Paxos Festival Trust
The 2011 Spring Festival
The 8th Paxos Spring Festival took place on the island between 14-24 June 2011. This festival is
the continuing development of John Gough's later concept of talented younger Greek musicians
forming the core of an ensemble studying and performing a repertoire dedicated to the
advancement of new music.
As in previous years, the festival takes the form of master classes and informal concerts on Paxos
under the guidance of IEMA with teaching by players from its parent, the Ensemble Modern
, one of
Europe's leading performers of this music genre.
The annual programme of works is developed with Nicos Tsouclos, Artistic Director of the
Athens Megaron, in conjunction with the Ensemble Modern. The festival enables them to prepare three concerts to be performed by the group (now known as the
Ergon Ensemble) in Athens in the following winter, and possibly elsewhere in Greece and Europe.
The 20 participants in 2011 were mainly drawn from those of previous years and are
becoming well versed in the demands of this music. The Festival also provided the opportunity for IEMA to
evaluate some new players.
This year's programmes are themed around Italian composers of the past 50 years, and the
American Minimalists, including Glass and Adams. The Italian programme had some large-scale pieces involving almost all players, and conducted by
The programme has a particular demand for a wide range of percussion instruments, which adds
to the work of the Athens organisers, and sets a challenge for the former Paxiot schoolhouses!
This year was particularily difficult for the organisers since funding from various important Greek
organisations for this complex festival was only finalised at a very late date.
Furthermore, the venue for the masterclasses and performances had to be moved from
Loggos to Gaios, as the hall was still undergoing essential refurbishment: this took the performers
away from their much loved environment.
The Trust was encouraged by the growing number of schoolchildren coming to the rehearsals, and
the opportunity to discuss the music with the players.