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Dimitris Sgouros to perform with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, April 8, 2006
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Dimitris Sgouros to perform with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra

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The Greek pianist is widely acclaimed for his artistry and virtuosity and will be delighting Ankara music lovers tonight with pieces by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

  World-renowned Greek pianist Dimitris Sgouros will be the guest soloist of tonight's concert by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra (BSO).

  Sgouros will perform piano "Concerto No. 5 'Emperor' in E flat major Op. 73" by Beethoven and "Symphony No. 4 in F minor Op. 36" by Tchaikovsky accompanied by the BSO under the baton of maestro Emil Tabakov.

  Sgouros, considered one of the most outstanding pianists of the 21st century, is widely acclaimed for his superlative artistry and virtuosity. Since the tender age of seven he has performed in major cities and countries across five continents, and he is now firmly established as one of the leading pianists of the younger generation.

  A press conference was held yesterday at the Greek Embassy with the participation of Greek Ambassador George Yennimatas, Sgouros and BSO conductor Işın Metin as well as some other embassy officials.

  Speaking at the conference Yennimatas said he was pleased that such intercultural activities benefited the existing cultural cooperation between Turkey and Greece and thanked the Greek pianist for further contributing to the endeavors the embassy has been seeking for collaboration in this field.

  Noting that although Sgouros was quite young, Yennimatas said: “He serves as an art ambassador. He represented his country in many countries, including in the United States, France and England, and now I am quite happy that he will perform today with the magnificent Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and Emil Tabakov.”

  “The most amazing thing is that he performed Rachmaninoff's "Piano concerto No. 3" when he was only 12 and gained fame at that young age,” he noted.


It is not so easy to perform Beethoven:

  Sgouros said he visited Turkey for the first time in 1989 for a concert and was well received, adding: “I received several concert proposals after that, and it was in June 2000 that I came to Turkey for the second time and, upon the request of İhsan Doğramacı, the founder of Bilkent University, I performed an opening concert at the Bilkent Odeon with conductor Gürer Aykal, the then conductor of the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, for around 4,000 people, which was a great honor for me.”

  He said he also later performed with the Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra in Turkey, adding, “This time, I'm here at the invitation of my friend Emil Tabakov”

  Noting that performing Beethoven was not easy, he said: “His 'Piano Concerto No. 5,' which we will perform today, for instance, has specific characteristics and details. It is even more difficult performing such a piece in Germany, Beethoven's home country, in which there is a general impression that artists of other nationalities can't perform Beethoven.”

  “Yet I have been performing such pieces in Berlin and Vienna for around 20 years, and I believe performing the piece well with such an experience,” he said. “It is also a great honor to present this piece with such a professional orchestra and master.”

  In response to a question from a member of the press regarding his thoughts as an artist on the relations between the two countries, Sgouros said, “I don't think there is a situation separating the two nations. I have Turkish friends from my former visits, and that number only grows when I come here,” adding that he had played a role in proposing a concert by the Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra in Athens to Greek officials.  

  Stating that he liked Rebetika, a popular urban genre that merges Greek and Turkish elements, he also said he liked Turkish music and that there were excellent musicians in Turkey.

  “I like Leyla Gencer and İdil Biret. Actually, I don't differentiate in music. I like Turkish and Greece folkloric tunes. But my preference is classical,” said Sgouros. 

  The concert will be held at the Bilkent Concert Hall at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for tonight's concert are available at Dost bookstores (Kızılay, Kavaklıdere, Ankuva), Beymen (Karum), Diapason music store (Kavaklıdere) and the Sanat Akademi (Art Academy) in Kavaklıdere. 

  Service buses will also be provided free of charge from Tunus Caddesi and Sıhhiye Köprüsü and from the bus stop in front of the National Library one hour before the concert's start time.


About Dimitris Sgouros:

  Born in Athens in 1969, Dimitris Sgouros began his career as an eight-year-old prodigy at the Athens Conservatory. At the age of 12, he made his Carnegie Hall debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich, performing Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto No. 3."

  He has recorded 10 albums, with compositions for solo piano by Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Mozart.

  In addition to being a world-renowned pianist, Sgouros is adept at combining education and art. He has been invited to give lectures at the University of Athens, the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Bilkent University in Ankara, the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and the New Conservatory in Thessaloniki.


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