Alkinoos Ioannidis
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Alkinoos Ioannidis

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The Greeks love their singers. Or at least they love Alkinoos Ioannidis: When the in his homeland extremely popular songwriter, singer and guitarist from Cyprus performs in the Katharinenruine, the local Greek community doesn’t let him down – even though at the same time the EC-game between Greece and Russia is taking place! No one should have regretted the decision, because what the sympathetic singer, who is in his mid-thirties, offers at his Nuremberg performance in the framework of the “Südwind” (Southwind) series has, without question, class.
His 4-member band is made up of first class multi-instrumentalists and accordingly varied are the arrangements. Longing, melancholic songs, in which elements of Greek traditional music, rock, jazz or music of the Middle Ages are cleverly integrated. Violin, cello, percussion, piano, e-drums, now and then a mandolin or a harmonica – the sound palette is colorful, but never too much.
Whoever doesn’t speak Greek gets only but a vague impression of Ioannidis’ art, after all the man is nothing less than a song poet. And one, who actually fulfills the expectations of this misused expression. With sensitive, but carrying voice he sings of love, pain, transience and futility.
Not few of the spectators have tears in their eyes. Even though Alkinoos Ioannidis contrasts his lustful melancholy with a humorous and modest stage presence: Sadness doesn’t always have to be heavy.
- Peter Gruner - Zeitung Nuremberg


The Life-feeling of Cyprus in Nuremberg: Alkinoos Ioannidis in the Katharinen-Ruine

When the separation of Cyprus between the Turkish “split-state” and the Greek south still is five years into the future, the now 35-year old singer and guitarist Alkinoos Ioannidis is born in the capital Lefkosia (formerly: Nicosia). As with all islanders does the isolated through the sea island life determine Ioannidis’ life-feeling.
In order to capture this “isolation” poetically did the today in Greece enormously popular musician name his wonderful double live album “Outside of Place and Time”. A title which also stands for the rightful claim of Ioannidis to make “timeless” Mediterranean songwriter-rock, which simply ignores fashion, something that was shown in the most beautiful way in his atmospheric and artfully lighted Südwind (South wind) concert in the Katharinenruine.
The polyglot Alkinoos Ioannidis might at times let himself be inspired to song reflections about the nature and specifically the envy of beauty and the un-exchangeable by the novel of Gabriel García Márquez “A Hundred Years of Solitude” – and finds to his relief that also here in Germany he has met native speakers, who have their trouble with Friedrich Hölderlins “Hyperion”.
Especially the songs of Ioannidis’ new CD “The Adventures of a Pilgrim”, which he presents in the first set in a neoclassical country-rock dress with Papa John Creach (violin), Chris Hillman (Mandoline) and Jane Scarpatoni (Cello), show the small, delicately built singer as a world-open ambassador of peace. “Bospouros” written by Nikos Zoudiaris is such a hymne – and when Ioannidis sings this key song, one can feel first-hand how much he longs for a united Cyprus – after the failed popular vote of 24 January of this year again a utopia.
Spark. - ABENDZEITUNG NÜRNBERG


Discography

Anemodeiktis - Universal Greece -
Oi Peripeteies enos Proskiniti - Universal Greece - 2003
Stin Agora tou Kosmou - Polygram Greece - 1993
Ektos Topou kai Chronou - Universal Greece - 2000
Opos Mystika kai Isicha - Polygram Greece - 1995
O Dromos, O Chronos kai o Ponos - Polygram Greece - 1997
Pou Dysin os Anatolin - Universal Greece - 2006

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Bio

The Cypriot Alkinoos Ioannidis is one of the most celebrated singer-songwriters in Greece. A modern troubadour with strong and rocky pieces, balanced by hauntingly beautiful ballads, he never compromised for commercial success. Nevertheless (or perhaps: because of that), all of his 6 solo albums he has released with Universal since 1993 went gold or platinum and each year his over 60 live concerts throughout Greece and Cyprus fill stadiums with thousands of fans.

Coming from the island that lies at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, Alkinoos Ioannidis, just as all Cypriots, has been formed by a culture that combines traces of Asia Minor, the Ottoman and British Empires, Venetians and Francs, Richard Lionheart, to call some of those who once shed their influence on the island. Imagine the picture of a Turk riding on a camel, while a white-powdered, wigged Franc passes in a horse carriage – at a time this was a normal sight in Cyprus.

His music henceforth resembles this background: at first sight it represents the modern day experience of his own generation that has grown up listening to western rock, jazz and classical music, but at the same time it is penetrated by the modal scales of Cypriot traditional music and it’s predecessors, as well as Greek Rembetika and the so-called “entechno” (artful) music by contemporary Greek composers. Thus to a non-Greek audience his music seems both familiar and accessible, while at the same time it has a fresh and exotic appeal.

Often being called a poet Alkinoos Ioannidis writes very personal, deep and abstract lyrics, which form a significant part of the appeal his songs have for Greek speakers. But language doesn’t form a barrier for non-Greek audiences over the world, who are touched by the way he expresses his views and feelings in his compositions, orchestrations and interpretation (see reviews below and attached).

Performances abroad include New York (Madison Square Garden in 1996, Metropolitan Museum in 1999, Lincoln Center in 2001, Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU in 2004) and London (Hellenic Center in 1998, Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2002), all of which were SOLD-OUT. He furthermore gave concerts at the Summerstage Festival at Central Park in New York in 2002, in Egypt at the opening of the New Library of Alexandria, as well as multiple performances in Germany, Belgium, Spain, Romania, Georgia and France.

Always following his urge to develop musically and his strong interest in all perspectives of music, he studyied composition at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia during the spring of 2006. In the summer of 2006 and 2007 he performed at Stimmen Festival, Germany; Rudolstadt Festival, Germany and Musiac de la Mar in Portugal with great success. His club tour in Germany with an electric quartet in the autumn of 2007 generated an overwhelming response of the audiences in Nuernberg, Frankfurt and Berlin. In December 07 he performed his program of Cypriot Folk songs in Germany.