The Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) was founded by Dionysis Grammenos only four years ago, during economically very difficult times for the Mediterranean country. Now the orchestra makes its Berlin debut at Young Euro Classic in 2021. Its goal is to introduce young musical talents to the symphonic and operatic repertoire through intensive rehearsal phases. Approximately 150 young Greek instrumentalists studying both in Greece and abroad have participated in the working phases so far. These have included concert performances of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni. One important aspect for the young orchestra is musical education work, in an effort to win new audiences for classical music. The GYSO is orchestra-in-residence at Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall, and operates with funding from the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
The Greek conductor Dionysis Grammenos originally made a name for himself as a clarinettist: a graduate of the Music Academy “Franz Liszt” in Weimar, he was named “European Young Musician of the Year” by the EBU in 2008 and took part in the “Rising Star” series of the European Concert Hall Organization. In the meantime, Grammenos concentrates mostly on his conducting career. Most recently, he worked with Johannes Debus at the Canadian Opera Company on a production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and a performance of La clemenza di Tito at the Aspen Music Festival. The list of orchestras he has conducted ranges from the Festival Strings Lucerne, the German State Philharmonic of Rheinland-Pfalz and the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra to the Athens State Orchestra and the Malta Philharmonic. Most recently, Grammenos appeared in Milan with the Cameristi della Scala and Khatia Buniatishvili as soloist. During the 2021/22 season he is principal conductor of the English Touring opera for a production of Puccini’s La Bohème. Dionysis Grammenos is the founder and chief conductor of the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Five Greek Dances (1931-1936):
Peloponnissiakos “The brave Lyngos” • Dance of Zalongo • Arcadikos • Messolongitikos • Mazochtos
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat-major Op. 55 “Eroica” (1803)
The Beethoven anniversary of 2020 may be history, but of course there are plenty of reasons to perform his works. Especially his Third Symphony, the “Eroica”, which opened the doors to the future in scope and ambition. The Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra thereby commemorates a revolutionary in the truest sense of the meanin: Theódoros Kolokotronis. Born the same year as Beethoven, in 1770, he fought for the liberation of the Greek people, leading the revolution of 1821. Like Beethoven, he was a great admirer of Napoleon’s ideas, who also died 200 years ago this year. Indeed: plenty of reasons for the conductor of the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra, Dionysis Grammenos, to programme the “Eroica” at Young Euro Classic in 2021. It is accompanied by folklore of the very best kind: five of the popular Greek Dances which the Schoenberg student Nikos Skalkottas arranged for orchestra with great sophistication.