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BWW Feature: Maestro Yiannis Hadjiloizou & the Cyprus National Symphony Welcome Pope Francis at The Presidential Palace

Maestro Yiannis Hadjiloizou and the Cyprus National Symphony perform for Pope Francis.

BWW Feature: Maestro Yiannis Hadjiloizou & the Cyprus National Symphony Welcome Pope Francis at The Presidential Palace

Yiannis Hadjiloizou closes the year with CySO & Pope Francis

Music & Artistic Director of the Athens Philharmonic Yiannis Hadjiloizou is a composer and conductor who always manages to impress. And 2021 is no exception as the Maestro closed the calendar year with a special performance for none other than the Pope!

The Maestro performed excerpts from Georg Frideric Handel's Messiah, leading an all-star cast from the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra during the official welcome of Pope Francis at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, hosted by President Nicos Anastasiades on December 2, 2021.

Concertmaster Wolfgang Schroeder (Germany) and orchestra Principals Kypros Christodoulides (Second Violin, Cyprus), Vladimir Tkachenko (Viola, Russia), Jakub Otčenášek (Cello, Czech Republic), Yiannis Skender (Contrabass, Cyprus), Simeon Spasov (Oboe, Bulgaria), Laura Rodgers (Oboe, Northern Ireland), Giovanni Galetti (Fagotto, Italy), displayed great expressiveness and depth of artistry in this period take on the famous Baroque landmark.

BWW Feature: Maestro Yiannis Hadjiloizou & the Cyprus National Symphony Welcome Pope Francis at The Presidential Palace

The relationship between the Cypriot Maestro and the prestigious local Orchestra dates to 2008 when the two first collaborated at the Strovolos Municipal Theatre in a program of works by Haydn, Bartók, Sarasate, Ravel, and Saint-Saëns. Since then, Maestro Hadjiloizou has led the CySO more than any other conductor in the State Orchestra's history.

The CySO has received significant local and international exposure with Hadjiloizou at its helm. Back in 2010, Hadjiloizou burst onto the international scene through his production of the Cyprus Peace Concert Project, produced in collaboration with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus in honor of the UN International Day of Peace, September 16, 2010, at the Nicosia International Airport (which has been abandoned on the Green Line since the illegal Turkish invasion of the picturesque Mediterranean isle in July 1974).

BWW Feature: Maestro Yiannis Hadjiloizou & the Cyprus National Symphony Welcome Pope Francis at The Presidential Palace
Maestro Yiannis Hadjiloizou

Notably, it was for that concert that Hadjiloizou composed his popular "Servikos" Cyprus Dance No.1 in A minor (which incidentally remains the most performed work of Symphonic repertoire in the history of the CySO to date). Servikos received its US premier before a sold-out house at the Athens Philharmonic's triumphant debut at New York's Carnegie Hall on October 10, 2019. The program also included the Ballet from the Opera "9th of July 1821", by the maestro's father's Michael Hadjiloizou, and Gustav Mahler's monumental Resurrection Symphony.

Throughout his career, Maestro Hadjiloizou has shown himself to be a true musical visionary whether at the piano or at the podium. The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra has also made great strides in recent years, and one hopes to hear a great deal more from them in the future. Let us hope that going forward both Conductor and Orchestra will continue to grow together and provide us with many more wonderful musical surprises in the years to come!



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From This Author - Peter Danish