Michalis Andronikou, Ph.D Highlights Memorable Performances of Fall 2021

Post and images provided by Michalis Andronikou.

In October and November 2021, I was privileged to have some performances of my music that I composed in the summer of this year, along with other pieces that were written in the previous years.

To name the most important of them, I had a symphonic piece premiered by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, titled “Famagusta 1974.” This is the third piece of mine that this orchestra performed, and it has a special importance for me. Famagusta is the city where my family is from. Although I was born in Limassol after the Turkish invasion of 1974, I always had a sense of displacement. This alienation is possibly one of the reasons I became an immigrant. I grew up with stories about Famagusta and, along with my family, have experienced the pain of its memory. Famagusta exists in my music as an idea, as a memory, as a light, and a hope for eventual return. The piece was premiered in Nicosia, Cyprus, on the 29th of October 2021.

On the 11th of November, my piece “Equilibrium” was performed by the Ensemble du Bout du Monde. The Ensemble du Bout du Monde (EBM) is an award-winning collective made up of four classically trained saxophonists from Israel, Italy, and the United States, living in Belgium, France, and Switzerland. As a contemporary ensemble, they are constantly searching to place art in unexpected and truly unique situations.  Equilibrium is a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. This is the necessary state of life for a composer to create, although it is very rare. As the Lebanese author Gibran Khalil Gibran eloquently mentioned in one of his poems, “the poet’s death is life” and this does not seem to improve with time. This piece is written as a wish for better times, and as a prayer for the arts and all creative people.

On the 12th of November my piece “Übermensch?” was performed by the Black Page Orchestra. Founded in 2014 in Vienna, Black Page Orchestra is an ensemble for radical and uncompromising music of current times. The name derives from Frank Zappa’s composition the black page, a piece which its score is, due to the high density of notes and musical events, nearly a black paper. Beside this clear aesthetical approach, the ensemble focuses on compositions using electronics, video, and different technologies in an artistic context as well as pieces with performative character. The term “Übermensch” is a fundamental concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. In his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche has his character Zarathustra posit the “Übermensch” (Superhuman), as a goal for humanity. The question mark in the title of the piece indicates a doubt whether we are headed in the right direction.

On the 13th of November, three piano pieces of mine, named after the three national parks of Alberta (Banff, Kananaskis, and Jasper), were performed at the final concert of the 10th International Festival of New Music in Cyprus, by the renowned pianist Christos Fountos.

Michalis Andronikou, Ph.D
Michalis Andronikou, Ph.D