09-05-07

 Vicky Leandros

 

Vicky Leandros


Singer

Vicky Leandros, born Vassiliki Papathanasiou, daughter of musician and composer Leandros Papathanasiou (known as Leo Leandros), is a Greek singer with a long international career. She was born August 23, 1952, in Paleokastritsa, a resort on the island of Corfu, in the Ionian Sea.

As her father wanted to expand his career, he went to Germany. Vicky grew up at her grandmother's house until the age of five. In 1957 her parents took her with them. They lived in Hamburg, where she went to a German school. Her parents divorced and she stayed with her father.

Vicky revealed her talent at a very young age and when she was 13 she released her first single, Messer, Gabel, Schere, Licht, which was an immediate success.

In 1967, she received an offer to sing for Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "L'amour est bleu". She finished in fourth place.

This was the beginning of a unique career for her and her father: She was singing in eight languages, with her albums being sold all over the world.

In 1972, she received the second offer to represent Luxembourg at the Eurovision. She accepted and won the contest with the song "Après toi". Translated into English as "Come What May", it was also a big hit in the UK. The total sales of the album up to nowadays have far exceeded the 10 million of copies.

During her career Leandros worked with many well-known composers and producers, such as Kim Fowley, Brad Shapiro and Michel Legrand, and also with conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, and C. Denjean.

In 2000 she started producing her own records. The album "Jetzt" / "Now" was a big success and her own compositions were praised as the best ballads she has sung the last decade.

In 2003 she recorded a new album with songs by Mikis Theodorakis with the Kamerata Orchestra under Mr. Theodorakis's supervision which is already a big success in Germany and central Europe and in Greece too. ("Tragoudi alliotiko"). The media have celebrated her comeback and the reviews are talking for one of the best albums she has ever released. During December 2003 she appeared in many TV shows on German and Greek Television, in the Gala of Jose Carreras and she is planning a big European tour for 2004 which will cover countries like France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Germany, Greece, Cyprus and others.

She is married to Enno Freiherr von Ruffin and has three children (Milana, Sandra, Leandros).

She has received innumerable awards, golden and platinum records from all around the world that have sold more than 100 million albums.

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Vassilis Tsitsanis

Vassilis Tsitsanis


Composer

The greatest composer, versifier and a masterly craftsman of bouzouki of the early years of Greece. He was born in Trikala from Inlanders. Tsarouhas, his father, had a mandoline with which he played almost exclusively thievish songs of his country. Those were the first hearings of little Vassilis along with the byzantine psalmodies which he heard in church. At the age of 11 he loses his father and only then does the mandoline fall in his hands. - which in the meantime has been converted into a bouzouki. During his junior-high school years he also learns violin, taking part with it in local events. The bouzouki, however, even though it isn't worthly considered in the small local society, draws his attention more. He composes his first songs at the age of 15. In the ends of 1936 he comes to Athens in order to study Law. He works in taverns in order to fill his income. In one of them he meets the singer Dimitri Perdikopoulo who takes him to a record company. He records for the first time in 1937, but the main part of his pre-war records is accomplished the following years. The "Arhontissa" is the most famous song he records then but with songs like "Na giati girnao", "Gia auta ta maura matia sou" and many more which are sung by Stratos Pagioumtzis, Stellakis Perpiniadis, Keromitis and Markos Vamvakaris find position in discography. With these songs Tsitsanis introduced a new form of the Popular song which interests a limited number of audience. With these songs he responses to censorship of the Metaxian dictatorship which forbids so much the songs of the rembetical marginals as the obvious eastern melodies. During the years of German Occupation he stays in Thessaloniki, where he works in different kinds of places. He composes a lot of songs which he records after the war when the record-factories open again. "Aharisti", "Bakse tsifliki", "Ta periks", "Nihtes magikes", "Zitianos tis agapis", "Derbederissa" and of course "Sinnefiasmeni Kiriaki". In 1946 he returns to Athens and begins recording again. The decate 1945-1955 is maybe the leading one of his career as he meets the widely acknowledgement in discography and the most replete for him creatively. It brings to the proscenium new voices which serve his songs and bind with him: Marika Ninou, Sotiria Bellou, Prodromo Tsaousaki. "Eimaste alania", "Pira ti strata kai erhomai", "Horisame ena deilino", "Trelos tsigganos", "Peftoun tis vrohis oi stales", "Omorfi Thessaloniki", "Antilaloune ta vouna", "Kane ligaki ypomoni", "Fabrikes", "Pefteis se lathi", "Kavourakia", "Kathe vradi lipimeni", "Ksimeronei kai vradiazei", "Ela opos eisai", are few of the songs for this period. And maybe we should note so much the musical richness as the dexterity in the performance of many of these songs. Characteristic are their introductions - which at sometime were...three: taximi, pre-introduction, introduction- samples of particular study and incredible ease in the musical expression.
As soon as the middle of the decade of the 50's, the scenic of the public song of the wide acceptance changes and some arabian or even indian influences dominate, Tsitsanis tries to be acclimatized without leaving his personal look. He does the same thing during the following seasons when the overflooded atmosphere changes again.
Without ever accepting some of the epochial "fashion", he always presents some songs which can be added to his classics, even though they belong to the old years and have influences from their leading sound. His songs are sung by Kazantzidis, Bithikotsis, Gavalas, Aggelopoulos, Grey, Poly Panou, Haroula Labraki, Stamatis Kokkotas and from a point on especially by himself. From these we refer significantly : "Isos aurio"(1958), "Ta limania" (1962), "Meine agapi mou konta mou" (1962), "Koritsi mou ola gia sena" (1967), "Apopse stis akrogialies" (1968), "Kapoio alani" (1968), "Tis Gerakinas gios" (1975), "Dilitirio sti fleva" (1979). In 1980 by initiative of UNESCO a double record with the title "Harama" is recorded -that's the name of the place in which Tsitsanis appeared the last 14 years of his career and his life. In this record he plays a series of his classics and many improvising pieces in bouzouki.

Vassilios Kokkas

 

Vassilios Kokkas


Composer

Greek-German composer, born in Athens, 1965. General and musical education (composition, piano, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and fuge) in Athens, musical composition studies at the Berlin University for the Arts with Walter Zimmermann (diploma of composition 1996, "navigable music"), and electroacoustic music at the studio for electroacoustic music of the Technical University Berlin.

His works include pieces for various mixed ensembles, symphonic orchestra, choir, electroacoustic music, film music, sound installations, and mixed media pieces and have been performed and broadcasted (tv and radio) in Germany, Greece and Swizerland. Films with his music have been screened and awarded at various art film festivals internationally.

From 1997 to 1999 he was director of the ensemble Mosaik for contemporary music in Berlin, 1998-2000 co-founder and lecturer at the Seminar for Music and Architecture of the Berlin University of the Arts. His topographic piece "Agapi ston kremno - townmaps of Thessaloniki" was performed among the activities of European Cultural Capital Thessaloniki 1997.

He received stipend awards by the Studio for Electroacustic Music of the Berlin Academy for the Arts in 1998, and has been invited by the German KulturFonds to work as a Composer-in-Residence in Ahrenshoop in 2000. In Greece his work has been supported by the Greek Society for Aesthetics and the Michelis Foundation.

Composer's portraits with his works have been presented by IEMA, Athens (1998) and the Moments Musicaux festival for Soundart - Performance - Experimental Music in Aarau, Switzerland (2000).

His works have been performed, among others, by the Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, the Ensemble Mosaik (Berlin), the bass-clarinetist Jürg Frey, the Arte Saxophone Quartet Basel and others known internationally for qualitative work in the field of contemporary music. Occasionally he takes part in his performances as a pianist, conductor or electric sound performer.

Having been studying and working as an independent artist in Berlin since 1990 he is now setting up an experimental music project in Athens, involving media artists of various disciplines and current aesthetic languages.

His sound installation 'Blackbox of Communication' was exhibited last winter inside the engine compartmets of the historic battleship "Averoff" docked by the seaside of Phaleron, Athens, within the framework of the exhibition "The Crew of Another Time".