Since its foundation in 2001, Avantgarde Cultural Foundation has had the pleasure of working together with some of the world’s greatest artists (Vladimir Ashkenazy, Dimitris Sgouros, Thomas Duis, Savvas Savva, Plotinos Mikromatis, Joja Wendt), groups (The Ten Tenors, Stars in Concert) and ensembles (Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Chorus, European Union Youth Orchestra).
The Foundation has organised some of the greatest cultural activities in Cyprus over the past few years. Avantgarde is well known for its ambitious and highly daring projects, some of which are quite original. Some deserve a special mention:
1 Young Europe Salutes Cyprus
A week of concerts and master classes with the European Union Youth Orchestra and Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, prior to Cyprus’ accession to the European Union [August 2002]
2 Medieval Cyprus: A Concert for 10 Pianos & Orchestra
A Cypriot composer, a Cypriot Orchestra and 10 young Cypriot pianists went together on stage for the first time ever, to perform a Dance Suite for 10 Pianos as well as a Concert for 10 Pianos and an Orchestra [October 2005]
3 Natura Madre – Natura Morta
A unique exhibition / presentation by Greek artists Stathis Chrysikopoulos and Filonas Lambrou, demonstrating in the best way possible that nature is alive, feels and understands what happens around it, and of course it produces music! [September 2007]
4 Pianisti non “solo”
Four pianos, six percussions, four vocals and a chorus undertook the difficult task of performing unique works by four different composers: I. Stravinsky, C. Stylianou, S. Savva, C. Czerny. Fourteen soloists, a choir, two (orchestra and choir) conductors and two living composers from ten different countries! An amazing, multicultural, project co-organised with Ledra Music Soloists [October 2007]
5 Christmas Concert / European Music Day
Avantgarde Cultural Foundation pays tribute to such special events as Christmas (25 December) or the European Music Day (21 June). Indoors or outdoors, with renowned artists or children; whether soloists, choirs or ensembles, music is being performed to the highest level.
6 CD Recordings
Avantgarde takes very seriously the promotion of Cyprus and its culture overseas. It is within these very frameworks what the Foundation records some of the concerts it organizes and later distributes the recordings (CD) free of charge in Cyprus and abroad. It all began with the double collection “Young Europe Salutes Cyprus” (2002) with the concerts of the European Union Youth Orchestra; a recording which was sent all around the world to promote the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. This was followed by equally remarkable recordings with the participation of distinguished artists and/or ensembles. An important milestone is the recording of the Concert for 10 Pianos & Orchestra (by composer Savvas Savva) which the Foundation organized in September 2005 and was a world premiere.
7 PanCyprian Competition for Young Pianists
Organized for the first time in May 1998 and biennial ever since, this competition was well received and has always been considered as the best of its kind in Cyprus since the very beginning. It is co-organised with the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation which broadcasts the final evening live through its Television programs and Radio channels and is valid for young pianists under the age of 17.
8 Play Me, I’m Yours
Possibly the world’s biggest musical interactive installation! Touring internationally since 2008, Luke Jerram’s artwork came to Cyprus thanks to Avantgarde and the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. Nicosia became the 45th city that accommodated this incredible event. Twelve renowned local artists decorated ten new pianos which were exposed in the city (streets, malls, parks and other public areas) for all to play on and enjoy! It has been estimated that a record number of over 250,000 came into contact with the installation. The pianos were then donated to charities (hospitals, rehab centres, schools) around the country. More on this can be retrieved through www.nicosiapianos.com