Greek musical virtuosos from Istanbul, NikoTeini duet, are set to make their Australian debut in March, thanks to the initiative of Sydney-based Melisma Ensemble led by director Dimitri Koubaroulis. The duet, comprising esteemed Greek musicians Nikos Papageorgiou and Asineth Fotini Kokkala, will showcase their talents with Nikos on the lavta (Istanbul lute) and Fotini on the kanun (zither), instruments rarely heard in the Australian contemporary music scene.

Asineth Fotini Kokkala (Kanun). Photo: Supplied

Drawing inspiration from the rich musical traditions of Greece and Turkey, as well as contemporary compositions crafted specifically for them, NikoTeini will join forces with the Melisma Ensemble to present an enchanting evening of Greek urban folk and Anatolian melodies in Sydney on March 3.

Following this exclusive performance, the duet will embark on a tour across Melbourne, Adelaide, and Tasmania, organised by the Greek Fringe.

Reflecting on their upcoming Sydney concert, Nikos and Fotini shared, “Our musical journey began in 2019 as we immersed ourselves in the study of music together.

Throughout the challenges of the Covid lockdowns, we remained dedicated to sharing our passion every Monday through our YouTube channel, employing nothing more than a mobile phone to capture the essence of our music. Our repertoire spans classical and folk modal traditions from Greece and Turkey, interspersed with newer compositions that resonate with our style.”

Nikos Papageorgiou (Lavta). Photo: Supplied

The duo’s journey has evolved to include collaborations with esteemed musicians through their YouTube channel sections, ‘NikoTeini & friends’ and ‘NikoTeini & composers,’ which showcase their innovative approach to musical interaction.

In their Australian tour, they eagerly anticipate collaborating with the Melisma Ensemble, renowned for their performances of Byzantine Chant and music from the art and folk traditions of Greece and the broader Eastern Mediterranean region.

Melisma Ensemble, under the guidance of Dimitri Koubaroulis, aims to make these diverse musical traditions more accessible to the Australian audience while fostering meaningful connections and creative exploration.