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News and Past Events  from Hellenikon Idyllion

Selianitika, 10.März 2012

  Archeological News  

A great archaeological  sensation is soon to be expected!

Spectacular Discovery 
of Ruins from Poseidon`s Land

More  about Helike click  a Videofilm from BBC !

Greek archaeologist  Dora Katsonopoulou and American  physicist Steven  Soter, after 19 years research, discovered in the summer of 2000  first clues to the lost Classical city of Helike in Achaia.

Helike,12 km east from Hellenikon Idyllion ,the principal city of ancient Achaia from the time of the foundation in the Mycenaean Period until the time of her destruction in 373 B.C. was a venerated center for worship of Poseidon, the god of earthquakes and the sea. It was the  mother-city of colonies, Priene in Asia Minor, and the  famous Sybaris in southern Italy.
Helike's life came suddenly to an end on a winter night in  373 B.C. when a violent earthquake followed by immense waves destroyed the grand city and drowned their ruins under the sea waters. Ancient  Greek had not known a natural disaster of such magnitude in more than 1000 years, when a volcanic eruption destroyed Thera about 1630 B.C.

Dora Katsonopoulou, a native of Aigion, started her quest for Helike in the early 80`s, then as a Phd graduate student at Cornell University of New York. At Cornell she formed a joint-venture for her goal with  physicist Steven Soter, for long interested in the history of earth-quakes and much intrigued by literary accounts of the disappearance of Helike in 373 B.C. 

Last summer, their quest culminated with the discovery  of ancient remains dating to the time of Helike`s destruction. Broken walls and building foundations were discovered, buried under thick layers of marine and lake sediments. So reports of ancient writers were verified, telling that the ruins of the city were submerged in the sea or in a lagoon.

Under Kastanopoulou's direction, archaeologists discovered in one trench, Archaic (6th c. B.C.) walls and foundations of a significant building constructed with multi-colored stones: red and green  psammite, black dolomite, gray limestone with In another, they found paving stones from a buried road dated to the 5th c. B.C. 

The scientists said, that the discovery of the segment of a classical road may be especially rewarding, because the discovery of its entire course planned for the next year's campaign (2010) could lead them to the city.

To continue with further excavations at the site of Helike is a irresistible challenge for Dora Katsanopoulou and Steven Soter, planned for summer 2010. They hope to bring about the secret of a grand city of the classical period of Greece, that has been kept undisturbed for 2500 years. It is placed at the southern Gulfe of Korinth, 12 km east of Selianitika.

Donations to help promoting this important work are welcome. Please contact the Director of the Helike Project, Dr.Dora Katsonopoulou in the adress:
The Helike Project 
Poste Restante, GR -25 003 Diakopton,  Achaia Greece
 Tel.\Fax: ++30.691.82121 or ++ 30.691.82348. More Informations


 Left side the scientist  Steven Soter and the araeologist 
   Dora Katsonopoulou between  digged out ancient walls. 
  Right side the multicoloured stones of which parts of the 
archaic walls were  built.


The first discoverys - from the Classical  until Hellenistic period - dye-works which will be excavated
furthermore in the year 2010

Under this with metel covered place, which was discovered by coincidence in the year 2007, the archaeologists from Patras - at their first limited excavations - found ruins of the temple, which are said to be from the city Helike. Could it be the temple with the statue of Poseidon? Or was it at another place in the buried city, which is systematically analyzed by Dora Katsonopoulou for 20 years now?

As soon as the surrounding at this and other places are released from the Greek state for further research, the archaeological team under Dora Katsonopoulou will further continue the excavation in an annually 6 week rhythm. A great archaeological sensation can be expected soon!!!


Pre-historical house with a port, which might have had the same us in Helike.
The excavation by the archaeologists from Patras will be continued here.


Pausanias: Description of Greece 150 B.C. about Helike 

... going on, the river Selinus appears, and with it in the distance of 40 stadies of Aigion the village Helike. Here the ancient town of Helike was situated, the most holy sanctuary of Poseidon Helikonios of the Jonions.

 They were going on to worship Poseidon Helikonios, even when they were banished to Athens by the Archaeics and came to the coasts of Asia later... 

Homer has written poetry about Helike and the helicone Poseidon. Some time later the Archaics had banished and killed people looking for protection in the sanctuary, therefore Poseidons retaliation came in form of an earthquake, that broke down the buildings and even let disappear the towns ground together with the buildings...

The sea entered by force far into their landscape and comprehended whole Helike. Also the grove of Poseidon was inundated by the flood  so high that only the tops of the trees were to see. As the god suddenly let tremble earth and together with the earthquake flooded the sea, whole Helike with its inhabitants was swallowed by the flood.......The remains of Helike are still recognizeable, but not very well as they are deformed  by saltwater. 

Helikes destruction happened when Asteios was still Archon in Athen, in the 4th year of the 101th Olympic games, when Damon from Thurioi was victorious the first time. Now the Aigies possess the country of the not anymore  existing Helike.
Coming from Helike turning to the  right  you will reach the small town Keryneia. It is lying above the street in the mountains and the name comes from a native sovereign or from the river Kerynites, which is flowing through Archaia coming from  Arcadia and the mountains Keryneia. 

Here settlers came from Argolis, because of a shortage of food, so Keryneia gained importance as more and more people kept coming from Mykene. Here we find a sanctuary of Eumenides. They tell, Orest will have founded it.

 One who enters guilty or had done a religious ill deed will become crazy by fright. Therefore not everybody  may enter...At  the entrance of the sanctuary there are  female statues of marble, which are worked very fine. The natives used to tell, the women were priests of the Eumenides.

For new information about the sunk town with its Poseidon temple  and the statue of Poseidon please  keep looking into our next webside 


Dora  Katsonopoulou 26.3.2011

International competition 2009-2010 to compose the Libretto "Hellike" for Opera

International contest 2009-2010 to set an opera of an ancient Greek written Libretto to music, which is about the sunken ancient city "Helike" and its soon to be expected finding and the triumph of the archaeological research

News !!!!!
click here for the results !!



First performance of  the opera „Helike Athanatos“  on March 26, 2011 in the cultural centre of Egion

The Greek opera Singer Maria Kanelopoulou performed two songs from the opera “Helike Athanatos” in the cultural centre of Egion, accompanied by a finnish orchestra of 20 young musicians. The first air was  the famous ancient greek poem of Sappho “the man, who is standing in front of me, resembles the gods” , the second one was the final love song “Helike Athanatos”, written in contemporary Greek by Andreas Drekis.
The orchestration was arranged by Herman Rechberger, who, together with the Greek composer Tania Sikelianou won the first prize of the competition for composition of the ancient Greek opera.  Present in the audience were not only the mayor of Egion and other public figures, but also Dora Katsonopoulou, director of the archaeological excavation regarding the los ancient Greek city “Helike”. 
A speech about the origins and the development of the project  was delivered by Andreas Drekis,  the creative director and host of the competition for the setting of the ancient Greek libretto by Dr. phil. Franz Knappig.
The great performance of the soloist and the successful  orchestration gave rise to enthusiastic applause in the audience.  In addition to the two songs mentioned, pieces of Finnish and Greek music, as well as dance performances were presented. Currently every effort is made to perform the whole opera in september at different historical sights all over Greece as the result of an international musical cooperation.

Opening Speech of Dora Katsonopoulou

President of the Helike Society and Director of the Helike Excavations

 At the Musical event dedicated to the Opera HELIKE ATHANATOS

 26.3.2011, Cultural Center of the Aigialeia Municipality, Aigion

 Today’s event belongs to those rare manifestations which unite different cultures and demonstrate the common cultural identity of people, even if they have lived in different eras -millennia apart. It is very important for a society to preserve and circulate its historical memory. To honor and cherish its cultural heritage.

 The long life, flourishing and dramatic end of the ancient capital of our area, Helike, have inspired us, the scientists, to search for her over the last 22 years and bring her back to life step by step. It is, therefore, very touching that exactly this scientific work has inspired our fellow-citizen Andreas Drekis, founder and director of the Hellenikon Idyllion, to conceive and promote the idea of the making of an opera dedicated to Helike in order to transmit by ways of music the extraordinary experience of the scientific research to reveal the fate of a lost cultural fatherland of ancient Aigialeia. Thus music and song become the binding element between the past and the present, the 1st millennium BC and the beginnings of the 3rd millennium AD.         

 The Helike Society embraced this initiative from its start and will support it to the very end, that is until the day comes when we will see the opera being played on stage. In fact, the purpose has been well served already. Dr. Franz Knappik of the University of Munich, wrote the libretto in ancient Greek entitled HELIKE ATHANATOS based on Drekis’ idea. An international contest followed about the synthesis of the opera and was completed in the fall 2010. Eighty five composers from Greece and abroad participated. A three-member international committee by the German conductor Alois Springer, the Greek composer Spyros Mazis and Werner Schulze Prof. of Opera composition of the Vienna University, awarded the first two prizes to the Finnish composer Hermann Rechberger who is here with us tonight to conduct the orchestra and to the Greek composer Tania Sikelianou from Patras who lives in Amsterdam.

 During this musical evening, we will have the chance to hear for the first time two lyric songs of the opera by the soprano Maria Kanellopoulou, daughter of our fellow-citizen George Kanellopoulos, editor of the AIGIALEIA newspaper. I believe there could be no happiest coincidence of a collaboration between people from the same area who all serve our cultural heritage and share the common interest of bringing back to life ANCIENT HELIKE. We now proceed to the next step: the selection of the symphonic orchestra to bring the opera on stage in Greece and abroad, in both compositions of Hermann Rechberger and of Tania Sikelianou. The chief among our goals is, of course, to see the opera HELIKE ATHANATOS played in ancient Greek theaters. And for us, the Aigialeians, it is a priority to see it played in the exquisite ancient theater of Aigeira.  A great moment indeed for Aigialeia, a highest cultural event at the right time, now that all ancient cities of Aigialeia have been re-united in one geographical region under the new Municipality of Aigialeia. I am certain that we all together will succeed to this endeavour.

 Congratulations to Andreas Drekis for his brilliant idea are in order. For us, it is a great honour to see our work perpetuate and become known to contemporary and next generations through the beautiful world of music. A taste of such beauty will be offered tonight through the program of classical music and the lyric songs of the opera that will follow.

 I wish great success to this event and enjoyment to all of you.

                                                                                                             Χαιρετισμός Ντόρας Κατσωνοπούλου

στην εκδήλωση για την όπερα ΕΛΙΚΗ ΑΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ

26.3.2011, Πολιτιστικό Κέντρο Δήμου Αιγιάλειας

Η σημερινή εκδήλωση εντάσσεται σε κείνες τις σπάνιες εκδηλώσεις που προσθέτουν έναν ακόμη κρίκο στην αλυσίδα που ενώνει πολιτισμούς και αναδεικνύει την κοινή πολιτιστική ταυτότητα των λαών, ακόμη και όταν τους χωρίζουν χιλιετίες. Είναι πολύ σπουδαίο για μια κοινωνία να διατηρεί και να διαδίδει την ιστορική της μνήμη. Να τιμά και να εμπνέεται από την πολιτιστική της κληρονομιά.

Η ζωή, η ακμή και το συγκλονιστικό τέλος της αρχαίας πρωτεύουσας της περιοχής μας, της Ελίκης, ενέπνευσαν εμάς τους επιστήμονες που την αναζητήσαμε και την επαναφέρουμε σιγά-σιγά στη ζωή τα τελευταία 20 χρόνια. Και είναι ιδιαίτερα συγκινητικό το γεγονός ότι αυτό το ερευνητικό έργο αποτέλεσε με τη σειρά του την έμπνευση για τον συμπολίτη μας Ανδρέα Ντρέκη, ιδρυτή και διευθυντή του Ελληνικού Ειδυλλίου, να συλλάβει και να προωθήσει την ιδέα δημιουργίας μιας όπερας με τον τίτλο ΕΛΙΚΗ ΑΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ για να αποδοθεί και να μεταδοθεί μουσικά η συγκινησιακή εμπειρία της σύγχρονης επιστημονικής αναζήτησης που μέσα από την ανακάλυψη των αρχαίων λειψάνων συναντάται ξανά με τη μοίρα της χαμένης πολιτιστικής πατρίδας της αρχαίας Αιγιάλειας. Ετσι, η μουσική και το τραγούδι γίνονται ο συνδετικός κρίκος στη μακρά χρονική αλυσίδα που ενώνει το τότε με το σήμερα, την 1η χιλιετία π.Χ. με τις αρχές της 3ης χιλιετίας μ.Χ.

Η Εταιρεία μας αγκάλιασε από την πρώτη στιγμή αυτή την πρωτοβουλία και θα την στηρίξει μέχρι τον τελικό της στόχο, δηλαδή μέχρι να γίνει πραγματικότητα το ανέβασμα της όπερας επί σκηνής. Ηδη ο στόχος έχει κατά ένα μεγάλο μέρος επιτευχθεί. Με βάση την ιδέα του Ανδρέα Ντρέκη, γράφτηκε το λιμπρέτο στα αρχαία ελληνικά από τον Καθ. Ελληνικής Φιλοσοφίας και Μουσικολογίας στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Μονάχου Franz Knappik. Ακολούθησε παγκόσμιος διαγωνισμός για τη σύνθεση της όπερας που ολοκληρώθηκε το φθινόπωρο του 2010 και στον οποίο έλαβαν μέρος 85 έλληνες και ξένοι συνθέτες.
Η διεθνής κριτική επιτροπή αποτελούμενη από τον
 Alois Springer
γερμανό διευθυντή ορχήστρας, τον Σπύρο Μάζη έλληνα συνθέτη και τον Werner Schulze Καθ. Σύνθεσης του Πανεπιστημίου Καλών Τεχνών της Βιέννης, απένειμε τα δύο πρώτα βραβεία στον αυστριακής καταγωγής φινλανδό συνθέτη Hermann Rechberger που απόψε είναι εδώ μαζί μας και θα διευθύνει την ορχήστρα και στην ελληνίδα συνθέτρια Τάνια Σικελιανού από την Πάτρα που ζει και εργάζεται στο Αμστερνταμ.

Για πρώτη φορά θα ακούσουμε στη διάρκεια της αποψινής μουσικής βραδιάς δύο από  τα λυρικά τραγούδια της όπερας που θα ερμηνεύσει η Αιγιώτισσα σολίστ Μαρία Κανελλοπούλου, κόρη του γνωστού εκδότη της εφημερίδας ΑΙΓΙΑΛΕΙΑ Γιώργου Κανελλόπουλου. Θεωρώ ότι δεν θα μπορούσε να υπάρξει ευτυχέστερος συνδυασμός συνεργασίας σε αυτό τον κοινό σκοπό που υπηρετεί τον πολιτισμό και έχει κοινή αναφορά στο μεγάλο όραμα για την ΑΡΧΑΙΑ ΕΛΙΚΗ. Στόχος μας πλέον είναι το επόμενο και καταληκτικό βήμα: η επιλογή της συμφωνικής ορχήστρας και το ανέβασμα της όπερας και στις δύο διαφορετικές συνθέσεις (του Hermann Rechberger και της Τάνιας Σικελιανού) σε λυρικές σκηνές της χώρας μας και του εξωτερικού και σε αρχαία ελληνικά θέατρα.
Και βέβαια, το ανέβασμα της όπερας ΕΛΙΚΗ ΑΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ σε χώρο αρχαίου ελληνικού θεάτρου, έχει για μας ως προτεραιότητα  το θαυμάσιο αρχαίο θέατρο της γειτονικής Αιγείρας. Θα είναι μια μεγάλη στιγμή για την Αιγιάλεια, ένα κορυφαίο πολιτιστικό γεγονός, μάλιστα στη σημερινή συγκυρία που με την συνένωση των έξι πρώην δήμων επανενώθηκαν σε μία ενιαία εδαφική περιφέρεια, όπως ακριβώς ήταν στην αρχαιότητα, οι επτά πόλεις της αρχαίας Αιγιάλειας από την Αιγείρα ανατολικά έως τις Ρύπες δυτικά στην περιοχή του Ερινεού και της Συμπολιτείας. Για το μεγάλο αυτό πολιτιστικό γεγονός πρέπει και είμαι σίγουρη ότι θα δουλέψουμε όλοι μαζί.

 Στον Ανδρέα Ντρέκη αξίζουν συγχαρητήρια για τη λαμπρή πρωτοβουλία. Για μας είναι μεγάλη τιμή να δούμε το ερευνητικό μας έργο να διαιωνίζεται και να γίνεται κτήμα των σύγχρονων ελλήνων αλλά και του ξένου κοινού μέσα από τον υπέροχο κόσμο της μουσικής. Μια πρώτη γεύση αυτής της ομορφιάς που μπορεί να χαρίσει η κλασική μουσική, θα πάρουμε απόψε με το πρόγραμμα που θα ακολουθήσει και με τα δύο λυρικά τραγούδια της όπερας που θα ερμηνεύσει η Μαρία Κανελλοπούλου.     

Εύχομαι επιτυχία στην εκδήλωση και σε όλους καλή απόλαυση.






















































































                                                                                                                       Selianitika 10.12.2005

Agon Aretes 2005 - Results

Statement and awarding of the prizes from the  jurymembers  Prof. Dr.Werner Schulze - University of Arts and Music Vienna,  Helmut Quack - Graecist, Husum und Julia Diamantopoulou - Graecist, Athen.


The number of contributions and their quality surprised us:

26 contributions were made - more by women than by men – from 3 nations (23 Germany, 2 Argentina, 1 Spain). The group of pupils (16-18 years) entered the majority of 23 works in the contest. The task was hard. It demanded both intellectual and creative content.  An equally great level for the text and the poster was hard to achieve. That is the reason why we decided to honor everyone with a prize. We suggest to award a special prize to the best poster: Nadine Steiner from Germany. She entered 2 posters. Quote Werner Schulze: “Both on a very nice artistic and philosophical level.”

A special prize for originality will go to MARIA PÄTZOLD- student in Leipzig. Her contribution is text and poster in one. An additional special prize is awarded to MARIA ALEXANDRA LÓPEZ GABRIELIDIS (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo) from Argentina for her high quality text and poster.

The contribution from EVA BOTTLER (Kaiser-Heinrich-Gymnasium) from Germany is also worth a special prize.  Quote Helmut Quack:” Eva Bottler chose a more original saying and appropriately used Christian thoughts to support her argumentation. She also give a more elegant reason for learning Greek. GERRIT KURZT (Kieler Gelehrtenschule),  JUDITH HOF (Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium Straubing), THOMAS ROSENHAMMER (Robert-Schumann-Gymnasium), EVA HENKE (Katharineum zu Lübeck), MAXIMILIANE BERGER (Gymnasium Casimirianum Coburg), JÖRG VON ALVENSLEBEN (Katharineum zu Lübeck) from Germany and CRISTINA RADOS (Universidad del Salvador) from Argentina also deserve a special award for their exceptional work.  In the group of students we award one special prize to ADRÈS MOULINS (Universidad National de Cordoba).

For the first prize in the categorie for pupils we suggest KLEONIKI RIZOU (Kieler Gelehrtenschule) from Germany. Both the expressive poster and the text are exceptional.

Quote Helmut Quack: “Kleoniki Rizou enchants the reader by her casual and easy tone. The big words which usually describe ideals about education  are totally missing. Like a new Alice in Wonderland she takes the reader by the hand and awakes in him the same love for the greek language abd culture that live in her.”

JOHN RAUTHMANN (Augustinus-Gymnasium Weiden) from Germany
is one who wrote his complete text in ancient Greek and is awarded
the first prize.

A commentary by Julia Diamantopoulou:”Flawless use of the attic dialect combined with his own style. Felicitous examples in every area to illustrate the philosophical saying. His own conclusions about wisdom and the happiness that the learning of the ancient Greek language gives one form the details no matter if the language is still spoken or not.

The young people found a lot of good arguments for the protection of the ancient Greek. Plenty of enthusiasm for the Greek culture and language were expressed. The contributions which were awarded a price were those which took a less well known philosophical saying as a basis for a high quality analysis and an artistic poster.


The prizes are:

For the first place a written recognition and a big briefcase with stamps from the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens with the title “the champions” and a two weeks stay with a companion in Hellenikon Idyllion.

The special prize is a special briefcase from the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens.

All special price winners and all other participants with their interesting contributions will get a written recognition by mail and a one week stay at Hellenikon Idyllion ( time of stay only in accordance with prior arrangement).

It was not easy for us to choose the winners from the great variety of contributions. The great distance made the collaboration with the jury members also difficult.

We apologize for the late Announcement of the competition results. We would like to publish your photo aside your text and poster on our website if you send us one.

Thank you for your participation

The jury members Prof. Werner Schulze, Helmut Quack, Julia Diamantopoulou and the initiator and benefactor Andreas Drekis (founder and manager of Hellenikon Idyllion)



The Results of the

International Composition Competition - in honour of the Greek poet Pindar and the athletes of the ancient Hellas
Hellenikon Idyllion spoke with the jury member Werner Schulze, Professor at the University of Music and Art Vienna, about the results of the international composition competition.

How did the jury judged the received compositions?

....We paid attention on certain characteristics, for example whether the five ancient disciplines run, long jump, discus, javelin, wrestling became effective, whether the metrical measure of Pindar’s text was converted, how the orchestra and the choir or speakers were used or how the quality of a composition is jugged in general. We did not prefer any specific style; It was important to try to go towards a new direction. We examined whether the composer -by dealing with the topic- was able to develop his own view, with the courage to find and express his own personal language. Further it was important, that people who are interested in music are able to find an access to the musical representation of the topic. The piece of work, which had a too popular style or on the other hand a too avant-garde style one was less in demand.....(The hole interview with Prof. Werner Schulze can be read at the end of this message.)
more information about the
Composer's Competition


Twentyone compositions from eleven countries - Brazil, Canada, USA, Australia, Japan, Austria, Finland, Germany, Greatbritain, Greece and Spain – were submitted. The jury met on Saturday, July 12th 2003, under the presidency of the competition´s initiator Andreas Drekis at Hellenikon Idyllion. Personalities from Austria, Germany and Greece formed the jury.

 Unanimously one first, two second and special prices were assigned:

1.      Price:    Andrew Michael March (London, Greatbritain)
           - "5 Songs of Pindar" for Soprano Solo, Choir und Orchestra - (1 or 2 pianos, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, Bb Clarinets, 2 bassoons, piccolo, cor anglais, clarinet in A, Contrabassoon, 4 french horn, 2 Bb trumpets, 2 Trombones, bass trombone, tuba, doubling trumbets in C, Timpani, bass drums, 4 low tom-toms, crash cymbals, medium stand-mounted suspended cymbal, triangle, large tam-tam, large thunder sheet, fine grade sandpaper blocks, fine bead maracas, crotales, chimes, Glockenspiel, marimba, 1 harp, 16 first violins, 14 second violins, 12 violas, 10 violoncellos, 8 bouble basses)

Concert in honour of the First Prize Winner

 and to hear the first taste of the 'Wrestling' discipline transforming
the ancient Greek athletic spirit into music inspired
by the text of Pindar.

click here

2.   Price:    Ken Ito (Tokyo, Japan)
                       - "Choreia Pteroessa" („Flying Choir“) for Tenor Solo, Choir und Orchestra - (2 flutes, 2nd. doubling with piccolo flute, 2 oboes, 2 nd. doubling with corno inglais, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassons, 2nd. doubling with double basson, 4 horns in F, 2 Trumpets in C, 2 Tenor Trombone, 1 bass trombone, 1 bass Tuba, Timpani, 2 suspended cymbales, 1 anvil, 1 sistre, 1 triangel, chromatic cymbales antiques (with water bath), 1 glockenspiel, 1 xylophone, 1 vibraphone (without motor, with double bass bow), 1 marimba, 1 pair of small crush cymbales, 1 small Tam-tam (or Korean SAMULNORI middle-sized Tam-tam), 2 tom-toms, 2 caw-bells, 1 triangle, 1 chromatic tubular bells, the same instrument for that of Perc.3 player is available; 1 pair of large crush cymbales, 1 gran cassa, 1 tam-tam grave, 1 snare drum, 1 pair of bongoes, 1 pair of congas, 1 triangel, 1 chromatic tubulas bells, the same instrument for that of Perc. 2 player is available; 1 celesta, 1 Pianoforte, 1 harp, wood winds, brass, strings)

2.      Price:    Shigeru Kan-no (Fukushima, Japan - Hilgenroth, Germany)
           - "Millenium Soldier III - Hymnen Pindars“ for Choir und Orchestra - (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, 2 fagottes, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 2 tenor trombone, bass trombone and tuba, timpani, metal percussion, violins, violas, violoncello, contra bass)

A special price was given to Aaron David Miller (Bowling Green, Ohio, USA) - "Five Hymns of Pindar" for Soprano Solo, Tenor Solo, Choir und Orchestra. (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in Bb, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in Bb, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani (4 drums), glockenspiel, chimes, suspended cymbal, tam-tams, bass drum, tom-toms, sleigh bells, triangel, bell tree, crotales, snare drums, violins 1&2, violas, cellos, basses)


A special price for young composers was given to

 Enrique Hernandis Martínez (25 years, Cárcer/Valencia, Spain) - "The Musical Games 2004"for Choir und Orchestra.


Other compositions recommended for performance:

Gerold Amann (Schlins, Austria)
"Olympias Agona" humanistic peace for Speaker, Choir (4 mimes) and Orchestra (2 flutes, oboe, clarinete in B, fagot, 3 horns in F,  2 trumpets in Bb, 2 Trombones, tuba          

Dinos Constantinides (Athens,Greece - Baton Rouge, LA, USA)
"Hellenikon Idyllion" for Speaker and Orchestra

Claude Lachapelle (Gatineau, Québec, Canada)
- "
Olympic Music" for Speaker and Orchestra

Spiros Mazis (Athens, Greece)
"Pindar´s Hymns" for Lyric Soprano,Mixed Choir and Orchestra  (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarintes in Bb, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in Bb, 2 Trombones, glockenspiel, suspended cymbales, castanets, 3 gongs, bass drum, xylophone, temple block, tubular bells, snar, crotales, marimba, tambourine, tamburello, 3 timpani, chinese cymbal, violins 1&2, violas, violoncellos, bouble basses)                                                                                                  
Tina Ternes (Ludwigshafen, Germany)
"Five Rings" for Solo Singer, Choir and Orchestra (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, 2 french horns, 2 trombones, 1 tuba, 4 timpani, percussion, strings)

John White (Denver, Colorado, USA)
"Hymns of Pindar" for SATB Choir und Orchestra (2 flutes, 2nd piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 B flat clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 french horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), strings)

The jury was impressed by the general high level of the submitted compositions. In total the compositions solved the competition´s task, to remind the present on the antique olympic games, in an outstanding way.


Initiator of the competition:

Andreas Drekis

Manager of the cultural centre “Hellenikon Idyllion”



Alois Springer
Principal conductor, director of music

Werner Schulze

University professor for music and representing art Vienna, composer

Rafaïl Pylarinos

Conductor, composer
Athens, Greece

Andreas Drekis, Rafaïl Pilarinos, Werner Schulze            Rafaïl Pilarinos,Werner Schulze and Alois Springer
and Alois Springer


1st Prize


Andrew Michael March

Andrews Biographie :

Born 1973, studied composition and orchestration with Jeremy Dale Roberts at the Royal College of Music from 1992 - 1996 gaining BMus (Hons) RCM.

Performances (inter alia)
Marine - à travers les arbres (1997)       Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
European Union Youth Orchestra, Conductor Vladimir
A Stirring in the Heavenlies (2000)        London Symphony Orchestra, (World Premiere)
Nymphéas for 2 Pianos (2002)               piece was premiered in the Royal Palace, Stockholm in Autumn
                                                                2002, and received a total of 5 live performances in and around
                                                                Scandinavia in 2002

Awards (inter alia)
1996                                                        Winner
at The Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize
1998                                                        Winner at Masterprize International Composing Competition
PINDAR  -  the greatest lyric poet of Ancient Greece522 - 446 v.Ch.

   Concert in honour of the First Prize Winner and to hear the first taste of the 'Wrestling' discipline transforming the athletic spirit into music inspired by the text of Pindar.  



Pindar-Text Song Video with choir (half) (Click the right mouse button and press SAVE TARGET

Video "Pale"with Choir (full)" He Pale" "Wrestling"  (Click the right mouse button and press SAVE TARGET AS)   -  a part of Andrew March's Composition 



his competition discipline "Wrestling" is performed by the Chorus Urbanus of Gozo (Malta) in the Ancient Greek language with piano instead of orchestra. The conductor was John Galea. The concert took place in the Archeological Museum in Egion, September the 20th / 2003. Present at the concert; (pictured above left), was the Mayor of Egion, Mr. Andreas Drekis President of Hellenikon Idyllion,
composer Enrique Hernandis Martínez winner of the Young Persons' Prize, the composer Andrew March winner of the 1st Prize and the president of Chorus Urbanus. Also present was competition jury member Alois Springer, the Chief of Police for Egion, the High Priest of the Greek Orthodox Church and Professors of the University of Patras.   

A pretaste of the other future performances of all honored compositions worldwide with symphonic orchestra and choir.

Speaker 1 mp3   

Speaker 2 mp3    

English Translation:

- "5 Songs of Pindar" -


Born 1973, studied composition and orchestration with Jeremy Dale Roberts at the Royal College of Music from 1992 - 1996 gaining BMus (Hons) RCM.

Performances (inter alia)
Marine - à travers les arbres (1997)       Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
European Union Youth Orchestra, Conductor Vladimir
A Stirring in the Heavenlies (2000)        London Symphony Orchestra, (World Premiere)
Nymphéas for 2 Pianos (2002)               piece was premiered in the Royal Palace, Stockholm in Autumn
                                                                2002, and received a total of 5 live performances in and around
                                                                Scandinavia in 2002

Awards (inter alia)
1996                                                        Winner
at The Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize
1998                                                        Winner at Masterprize International Composing Competition


2nd Prize

Ken Ito

- "Choreia Pteroessa" („Flying Choir“) -

1965 in Tokyo, studied composition, piano, cello and physics in Tokyo.

Positions Held (inter alia)
Present                      •    
Professor of composition and conducting, University of Tokyo
                                   •    Commissions of Composing and Conducting
                                   •    Music Technological Collaboration with bigger Japanese companies
                                   •    Colaboration with visual media

Performances (inter alia)
Orchestra Director of posthumous work by John Cage "Ocean" together
                                        with Merce Canningham and his Dance Company
recording Beethoven´s "Symphony No. 5 " and Tchaikovsky´s
                                        "Violin Concerto"
2002                                Conducting Japan Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra

Awards (inter alia)
1993                                Awarded 1st Prize of Tokyo Metropolitan Competition of Orchestra
1999                                Awarded Toru Takemistu Award judged by Luciano Berio

2nd Prize

Shigeru Kan-no

   - "Millenium Soldier III - Hymnen Pindars“ -

Born 1959 in Fukushima/ Japan, studied music and musicology in Tokyo, conducting at the college of music Vienna, composition at the college of music Stuttgart and conducting and composition at the college of music Frankfurt from 1980 - 1997.

Performances (inter alia)
1986 - 1992                 conducting for example with the Tokyo Symphonie Orchestra and the Radio Symphonie
                                    Orchestra Stuttgart particularly within the range of "New Music"
1992                            Assistent for Professor Karlheinz Stockhausen with Ensemble Modern Frankfurt
since 1998                  conduction for example at the Lisboa Philharmonic Orchestra and National Symphonie
                                    Orchestra Uzbekistan

Awards (inter alia)
2000                            2nd Prize at Quebec/Canada French Chorus Composition Concour
2001                            3rd Prize at 2 Agosto in Bologna/Italia
2001                            1st Prize at Cantus Ensemble in Croatia

Special Prize

Aaron David Miller


 - "Five Hymns of Pindar" -

born 1972, studied Composition and Organ Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY, graduated D.M.A. in 1999

Positions Held (inter alia)
1998 - 2002                
several larger compositions and public recording, especially for organ
2001 - 2002                 several professional engagements for festivals in the USA
1997 - present           
Assistant Musicologist, Scarsdale, NY
                                    Music transcriptions and analysis for copyright infringement disputes

Awards (inter alia)
                          Improvisation and Bach Prizes, Calgary International Organ Festival and
                                  Competition, Calgary, Canada
1999                          Helen Cohn Award for Research in Medieval and Renaissance Music,
                                  Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY


Special Prize for young composers

Enrique Hernandis Martínez

- "The Musical Games 2004" -

born 1977 in Spain, studied music in Valencia and graduated "Profesor de Percusión, Composición e Instrumentación" (2000).

Positions Held (inter alia)
                                • Director de la Unión Artística Musical de Navajas (Castellón)
                                             • Professor de Armonía, Análisis y Fundamentos de Composición
                                                en los Conservatorios Profesionales de Chella y Amussafes (Valencia)   
                                             • several recordings for Orchestra for brass band and Symphonyorchestra
                                             • several broadcasts at Spanish broadcasting stations

Awards (inter alia)
2001                                        1st Price
in Concurso Nacional de Composición Musical"Ciudad de
2002                                        1st Price
in Concurso de Composición de Tolosa (Guipúzcoa)


Other compositions recommended for performance:

Gerold Amann

- "Olympias Agona" -

born 1937 in Voralberg/Austria, studied (i.a.) sience of music, Professor for Middleschool and Composition

Dinos Constantinides

- "Hellenikon Idyllion" -

studied first in Athens and later Composition und Violin in U:S:A:, Boyd Professor und Coordinator of Composition at the School of Music at Louisiana State University

Claude Lachapelle

- "Olympic Music" -

born 1951 in Drummondville (Québec), Professor for Music

Spiros Mazis

- "Pindar´s Hymns" -

born 1957 at Korfu, studied (i.a.) Composition, Director of the "Classic and Contemporary Music and Center of Elektronic Music" Conservatory in Athens

Tina Ternes

- "Five Rings" -

born 1969 in Kaiserslautern/Germany, studierd (i.a.) School- and Filmmusic, Collegeteacher

John White

"Hymns of Pindar"  -

studied Cello und Composition, Ph.D., Professor for Music


Interview: 12.07.2003


“… that’ s the athletic idea!”

 Hellenikon Idyllion spoke with the jury member Werner Schulze, Professor at the University of Music and Art Vienna, about the results of the international composition competition.

 HELLENIKON IDYLLION: Did you expect that so many composers from all over the world would develop such an enthusiasm for this competition?

SCHULZE: To be honest: No! The task was not that simple to solve, because there were ancient Greek texts and sports of the ancient  games supposed to be converted into music. As you know ancient Greek is not spoken any longer nowadays as well as it is taught less and less. We were very happy about such a worldwide interest. However without Hellenikon Idyllion and the initiator of this competition, Andreas Drekis, it wouldn’t be possible to make it that known. Indefatigable he sent electronic post to every kind of musical institution around the world and answered a multiplicity of questions. A big “Thank You” to him.


Classical music and the athletic games, how does this fit together?

For us it was important to express the ancient athletic idea with the means of the art of music. Moreover sports training and artistic activity were both an equivalent part of an extensive education in the antiquity. Sports and art were regarded as absolutely equal and important.


How did the jury judged the received compositions?

We paid attention on certain characteristics, for example whether the five ancient disciplines run, long jump, discus, javelin, wrestling became effective, whether the metrical measure of Pindar’s text was converted, how the orchestra and the choir or speakers were used or how the quality of a composition is jugged in general. We did not prefer any specific style; It was important to try to go towards a new direction. We examined whether the composer -by dealing with the topic- was able to develop his own view, with the courage to find and express his own personal language. Further it was important, that people who are interested in music are able to find an access to the musical representation of the topic. The piece of work, which had a too popular style or on the other hand a too avant-garde style one was less in demand.


Could you tell more details about the participants?

We received twenty-one compositions from four continents; among them there were two female composers. We were glad to see that also younger musicians took part in the competition.

Is it known already, when and where the compositions are going to be presented for the first time?

For a first impression, an orchestra is planning to play a concert on the island Kefalonia, in Olympia, in Corinth, in Galaxithi near Delphi and at Hellenikon Idyllion in the end of July End of July. Where honored pieces will be presented. Furthermore two recommended compositions for representation will be presented for the first time this July and September in concerts, in Athens, Olympia und Corinth.

So far a successful competition?

Absolutely! Noticeable was the generally good dealing with the verse measure of the Pindar text. And it was marvelous to hold works in our hands from all over the world-from Brazil to Australia- that represents exactly the ancient Greek athletic Idea

For scholars, students and those who are especially 

interested in classical greek.
 For more information click: program 

and Classical Greek

Most recent past events  Chorus Urbanus from Victoria, Gozo Malta

Planned are concerts in Nikea Athens in Kipotheatro at 19. 9. , 21.00 h and in Egion in archeological museum at 20.9. , 21.00 h with music from operas, international volksongs and as a high point music with texts by Pindar from our international music composition competition Olympia 2004  Entrance free!

More information about the concert schedule shortly

The Chorus Urbanus, established in 1975, is nowadays considered as one of the best choral groups in Malta. Ever since its formation as the resident choir of St George's Basilica in Victoria, the choir has always strived to attain high levels of musical quality. 












        MuMro John Galeasical director

 JOHN GALEA was born in Malta in 1960. After his early musical training as pianist, obtaining the Fellowship of Trinity College (London) and the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (London) in Pianoforte performance, he graduated with honours at Durham University studying composition.

He has also studied musicology at the Universita` degli Studi di Pavia.

John Galea studied contemporary composition techniques with Charles Camilleri, furthering his studies with Franco Donatoni at the Fondazione Romanini in Brescia. His compositions have been performed in Malta, Greece, France, Italy and the UK. He has also been invited to sit on the judging panel of the prestigious Valentino Bucchi competition in Rome.


Since 1978 John Galea has been a regular guest conductor with the Manoel Theatre Orchestra. During 1998-99 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the National Orchestra of Malta. As musical director of Opera Studio in Malta (1990-93), he collaborated with Professor Dobreva in realising various operatic productions at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta. John Galea has been the musical director of the Chorus Urbanus since 1979. Lately, John Galea has been commissioned to prepare a performing and critical edition of Nicolo` Isouard's Messa Leggiera (1795) which has been recorded on CD, featuring the Sofia Symphony Orchestra and the Chorus Urbanus. Under his direction, the Chorus Urbanus has toured the Vatican, Nottinghamshire, Sofia, Budapest and Vienna.


During September - October 2002, Mr. John Galea directed "The Merry Widow". This Chorus Urbanus Production featured the Chorus Urbanus and its leading soloists as the main protagonists of this production.







The young symphony orchestra

    from Fuerth/Germany
      (55 instruments) 


 is making music 
in the village Peristera which is placed at the mountain "Chelmos"
 (hight 2350 m). 
The mythologic Styx spring is situated there at the left side. 

Here the story goes, Archileus was dipped into the famous spring Styx held at his heel by his mother Atthis. 

Therefore he became invulnerable with the exception of his heel.

Historical video
 from July 1993

 in the garden of Hellenikon Idyllion 

(at that time still without wooden stage) 
with the young symphony orchestra from Leipzig (100 musicans).

 Rehearsal of the famous greek Song "Samiotissa" 

with the  sopranist Barbara Luther  

and the tenor Nikos Voutsinos 

(Deutsche Oper Berlin)
Conductor: Iwan Ivanov
                                                                   for  back  click