RETURNGiorgos Koumendakis

Giorgos Koumendakis

Greek National Opera’s Artistic Director, Giorgos Koumendakis, was born in Rethymno in 1959. He is one of the most gifted and versatile Greek composers. Apart from his numerous pieces of symphonic and chamber music, a large part of his artistic career has been devoted to composing music for performing arts (theater, cinema, dance, opera, installations). He has composed and presented four operas, among which stands out the two-act opera The murderess. Written upon request of the Greek National Opera, this work combines the Greek music tradition with the genre’s contemporary European identity. Koumendakis’ significant distinctions start in 1985, when he is chosen by György Ligeti to compose Symmolpa V. A few months later he participates in the Venice Biennale. In 1987, he cooperates for the first time with the renowned French ensemble of contemporary music Ensemble InterContemporain, and thus, sets off his gradually broader international recognition, that leads, in 1992, to Prix de Rome, an honorary scholarship, entailing a year of creative stay in the French Academy in Rome (Villa Medici). The same year begins his long-standing cooperation with choreographer-director Dimitris Papaioannou and Edafos Dance Theater, that reaches its peak with the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, for which Koumendakis served as music director, composer and author of the musical scenario. Ηe has worked together with leading artists in the fields of theater, opera and dance, such as, among others, Karolos Koun, Stefanos Lazaridis, Yannis Houvardas, Roula Pateraki, Rallou Manou etc. He has also served as the artistic director of the musical ensemble “Nikos Skalkotas”, the Kyklos Ensemble and the Rethymno Rennaissance Festival, and as the arts program manager for the Cultural Foundation of Tinos. His works have been presented throughout the world, in prestigious concert halls and lyric theaters. From 2015 to February 2017 he was the arts programme manager of the Greek National Opera’s Alternative Stage, for which he planned innovative programs and productions based on artistic, educational and social criteria.