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“Crisis fails to stop international music festival”

Yvonne Georgiadou Interview to Alix Norman


Published in Cyprus Mail, 19 May 2013

Festival goes on despite crisis


As many performers waive their fees, annual Pharos Chamber Music Festival promises a
top quality event says ALIX NORMAN
T
he Pharos Arts Foundation Foundation, is quietly proud of the the money to pay for the event. But
may be synonymous with number and class of tourists the result is worth it; the Festival is
music and the arts, but what attracted by the Festival. an established music event and it’s
you probably didn’t know is that worth it.”
it’s also at the forefront of tourism! “The majority of musicians
And in a time when many are performing in the Festival belong to Things have especially difficult for
advocating a return to an industry the top of their league; to hear them the organisation this year, with the
much depleted in recent years, this play elsewhere is often financial crisis robbing the
can only be a good thing. But prohibitively expensive. So with Foundation of much of its financial
before you start picturing Ayia tickets costing €10 a head, it’s often backing. “We found ourselves at a
Napa awash with vacationing cheaper for devotees to fly to crossroads,” Yvonne reveals.
violinists, remember that our island Cyprus. It promotes a different “Everything was all ready to go,
has a great deal more to offer than class of tourism: we’re not and then the haircut took place.”
merely sun, sand and sea… for 13 attracting people whose greatest With many of the regular sponsors
years now the Pharos Chamber expense is their sun lounger. The unable to continue their support, the
Music Festival has been offering Festival appeals to visitors who are Foundation considered calling the
the more discerning visitor a week interested in history and culture, whole thing off. “The Festival is a
of world class performances in who have money to spend and an huge expense for us,” continues
exquisite Mediterranean settings. appreciation for the finer things in Yvonne, “and we knew our position
With more than 2000 cultural life,” Yvonne explains. And as a would be very difficult. But in the
tourists – from all over Europe, nonprofit organisation, the Pharos end we decided that it’s at exactly
including Britain, France and Italy Arts Foundation ploughs every cent times like this that people want
– expected to attend the festival this back into their work. “We do music the most, and we chose to go
year, Yvonne Georgiadou, the struggle,” Yvonne says, “we count ahead.”
Artistic Director of the Pharos Arts every little penny in order to save
Yvonne explains that she “He’s extremely talented, and he’s whose exquisite playing of the
tentatively wrote to each of the been here so many times he’s recorder will move many to tears –
participating artists, asking them if regarded by many as a Cypriot and Mahan Esfahani – a Bach
they could possible reduce their himself,” smiles Yvonne. Other aficionado who’s a legend in the
fees. And the result was returning artists include pianist making on the harpsichord – have
overwhelming: “These are top Ashley Wass, one of the most waived their fees to give a Baroque
flight musicians, their fees are often important British pianists of his Recital at Nicosia’s Shoe Factory.
astronomical. So we couldn’t generation, the concertmaster of the
believe it when there was Berlin Philharmonic Daishin “We always try to use alternative
immediate assent, with every single Kashimoto, and the impressive venues for our concerts,” Yvonne
one of our returning artists saying Russian violinist Boris Brovtsyn. discloses. “The Shoe Factory feels
that they would happily waive their And welcomed for the first time are like a friend’s living room, while
fee altogether! It’s allowed us to French cellist Marc Coppey, and The Royal Manor House is
reduce the ticket price and enable Sergei Nakariakov – one of the surrounded by antiquities and lies
local audiences to enjoy the greatest trumpet players in the right next to the sea.” The third
Festival.” world today. The Foundation has location is The Olive Grove, a
also received support from the purpose-built open-air site located
One of the returning performers is Embassy of Israel in bringing the in the forests of Delikipos, where
Alexander Chaushian, world- hugely talented pianist Elisha Abas the final event – a Strings Concert –
renowned cellist, who will play in – the great grandson of composer will take place on June 1; wooden
the five concerts organised at The Alexander Scriabin – to these decks, shallow pools and olive
Royal Manor House in Kouklia. shores. And both Michala Petri – groves allow the audience to delight
in the musical offerings encircled President, Garo Keheyan, is a true above all, we try to offer quality in
by the beauty of nature. philanthropist and patron of the arts everything we do.” And without a
whose passion for the arts has doubt, The 13th Pharos Chamber
“At Pharos, we’ve always aimed allowed us to offer exquisite venues Music Festival will be maintaining
for the highest standards in and world class performers its standards of excellence to both
everything we do,” Yvonne throughout the years. We take great local audiences and discerning
concludes. “Our Founder and pride in our professionalism, and visitors from abroad.

The 13TH International Pharos Chamber Music Festival

21 May The Shoe Factory, Nicosia Baroque Recital with Mahan Esfahani (Harpsichord) & Michala Petri (Recorders)

24 May The Shoe Factory, Nicosia Piano Recital with Elisha Abas

27-31 May Royal Manor House, Kouklia Five Concerts with Boris Brovtsyn, Daishin Kashimoto, Levon Chilingirian, Monika Urbonaite, Charles
Sewart (violin), Sam Barsegian, Diemut Poppen (viola), Alexander Chaushian, Marc Coppey (cello), Hayk Khachatryan (double-bass), Sergei
Nakariakov (trumpet, flugelhorn), Ashley Wass, Vahan Mardirossian, Maria Meerovitch, Elisha Abas (piano)

1 June The Olive Grove, Delikipos Open-air concert for Strings

Concerts start at 8.30pm. Ticket price: €10. BOX OFFICE: Tel. 7000-9304 (daily 9.30-11.30am) www.pharostickets.org. Kyriakou Fullpage
Bookshops: 30 Ellados Ave, Paphos, Tel. 26 822850. For further information contact Pharos Arts Foundation, Tel: 22 663871,
www.pharosartsfoundation.org