Κυριάκος Σφέτσας

Real Name:
Kyriakos Sfetsas
Profile:
Kyriakos Sfetsas was born on September 29, 1945, in Amfilochia. He was raised in Lefkada where, at an early age, he studied music for the first time at the Philarmonic Band and the National Conservatory of the city with the late Fotis Vlachos. He continued his studies at the National Conservatory of Athens (1963-1966), where he studied the piano with Krino Kalomiri and theory of music with Michalis Vourtsis. On August 30, 1964, in Lefkada, he accompanied on the piano Maria Callas in her last performance in Greece. A few months after the 1967 dictatorship, he moved to Paris. There, on a French State scholarship (1969-1972), he pursued further studies with the composer and educator Max Deutsch (composition, analysis, orchestral conducting), while seeking the mentorship and advice of I. Xenakis, Luigi Nono and Henri Dutilleux.

The first public performance of his work (Episodes for piano solo) took place just after the uprising of May ’68 at the “Latin America Hall” in Paris, receiving favourable reviews. After that, his music was often performed and he had his first commissions (by French Radio and TV, the Ars Nova Orchestra and the Dance Group of Vitry). After that period, several of his works are performed in renowned international contemporary music festivals (Royan, Reims, Bordeaux and Paris); at the same time, he works on a regular basis with the contemporary dance group of Vitry and the choreographer Michel Cazerta. A portion of his Paris works were published by Editions Transatlantiques, and it was in Paris in 1974 that he released for the first time one of his works on record: Four-channel electro-acoustic music for the Ballet Smog, one of the first pieces written for four-channel tape in the world. In Greece, he made his debut as a composer at the 4th Hellenic Week of Contemporary Music (Athens, 19th – 26th September 1971) with his work Docimology.

He returned to Greece in Autumn 1975, this time to stay. At the invitation of Manos Hatzidakis, he worked at the Third Programme of the Hellenic Radio (1975-1976) as a free lance producer. In 1977, as a regular employee of the Hellenic Radio, he served as head of the music departments of the 2nd and 1st Programmes, and from the summer of 1982 to January 1994 as director of the 3rd Programme.

Since 1999 he lives and works in Lefkada, the place where he grew up and made his first steps in music.
From 1999 until 2002 he was the Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Lefkada and cultural
institutions “Speech and Art Festival” “International Percussion Festival” and “International Folklore Festival.”
His body of work consists of a large number of compositions: symphonic, choral, ballet and theatre music, chamber, electronic, pieces for solo instruments, pieces in jazz and fusion style, songs on Greek and World poems. In the years after 1980, he also writes music for films. In 1980, his music for P. Tasios’ Paragelia receives first prize at the Film Festival of Thessaloniki. He also writes the music for Stigma, by the same director (1982), D. Panagiotatos’ The night with Silena (1986), M. Ditsas’ Night Exit (1991), N. Grammatikos’ U Turn (1991) and A time to kill (1993).

Since the now historic recording of Without Boundaries (1980), several recordings of his work have been released on several labels (EMI, CBS, ENM, PRAXIS etc.), always with at least favourable reviews. In the spring of 1991, he released his first digital recording (on CD), Silent Days, on UTOPIA; and in 1993, the CD Colours in Double, a tribute to the art of the great traditional music performer Vassilis Soukas, containing the works Colours in Double and Lyrical Suite (recorded live at the Festivals of Irakleion (’88) and Patra (’87)), in which the late musician had substantial solo parts. In 1999, his entire recordings were re-released in 8 CDs on FINEAS, a record label owned by S. Gavrielides Publications.

Most of his work in the last few years has been commissioned by Greek and other cultural authorities and organizations, and has been performed in Europe, Australia and America by renowned music ensembles, such as the Bolshoi Soloists, the Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, Polyrhythmia of Sofia, the Okada percussion ensemble of Tokyo, the Russo and Mlada Quartets, the Symphony Orchestras of Leipzig, Ljubljana, ABC (Australian Radio), ALEA (Boston University), the Orchestra of the Hellenic Radio and the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki. And from its very early days, the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) has on numerous occasions commissioned and hosted works by Kyriakos Sfetsas, performed by famous Greek and other soloists and ensembles, including the organist Daniel Chorzempa and the Camerata Orchestra.

In volume 9B of the Dictionary of World Biography, the music critic Giorgos Leotsakos notes, among other things: “No other Greek ‘avant-garde’ composer’s return to tradition was more impressive than that of Sfetsas. Before 1977, in France, he was distinguished by a sound ‘pointillisme': a marked harmonic sensitivity, with which he organized imaginative soundcolour combinations into ‘microstructures’ spread out in an imaginary sound canvas, bringing to mind the paintings of Joan Miro, who had charmed the composer at the time. (Docimology, one of his more beautiful and characteristic works, is from this period.) Chronologically, his musical turn Concert Music Slides, 1977 follows his coming home (1975): melody (tonal, modal, atonal), themes, elaboration as well as improvisation, ‘physical’ rhythms (sometimes asymmetrical and folkish), chords contradicted by unisoni, elements or inspirations from folk music (from Greece and Eastern cultures, either traditional or elaborated through ‘ethnic’ schools) and Byzantine music (his Love Song is performed by a cantor), and other codes or techniques of communication (e.g. jazz, rock). However, by replacing this ‘hermetic’ idiom with authenticated codes of communication, the music of Sfetsas expands sometimes into great lengths, and reveals a painful loneliness and a quest for the other, in which it is difficult to distinguish between the personal and the socio-environmental factors. Behind the persistence of his writing one can guess a dramatic need for communication. Despite the ruggedness of the themes and some instances of classical ‘elaboration’, the three parts of his gigantic (duration: 61’46″!) piano suite Cactus Light (’80-’83) often give the impression of one lonely pianist improvising. One of the most fascinating of his latest works is Moments of a Lonesome Town: within the aloneness and inhumanity of the modern world, the quest for the other continues, with a more emphatic lyricism. So, hope still persists.”
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Artist

Albums

SC 109403 / 4 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Smog album art Kyriakos Sfetsas* Smog(2xLP, Quad) Scorpios SC 109403 / 4 France 1974 Sell This Version
14C 062 71149, 14C 062-71149 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Χωρίς Σύνορα album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Greek Fusion Orchestra Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Greek Fusion Orchestra - Χωρίς Σύνορα(LP, Album) Columbia, Columbia 14C 062 71149, 14C 062-71149 Greece 1980 Sell This Version
Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Στο Δρόμο album art Κατερίνα Γώγου, Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Κατερίνα Γώγου, Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Στο Δρόμο (Album) Columbia, Columbia Greece 1981 Sell This Version
Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Στο Ρεύμα Του Ήλιου / Taksim album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Στο Ρεύμα Του Ήλιου / Taksim (Album) Columbia Greece 1981 Sell This Version
Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Το Στίγμα album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Το Στίγμα (Album) Columbia Greece 1982 Sell This Version
Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Τοπίο (Paysage) / Ερωτικό Τραγούδι (Songs Of Love) album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Τοπίο (Paysage) / Ερωτικό Τραγούδι (Songs Of Love) Εταιρία Νέας Μουσικής Greece 1985 Sell This Version
UR 112 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Αλεπομαζώματα - Παιδική Παράσταση Για Μικρούς Και Μεγάλους album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Αλεπομαζώματα - Παιδική Παράσταση Για Μικρούς Και Μεγάλους(LP) United (4) UR 112 Greece 1985 Sell This Version
GM 1004/5 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Works Vol. 1 album art Kyriakos Sfetsas* Works Vol. 1(2xLP) Praxis (2) GM 1004/5 Greece 1985 Sell This Version
Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Η Νύχτα Με Τη Σιλένα album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Η Νύχτα Με Τη Σιλένα (Album) CBS, CBS Greece 1986 Sell This Version
Π.Ε.Κ. 6, C.U.P. 6 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Διπλοχρωμία album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Διπλοχρωμία(CD, Album) Πανεπιστημιακές Εκδόσεις Κρήτης, Crete University Press Π.Ε.Κ. 6, C.U.P. 6 Greece 1993 Sell This Version
1016-4 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Ήλιος Ήλιος Και Βροχή - Τραγούδια Από Την Παράσταση album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας, Michalis Ganas Κυριάκος Σφέτσας, Michalis Ganas - Ήλιος Ήλιος Και Βροχή - Τραγούδια Από Την Παράσταση(Cass, Album) Digital Press Hellas 1016-4 Greece 1996 Sell This Version
ΑΚΤ 517071 2 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Γη Των Απουσιών album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας, Κική Δημουλά Κυριάκος Σφέτσας, Κική Δημουλά - Γη Των Απουσιών(CD, Album) Ακτή, Sony Music Entertainment Greece S.A. ΑΚΤ 517071 2 Greece 2004 Sell This Version
Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Greek Fusion Orchestra Vol.1 album art Kyriakos Sfetsas* Greek Fusion Orchestra Vol.1 (Album) Teranga Beat Greece 2018 Sell This Version
TBCD 023 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Greek Fusion Orchestra Vol.2 album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Greek Fusion Orchestra Vol.2(CD, Album, Dlx) Teranga Beat TBCD 023 Greece 2019 Sell This Version
TBLP 023 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Greek Fusion Orchestra Vol.2 album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Greek Fusion Orchestra Vol.2(LP, Album, Dlx) Teranga Beat TBLP 023 Greece 2019 Sell This Version
CDAU-003 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Χωρίς Σύνορα album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Greek Fusion Orchestra Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Greek Fusion Orchestra - Χωρίς Σύνορα(CD, Album) finea' sound CDAU-003 Greece Unknown Sell This Version

Miscellaneous

9789603 363576 Κυριάκος Σφέτσας - Paragelia/ Παραγγελιά album art Κυριάκος Σφέτσας Paragelia/ Παραγγελιά(CD, RM) finea' sound 9789603 363576 Greece Unknown Sell This Version

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