"Γένοι' οίος εσσί"..."Become who you are" - Orphic epigram
...Gregoriadou ia a virtuoso guitarist, scholar, and she is a stand out who will no doubt excite audiences, while carving her own niche within the classical guitar world. Incredibly fluent technique, refined tone, deep understanding of the style...
Brad Conroy, GUITAR INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE
Greek guitar soloist and composer Smaro Gregoriadou attempts a redefinition of the classical guitar's sound and technique through the "Reinventing guitar!" project that she introduced in 2009, based on Kertsopoulos Aesthetics platform of inventions. Her innovative artistic and pedagogical approach has generated enthusiastic response worldwide. As the eminent American critic Mr. Raymond Tuttle put it: "In her own way, Gregoriadou evokes musicians such as Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, and Wanda Landowska in her willingness-her need, really-to find a new way to express herself and to reanimate the music, without letting innovation become an end in itself" (Fanfare, Nov/Dec 2012.)
Smaro Gregoriadou has studied with distinguished specialists of our time, including pianist-conductor George Hadjinikos, guitarists George Kertsopoulos, Jesus Castro-Balbi, Paul Galbraith and Roberto Aussel; also composers George Sioras, Theodore Antoniou and Dinos Konstandinidis. She has been awarded a Senior Exhibitioner Scholarship to continue her postgraduate classical guitar studies with Carlos Bonnel at the Royal College of Music, London.
She won numerous international music awards both for composition and solo guitar interpretation, the latest being the Gina Bachauer Soloist Prize 2013. She appeared as soloist in Europe, Russia, Canada, the USA, Australia, and China – and collaborated with major orchestras and chamber music groups in Greece and abroad. Her compositions have been premiered and commissioned by important artistic institutions and ensembles worldwide, including ALEA III, Ensemble Octandre, Helsinki Chamber Ensemble, the Open Source Guitars, Biennale Rome, the Trossingen University of Music, the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens, and many others.
Today she devotes her time mainly to solo guitar performance, music composition and teaching – as well as conducting solo and ensemble classical guitar workshops and multi-disciplinary artistic projects titled "Inclusive Interpretation and Functional Technique". She is a founding member of CHORIAMBOS Theatre Company, a creative platform for research into and presentation of the ancient Greek drama's musical form, essence and identity, and member of the Greek Composers Union.
Her three highly acclaimed CD albums, Smaro Gregoriadou: "Reinventing guitar, Volumes I and II" (DE 3398, DE3419) and "El Aleph" (DE3490) were released by the American label DELOS. Her recent album "SEQUENCES" (AN ART RECORDS AAAR006 - June 2019) consists of original compositions for solo guitar by Nikos Athanassakis in first world presentation.
Her composition "Balkan Dances for solo guitar" was published in 2011 by BRANDON MUSIC Ltd.
What would ever be more important and honoring for a composer than to have his works interpreted and recorded by Smaro Gregoriadou, an extraordinary world-class soloist of classic guitar. A suite in five movements, "Elxis", meaning magnetism in Greek, reflects a "…very individual…" harmony work, as commented in Classical Guitar Magazine, summer 2015. The other works are also created in the same spirit. That is, having a need for special works and for a personal style to be expressed. A suite of Greek dances, dedicated to Smaro. A sonata in three parts, a suite of nocturnes and the suite "Ειρήνη" (Eirini) for the woman of my life. A musical idiom for every single letter of her name. An etude, a tremolo, a waltz, a tango, a ballad, and a salsa, written with gratitude. I dedicate this album to my muse Eirini Polydorou, to my teacher Giorgos Bisbikopoulos and , of course, to Smaro Gregoriadou. I bow to her talent, artistry, skill, sensitivity and musical perception. I'm Grateful!
Nikos Athanassakis is a classical guitarist, composer and songwriter. He holds a classical guitar diploma and diplomas in Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue and Composition, awarded by Giorgos Bisbikopoulos. He has composed chamber, solo, theatre and film music. Published by the companies NAXOS Records, Phasma Music, AN ART ARTISTRY RECORDS, Ammos Music, Foka +Negra Music and Les Productions D' Oz.
The Greek guitarist Smaro Gregoriadou is known for her constant experimentation with the guitar sound. On this CD, you can experience this once again. The programme begins with the Violin Sonata No. 2 BWV 1003, for which the instrument has been tuned five semitones higher than the standard guitar tuning in order to better match the frequency range of the original violin. In Bach's multi-layered work this results in a thoroughly attractive sound, which would certainly not be so magnificent without Smaro Gregoriadou's excellent phrasing and dynamic playing.
The modern compositions on the CD are played in standard tuning. Britten's Nocturnal about Dowland's song ‘Come, heavy Sleep, the image of true Death' is heard in a very finely differentiated interpretation, which expresses very well the mood swings of this musical meditation.
Gubaidulina's expressive Serenade leads to the Suite pour guitare by the Canadian Jacques Hétu (1938-2010). The Suite, composed in 1986, with five relatively short movements, begins with a somewhat unwieldy prelude. This is followed by a Nocturne, while the third movement, the Ballade by Smaro Gregoriadou, is effectively heightened. The fourth movement, Rêverie, leads to the finale, which the guitarist plays with a lot of drive and tension, before the meditative middle section, in stark contrast, provides a breathing pause to gather strength for the virtuoso coda. Also in this piece, Smaro Gregoriadou's full and rich guitar sound is top class.
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