert are available here.