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Chamber music comes to the mythical land of the centaurs

in central Greece

January 9, 2019: The program for the 2019 Thessaly Chamber Music Festival was announced today by Chamber Music Hellas President Vasos Papagapitos, and Artistic Director, Lowell Liebermann.


Set in the mythical land of the gods in central Greece, the Thessaly Chamber Music Festival, now in its second year, will take place June 14-24, 2019 and will offer seven concerts of iconic masterpieces of the chamber music literature alongside compositions of Greek classical composers, as well as other neglected and unusual masterworks. The performances will be offered free of charge to the residents of the region and Master Classes are planned at the music conservatories in Larissa and Volos.

The accomplished artists ― violinist/violist Ida Kavafian, violinist Daniel Phillips, violinist Cathy Meng Robinson, violist Steven Tenenbom, cellist Keith Robinson, flautist Tara Helen O’Connor, and pianist William Hobbs ― will concertize in such unique venues as a 3rd-century BC theater and an 18th-century church covered with Byzantine frescoes.

Chamber Music Hellas has organized a tour for American visitors who, in addition to attending the concerts, will enjoy a nine-night stay in the ancient land of Thessaly, home of Mount Olympus, as well of that of the “god-like” Achilles, the hero of Homer’s Iliad, and Jason, who led the Argonauts in quest of the Golden Fleece. The tour will explore its most interesting towns, villages and historic sites, including Larissa, Thessaly’s vibrant and cosmopolitan capital; awe-inspiring Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, gigantic rocks on top of which are monasteries built by hermits some 600 years ago; the progressive city of Trikala, the reputed birthplace of Aesculapius, the god of healing; the dynamic port city of Volos; and spectacular Pelion, with its unspoiled villages. They will also visit the area’s ancient sites, including Dion, at the foot of Mount Olympus, and Dimini, whose existence dates from the Neolithic period. These will be interspersed by talks by Guest Lecturer Prof. Jeremy McInerney, Professor of Classics and Chair, Graduate Study in Ancient History, University of Pennsylvania, as well as by pianist William Hobbs, who will discuss the Festival’s musical selections.

Concert Programs


Sunday June 16th: Ancient Theater of Larissa (outdoors)

Theodorakis: Sextet for Flute, String Quartet and Piano

O’Connor, Phillips, Meng-Robinson, Tenenbom, Robinson, Liebermann

Moszkowski: Suite for Two Violins and Piano in g minor Op.71

Phillips, Kavafian, Hobbs



Liebermann: Sonata for Flute and Piano Op.23

O’Connor, Liebermann


Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat Major Op.44

Hobbs, Kavafian, Meng-Robinson, Tenenbom, Robinson

Monday June 17th: Folklore Museum, Larissa: William Hobbs Piano Recital

Constantinidis: Danses

Chopin: Mazurkas

Hadjidakis: Ionian Suite

Debussy: Suite Bergamasque


Hatzis: Through a Glass Darkly

Schumann: Fantasy in C major

Tuesday June 18th: Archaeological Museum, Dion

Theodorakis: Petite Suite for String Quartet

Phillips, Meng Robinson, Tenenbom, Robinson

Beethoven: Serenade in D major Op.25

O’Connor, Kavafian, Tenenbom


Bach: Suite No.3 in C major BWV 1009


Mozart Flute Quartet in D major K.285

O’Connor, Philips, Tenenbom, Robinson

Wednesday June 19th: La Veranda, Portaria

Liebermann: Sonata for Violin and Piano Op.46

Kavafian, Liebermann

Bax: Sonata for Viola and Piano

Tenenbom, Hobbs


Chopin: Sonata for Cello and Piano in g minor

Robinson, Hobbs


Thursday June 20th: Aghia Marina, Kissos

Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Christ Op.51

Phillips, Meng-Robinson, Tenenbom, Robinson


Friday June 21st: Volos Conservatory

Liebermann: Chamber Concerto No.1 Op.28

Kavafian, Liebermann, Phillips, Meng-Robinson, Tenenbom, Robinson

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.5 BWV 1050

O’Connor, Phillips, Hobbs, Kavafian, Meng-Robinson, Tenenbom, Robinson


Chausson: Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet

Kavafian, Hobbs, Phillips, Meng-Robinson, Tenenbom, Robinson

Sunday June 23rd: Aghios Nikolaos, Portaria

Widor: Serenade for Flute, Violin, Cello, Piano and Harmonium

O’Connor, Phillips, Robinson, Hobbs, Liebermann

Dimitris Gouzios: The Battle of Marathon for Cello and Piano

Robinson, Liebermann

Bach: Orchestral Suite No.2 in b minor BWV 1067

O’Connor, Phillips, Meng-Robinson, Tenenbom, Robinson, Hobbs



Hermann Mohr: Zigeunermusik

Phillips, Kavafian, Meng-Robinson, Hobbs, O’Connor, Robinson, Tenenbom, Liebermann

Hubert Leonard: Serenade Humoristique a l’Espagnole for Three Violins and Piano

Kavafian, Phillips, Meng-Robinson, Hobbs

Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals

Kavafian, Phillips, Meng-Robinson, O’Connor, Tenenbom, Robinson, Hobbs, Liebermann

About Chamber Music Hellas

Chamber Music Hellas (CMH) is a non-profit organization that organizes and operates classical chamber music festivals in regions of Greece that remain outside the country’s main tourist destinations. CMH aims to contribute to the cultural, educational and economic life of the regions where the festivals are held, while introducing travelers to places in Greece that have retained their original character, with the added dimension of enjoying concerts of classical music held mostly in unique historic venues

Vasos Papagapitos, President, was born on the Greek island of Rhodes. He moved to New York in the early 1960s to continue his education. In 1969 he co-founded a travel company whose mission was to create and operate educational and cultural voyages and journeys, which were sponsored by many of the country’s foremost educational, cultural and scientific institutions. In 2018 he became one of the founders of Chamber Music Hellas.

Lowell Liebermann, Artistic Director, is one of America’s most frequently performed and recorded living composers. He has written over one hundred thirty works in all genres, several of which have gone on to become standard repertoire for their instruments. His Sonata for Flute and Piano and Gargoyles for piano are among the most frequently performed contemporary works for their instruments.

He has been commissioned by a wide array of ensembles and instrumentalists, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Emerson Quartet and flautist Sir James Galway. His full-length ballet Frankenstein was co-commissioned by London’s Royal Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet and has been released on Blu-Ray and DVD. Mr. Liebermann has written two full-length operas, both enthusiastically received at their premieres: The Picture of Dorian Gray, the first American opera commissioned and premiered by l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, and Miss Lonelyhearts, after the novel by Nathanael West, commissioned by the Juilliard School to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Mr. Liebermann acted as Composer-in-Residence for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for four years, a role he also pursued with the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and many other organizations. He joined the composition faculty of Mannes School of Music of the New School in 2012, where he founded the Mannes American Composers Ensemble, devoted to performing works of living American composers.

Mr. Liebermann maintains an active performing schedule as pianist and conductor. Among his many awards are a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and awards from ASCAP and BMI and a Grammy nomination. He was the first winner of the Van Cliburn Invitational Composers Competition, and in 2014 became the inaugural recipient of the Virgil Thomson Award for vocal composition.


More About the Musicians

Violinist/violist Ida Kavafian just completed her 33rd year as artistic director of Music from Angel Fire, the renowned festival in New Mexico. She recently received the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, in recognition of her outstanding work with Curtis students. In addition to her teaching and solo engagements, she continues to perform with her piano quartet, OPUS ONE, and her most recent ensemble, Trio Valtorna. She has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1972.

Violinist Daniel Phillips is a founding member of the 30-year-old Orion String Quartet, which is in residence at Mannes College of Music and performs regularly at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, and appears regularly at the Spoleto Festival USA, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Chamber Music Northwest, among others. He was a member of the renowned Bach Aria Group and has toured and recorded in a string quartet for SONY with Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, and Yo-Yo Ma. He is a professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and on the faculties of Bard College Conservatory, and The Juilliard School.

Violinist Cathy Meng Robinson is a founding member of the Miami String Quartet and has performed extensively with the quartet throughout the United States and Europe. The quartet serves as quartet-in-residence at Kent State University and performs at many of the country’s top summer music festivals including Angel Fire, Santa Fe, Blossom, Bravo!Vail, Music from Menlo, and Chamber Music Northwest. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Ivan Galamian and David Cerone and received her Master’s Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Isadore Tinkleman. Her violin is a Nicholas Gagliano, made in 1732.

Violist Steven Tenenbom has enjoyed an extensive career as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He is the violist of the Orion String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Mannes College of Music and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. He has appeared as a guest artist with the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson and Beaux Arts trios. He is also a co-founder of the piano quartet OPUS ONE and is a member of the viola faculty of The Juilliard School and Bard College Conservatory of Music. Among his many recordings are the complete Beethoven and Kirchner quartets with the Orion Quartet and Mozart viola quintets with the Guarneri Quartet.

Cellist Keith Robinson is a founding member of the Miami String Quartet and has been active as a chamber musician, recitalist, and soloist since his graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music. His most recent recording, released on Blue Griffin Records with pianist Donna Lee, features Mendelssohn’s complete works for cello and piano. As a member of the Miami String Quartet, he has recorded for the BMG, CRI, Musical Heritage Society, and Pyramid recording labels, was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program, and won the Concert Artists Guild, London String Quartet, and Fischoff chamber music competitions. He plays a Carlo Tononi cello made in Venice and dated 1725.

Flautist Tara Helen O’Connor is an Avery Fisher Career Grant winner and a two-time Grammy nominee. She regularly appears at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto Festival USA, Chamber Music Northwest, and Mainly Mozart Festival, among others. She has premiered hundreds of new works and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Koch International, CMS Studio Recordings with the Chamber Music Society, and Bridge Records. She is associate professor of flute and head of the wind department at Purchase College Conservatory of Music. Additionally, she is on the faculty of Bard College Conservatory and is a visiting artist, teacher, and coach at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Pianist William Hobbs has appeared as recitalist, soloist with orchestras and collaborative pianist with ensembles and singers throughout Europe, Asia and America. As pianist and conductor, Mr. Hobbs has worked at many of the world’s major opera houses, including the Opéra National de Paris, the Salzburg Festival, the San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, Seattle, and Washington operas. He has premiered works by many prominent American composers and joined the Piano and Voice Faculty at Westminster Choir College in 2010 and the Faculty of The Juilliard School in 2014. He was recently given the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Colorado in Boulder in recognition of his substantial and varied accomplishments in the field of music.

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