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Gifts from our Parents; Gifts to our Parents


Mon 7 Jun 2010, 7:30pm–9:30pm

Where: St Mary’s-in-Holy Trinity Cathedral, Cnr St Stephen’s Avenue & Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $32.50 ($30.00 + $2.50 fees)
  • Children 12 Years & Under: $22.50 ($20.00 + $2.50 fees)
  • Door Sales: $30.00
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale

Related Artists:

Listed by: Theo Simeonidis

The Greek Orthodox Church Community of Auckland and its friends, including the celebrated New Zealand composer JOHN PSATHAS proudly present a special concert which showcases music from the Orthodox world, old and new. All proceeds will go to the Holy Trinty Greek Orthodox Church Stewardship and Carity Fund.

This concert includes both sacred and secular music. Some originates from the most ancient sources and some has been composed as recently as this year and is from many of the countries of what we might call the Orthodox World, all of which are represented today in Auckland.

The Inspiration Behind This Concert
While most of the programme’s music originates from Greece or Greek sources, Russia, Romania, and Georgia are also represented. These are the lands of our heroic ancestors, and the musical, cultural and spiritual heritage that they left us are the Gifts from our Parents.

The music of the new world features New Zealand’s own John Psathas – a co-sponsor of this event – who has contributed two of his own chamber pieces for trio, both based on ancient Greek themes from his ancestral homeland. The musical and cultural things we have been able to achieve, inspired by the gifts to the world and sacrifices of our immigrant ancestors are the Gifts to our Parents.

Together, they combine to form a body of art, culture, achievement, and faith that gives meaning to our lives, and inspires us to continue to build on it further.

The Musical Programme
- The New Zealand Trio, one Auckland’s finest classical trios will perform compositions by John Psathas;
- To Fos ("The Light") of Auckland’s Greek community will perform some of their own compositions;
- Greek Nights, Auckland’s own authentic Greek ensemble; see
- Alina Abraham, Rumanian pianist;
- Vladimir Shapkin, Russian violinist.

- the Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church Choir, under the direction of Andriy Pikhtin; and
- Alaverdi Georgian Male Trio ;

Some of Auckland’s favourite folk and classical soloists, and Orthodox Christian cantors, including:
- Christina Daglas,
- Mary and Nick Greanias,
- Cristina Ionda,
- Theodore Despotakis and Kosta Evangelidakis.

An Invitation
We invite you to join us on this special occasion of music, faith, love, and remembrance.

John Psathas: a Brief Bio
Raised in Taumaranui and Napier, John is the son of Greek immigrant parents who arrived in New Zealand in the early 1960s. After studying piano and composition at Victoria University, he studied privately in Belgium with Jaqueline Fontyn before returning to take up lecturing at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. John’s music has been commissioned and performed by many great musicians and orchestras around the world. These include Michael Brecker, Dame Evelyn Glennie,
Michael Houstoun, Joshua Redman, The New Zealand String Quartet, Federico Mondelci, The New Zealand Trio, Pedro Carneiro, the Takacs Quartet. The Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, the Halle Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Vector Wellington Orchestra, the NZSO, and many others.

John has a natural inclination and innate ability for mega-projects. Since writing much of the ceremonial music for the 2004 Olympic Games, John’s music has been on the radar screen of a wider public than that normally associated with contemporary classical music.

To him, music composition is first and foremost a communicative art form. He is constantly seeking ways and means of making intellectual music accessible to a wider audience. He explores connections between contemporary music and age-old musical traditions and he puts together programs, like his “Zeibekiko” that create context for the appreciation of difficult contemporary works.

In 2010 John’s “A Cool Wind” will receive its Carnegie Hall debut with the Takacs quartet, and he will be Distinguished Guest Composer at the Winnipeg 2010 New Music Festival.

A more comprehensive summary of this outstanding Greek New Zealander's career may be found at:

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