The new artistic director of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, Christos Galileas, took over as “conductor” at the Concert Hall amid a pandemic. Waiting for the coveted “opening” tries to see things from their positive side. “At first glance, the conditions (certainly special), under which my term begins, do not seem ideal. However, we are given the time and the opportunity to organize for the future “, he explains to the Athenian / Macedonian News Agency.
His priority is to get to know his collaborators and listen to their views. “As a soloist, I have become accustomed to having absolute individual responsibility. It's very heavy, but you know you control everything. Here, I am not alone. However, I told my colleagues that again I want to take responsibility, either for something that was not done right, or for something good that was not done “. With these principles he will seek to gain the respect of the “team” of Megaron.
Besides, he has experience from teams, as he was vice-president of KAE ARIS. He declares himself “crazy Martian” and “very basketball”. “When I was in that position, at first glance it was an object unrelated to what I was doing. But there is a lot in common between soloists and champions. “The sacrifices they make are similar”, he states and explains that in the violin, as well as in sports, if one does not do a few days of “training” it will be immediately visible. There is no “I learned”, he notes and insists on this with his students at the Music Department of Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA.
Functional and inspired MMT
His first concern is to get to know his associates and to understand their strengths, so that they can use them in the best possible way. “I will leave myself open to the ideas that will come to me as long as I know MMT better.” He knows well what good concerts would be, but he focuses on what the Megaron can “give birth to”.
He also tries to explore the needs that exist, such as the lack of potential. He was impressed, but not discouraged, when he was informed that for both buildings of the Megaron there is only one light fixture and one sound engineer. “The safest way for someone to 'hide' is to say 'but we can't'”, he emphasizes and confesses his personal anguish, through such a position – as that of the Artistic Director – “not to lose myself”. He avoids talking about specific future plans, mainly due to his health condition. “When I have all the data I will have a more complete picture and I will be able to speak more specifically.” He does not want some “strong” events to be planned in conditions of uncertainty, such as concerts of big names from abroad and to be canceled or held with a limited number of spectators. “It will be an own goal”, he explains.
Online events and utilization of new musicians
As long as the halls of the Megaron remain closed to the public, some online activities are planned in order to “on the one hand remain active, on the other hand to support the artists of the country, whose industry has been particularly affected by the pandemic”. For the coming months, priority will be given to supporting artists mainly from Thessaloniki with some flexible and feasible productions -in these conditions-. Discussions have already begun with other cultural organizations in Thessaloniki and the preparation of online events for Valentine's Day ( / 2), on Women's Day (8/3) for 25 March and International Piano Day (29 /3).
The MOYSA-Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall will also be used in these events. “I am especially saddened by the young children. What is happening to them at this time is discouraging. We want MOYSA to be active and to promote it. ”
Besides, Christos Galileas' intention is for MMTH to place great importance on the educational part. “The issue is not just that many children are involved in music. The important thing is to know and love her. This is how we create the audience of the future, which will support those who will be involved professionally. “
” Every time I say I will not do it again “
With hundreds of awards and concerts around the world, the internationally renowned violinist, Christos Galileas, even now, has anxiety in every appearance. “Every time I say that, I will not do it again. And every time there is applause and reward from the audience, I get courage. I say, “it was worth it.” He also insists on managing stress with his students. “What I'm trying to teach them is that the only way to manage stress is to prepare. Be so well prepared that even all the stress in the world will not reduce the quality of their performance. If stress reduces our performance by 250, we need to prepare for 150% ».
Christos Galileas- biography
Born in Thessaloniki in 1975. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA, where he is also the Head of the Department of Strings. He took his first violin lessons from his father, Kosmas Galileas, continued with Stelios Kafantaris and finished his studies with the First Prize for Outstanding Performance and a Gold Medal. With an IKY scholarship he studied further with the famous professor Almita Vamos at the Oberlin Conservatory in the USA, where he was awarded the “Dean's Talent Award” (honorary distinction and scholarship).
years ago made his first public appearance in 25) impressed him by playing the 1st Paganini Violin Concerto with the Symphony Orchestra of the Municipality of Thessaloniki.
1997 won the First Prize in the “Competition of the Society of Greek Scientists” in Chicago and in the Panhellenic Violin Competition of the Macedonian Society “Art” , organized in collaboration with the Thessaloniki State Orchestra and the Organization “Thessaloniki-Cultural Capital of Europe 1997”, while in March 2001 again won First Prize at the “Kate Neal Kinley” Competition in Illinois (USA).
With scholarships of the Juilliard School and the Association “Alexandra Tr ianti ”of the Athens Concert Hall was admitted to the famous Juilliard School in New York (in the class of Dorothy DeLay and Naoko Tanaka), from where he received his Master in May 2001. 2005 completed his studies at the Doctoral Program of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Christos Galileas has collaborated with internationally renowned musicians. An important milestone in his artistic career was his collaboration with Dimitris Sgouros, with whom he often appears in chamber music concerts in Greece and abroad, receiving excellent reviews.
He has performed as a soloist in more than 30 countries (USA, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Latvia, Brazil, Argentina , Romania, Bulgaria, Armenia, Cyprus, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Uruguay etc.) and has played in major concert halls such as Musikverein (Vienna), Gasteig (Munich), Smetana Hall (Prague) Hall (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Hall etc.
His summer 2001 founded the “Greek Camerata”, a Chamber Orchestra, with which he toured North, Central and South America giving more than forty concerts, culminating in appearances at the famous Kennedy Center (Washington, DC ), releasing at the same time Cd. From 2002 he has undertaken the artistic curation of the Chamber Music Festival within the framework of the Festival of “Demitrias”.