EN CHORDAIS ensemble
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Greece - On Friday, January the 7th, En Chordais Ensemble from Thessalonica and Oriental Ensemble of the National Lebanese Conservatory from Beirut will give a concert of Classical Eastern Music at the Cemal Resit Rey Konser Salonu in Istanbul.

This unique city, which has been the “center of the world” for approximately 1500 years and the place where exceptional masters and innovators of art have lived together, hosts, on the occasion of the concert, some of the most significant and renowned musicians representing two eminent traditions; the Mashriq from the Arabic World, performed By The Oriental Ensemble, And Byzantine And Greek Contemporary Music, Performed By En Chordais Ensemble.
It is quite known that in the eastern Mediterranean and its neighboring lands, a common musical heritage existed for hundreds of years. This musical tradition corresponds to Western classical music; calling it Near Eastern classical music might be appropriate, given that no universal term has been agreed to amongst scholars. Its roots can be traced back to antiquity in this ethnically and socially rich geographical sphere of nationalities and civilizations, which over many centuries enjoyed political and cultural unity.

The concert of January the 7th aims to reveal both this musical coexistence and the mutual musical creation that flourished in the area. It also attempts to bring to surface its multicultural musical character and to indicate the whole procedure of osmosis that has been taking place, creating artistic influences that being preserved until today.

Fulfilling this goal, the repertory of this concert brings together the common musical heritage with the contemporary quest for creative continuation.

This magical trip of music would not be realized unless both ensembles were comprised of prominent musicians. In specific, the members of the ensembles are:
En Chordais Ensemble:

Kyriakos Petras - violin
Kyriakos Kalaitzides - ud
Alkis Zopoglou - qanun
Vassilis Tzortzinis - contrabass
Vaggelis Karipis - percussion
Petros Papageorgiou - percussion
Drossos Koutsokostas - singing
Oriental Ensemble:
Ghada Shbeir - voice
Rima Khcheiche - voice
Imane Homsy -qanun
Charbel Rouhana - ud
Samir Mahmoud Siblini - nay
Ali El Khatib - rek

Toufic Kerbage – artistic director

Financial Support is provided by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.

Sponsors: Eenst & Young and Diopsis Ltd.

Media Sponsors: ÅRÔ3, Årá Kosmos 93.6 and www.cultureguide.gr


- World Music Central


With the East Mediterranean's numerous cultural influences, among them Greek-Byzantine, Persian, Arabic, and Ottoman, the region has a tremendous artistic heritage on which to call. En Chordais is a Greek ensemble that specializes in Byzantine secular music. In this programme, the group collaborates with musicians from Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan in a performance of traditional and contemporary works that illustrates the East Mediterranean's rich musical history.

Among the highlights are Ya Ummallah, a Maronite hymn to be performed by Rima Khcheich* in Syriac-Aramaic - the language spoken by Jesus Christ; and Aidonia tis Anatolis (Nightingales from the East), drawn from the historical manuscripts kept in the libraries of lveron and Xeropotamou monasteries on Mount Athos. There will also be a striking collaboration between percussionist virtuosi Misirli Ahmet from Turkey and Ziya Tabassian from Iran who use their own musical vocabulary to create an extraordinary dialogue between the two great civilizations, combining tradition and modernity.

To preserve the region's cultural legacy and develop it further, En Chordais regularly tours Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East, appearing at international arts festivals and taking part in cultural exchanges. In 2003, En Chordais was commissioned by the European Union to lead the MediMuses Project, which aims to promote Mediterranean music around the globe through concerts, publications and symposia.

- Mediterranean Arts Festival of Hong Kong


HFC in Odessa organizes festivities (23 – 25 March) on the occasion of the Greek Independence Day. Central event this year is the concert by “En Chordais” about “Musical traditions of Mediterranean (23 March, Concert Hall, Philarmonic Orchestra in Odessa).

The Hellenic Foundation for Culture decided to invite “En Chordais” because “with its programme pushes forward common traditions and elements of the learned and traditional secular musical creation of Mediterranean, a multicultural area with an obvious common musical heritage”, explains the President of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Professor G. Babiniotis in his prologue to the catalogue accompanying the exhibition.

The European Commission declared 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. HFC participates in this European initiative and organizes “a series of events on the subject of immigration” asserts Professor G. Babiniotis. “The concert by En Chordais is part of this programme of events, emphasizing the importance of intercultural dialogue”.
The concert is organized in collaboration with the Prefectural Committee of Odessa. - HELLENIC FOUNDATION FOR CULTURE


Discography

"Exoria" (Exile) Contemporary musical creation by Kyriakos Kalaitzides, that conjoins the symphonic sound with the modal sound as a journey from West to East. Label EN CHORDAIS, May 2005.
"Petros Peloponnisios" Secular and Ecclesiastical Music composed by Peter the Peloponnesian, the great composer of the 18th century.
Label EN CHORDAIS, December 2005.
"Zakharia Khanendeh"
Secular and Ecclesiastical Music composed by the great composer of the 18th century. Label EN CHORDAIS, October 2001.
"Sounds of Castles", songs for the Castles from all around Greece with Chronis Aidonidis, Giasemi & Nikos Saragoudas, Christo Zoto, Panagioti Laleza et all. Label EN CHORDAIS, November 2004.
"Secular Music from Mount Athos Codices of Byzantine Music"
A CD recording included in the edition of the written report Volume of parallel cultural events, that were represented during the Treasures of Mount Athos, exhibition which was organized by the Organization Cultural Capital of Europe, Thessaloniki 97. OCCET '97, May 2001.
"Sea of Memories"
A double CD with airs and melodies of Oenoussae islets and Chios, performed by En Chordais and local musicians. Oinoussian Maritime Museum and En Chordais Organization. Label EN CHORDAIS,September 1999.
"Prosmone" (Expectation)
Contemporary compositions of the members of the Music Ensemble En Chordais and prominent compositions of older-times. Label EN CHORDAIS, April 1997.
"Leyla and Majnoun"
Music composed for the love poem written by the 16th century Iraqi poet Fazli, translated and recited by Thomas Korovinis. Lyra Records, January 1996.
EN CHORDAIS also performs in:
"Carrefour de la Mediterranee", in collaboration with the ensemble CONSTANTINOPLE, Radio Canada, Montreal 2004.

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Bio

En Chordais is a workshop of sounds of the Eastern Mediterranean and neighbouring lands, based in Thessaloniki. The Music Ensemble along with the Music School, the Books' Publishing and Label offers an extremely broad perspective of music in Greece.
En Chordais ensemble is active in the domain of multicultural, learned and popular musical traditions of the Mediterranean & Balkans, exploring both their creative continuity and their meeting with contemporary musical trends, in a fusion mood. Through an osmotic procedure the group successfully combines Byzantine and art music of Mediterranean with Greek regional idioms and contemporary music, combining in their performances interiority with moments of traditional festiveness and intense humour.
The group has appeared innumerable times at Festivals in Greece, the neighbouring Balkans, and the rest of Europe, as well as in cities of the Arab world, Asia, and Canada, and has cooperated with distinguished Greek and foreign artists.
An undoubtedly notable recognition of the contribution of En Chordais to Mediterranean music was the fact that it was honored with the official nomination of the Greek department of UNESCO for the Sharjah 2007 award for the promotion of Arabic Culture.
Recently En Chordais was awarded -during his performance at Babel Med 2007- with the "Prix France Musique des Musiques Du Monde", an award given by RADIO FRANCE that offers to the ensemble the opportunity to release an album with the French label Occora ,having a worldwide distribution by Harmonia Mundi.
En Chordais activities, concerts and discography, have been largely publicized, with enthusiastic reviews to significant musical magazines as well as on line articles, presentations, interviews, TV and Radio emissions (BBC world service, TV 5, Radio CANADA, Radio FRANCE, Turkish Radio Television, Al Jazira, ÅRT etc).