Manolis Androulidakis is set to entertain Sydneysiders with a musical recital that brings to life the work of legendary Greek composers and musicians like Mikis Theodorakis, Vangelis and Manolis Chiotis through guitar.
The ‘Greek Music on Six Strings’ concert is part of this year’s Greek Festival of Sydney and will be held at the Verbrugghen Hall of the Conservatorium of Music on Sunday, March 17, at 5pm.
The musician from Crete and Symi is making his very first visit to Sydney to showcase his skill on the guitar wherein he has adapted iconic works by Greek composers past, with the idea having been put forward to him two years ago by the Festival’s Chair, Nia Karteris.
“I had the good fortune of having Ms Karteris attend one of my concerts in Greece in 2022,” Mr Androulidakis told Neos Kosmos.
“At the end of the concert, we met and she pitched the idea to me and my colleague, Ms Maria Vlachos, of performing a concert in Sydney, a suggestion which we enthusiastically accepted.”
The guitarist expressed excitement in re-visiting Australia after many years and connecting with the Greek-Australians, whom he considers as “one of the most active communities in Australia” and “one of the most prominent parts of the Greek diaspora”.
“It is also important for other Australians to learn a different way to approach artistically rich Greek music. While it is being performed with an instrument they do not associate with it, they will come to realise it fits very well and beautifully accentuates the melodies of the major Greek composers.”
He remarked that he remembers Australians as being “genuinely warm and polite”, noting that whenever he has met them overseas, he has discovered “we share a common ‘mediterranean’ mentality”.
“All the Greeks in Australia (from those that came at the beginning of the 19th century all the way to those who migrated during the Greek Financial Crisis) are respected by the other ethnic communities in the country and are well-known for their deep love for Greece,” the musician said.
“I am pleased that there has been a significant attempt over the last few years to promote work of cultural substance.”
The artist stated that attendees will bear witness to a guitar concert that demands a lot from him as a guitarist, playing internationally recognised Greek melodies while also sharing some well-known and not so well-known stories about the songs in between performing them.
Speaking on his task of bringing to life the works of composers past via his expert instrument, Mr Androulakis said that his approach to classical guitar attempts to “combine the good elements of both classical and Greek “λαΪκή” music without losing the aesthetic of each composer”.
“For example, for “Zorbas” to be performed correctly, the audience has to hear two bouzoukia accompanied by an orchestra. In a work of Manolis Chiotis, they have to hear the exceptional playing of the bouzouki soloist. In an instrumental by Vangelis, they have to hear the synthesiser and the choir and in “Serpico” the tenderness of the melody needs to be captured,” he said.
“To achieve this on the guitar, I depend on unusual techniques but I mostly rely on my love for the instrument and the music of our famous musical creators.”
Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket can do so at the following link: bit.ly/greekmusic17032024