The Ritsos Ensemble Musicians:

Aristéa Mellos, piano, Australia/Greece (Festival Director)

Yoshiko Arahata, piano, Japan

Arda Cabaoglu, trumpet, Turkey

Josinaldo Costa, guitar, Brazil

Phil Pierick, saxophone, USA

Zach Sheets, flute, USA


Donoussa Theatre: 
Anastasia Andreadis


Special Guests:
Eri Ritsou

Ozdemir Ince

Chrysostomos Galathris


The Pythagorios Music School &

Νεανική Χορωδία Μουσικού Προγραμματος "σαμart": 

Manos Parianos 

Dimitra Tsakania

Giorgos Koumaradios


Click here for a detailed program for all dates.


Thursday, July 21, 9:30pm 

Vrysaki, Athens - Catharsis/Κáθαρσις 

A special exhibition/concert featuring works of photographer Chrysostomos Galathris and the Ritsos Project Ensemble.

Sunday, July 24, 9:00pm 
Karlovasi Town Hall – Recital
A recital of atmospheric chamber music and solo works with guitar, flute, trumpet, saxophone, and piano spanning 1500 – 1920s.

Monday, July 25, 9:00pm 
Karlovasi Town Hall – Recital
A second recital of chamber music solo works with guitar, flute, trumpet, saxophone, and piano from the 20th Century.

Wednesday, July 27, 10:00am – 12:30pm
Karlovasi Town Hall – Children’s Workshop
A free music class for the children of Samos with teachers from the Pythagorios Music School and musicians from the Eastman School of Music (New York) with Eri Ritsou

Wednesday, July 27, 9:00pm
Karlovasi Town Hall – Children’s Concert
The children from the morning’s workshop will take to the stage with their teachers to present a concert of songs, and newly created works of their own.

Thursday, July 28, 9:00pm
Karlovasi Town Hall – Pianist Yoshiko Arahata & the Samart Youth Choir of Vathy
The Samart Youth Choir, directed by Giorgos Koumaradios, is joined by pianist Yoshiko Arahata in a mixed recital of songs from around the world, and the piano music of Federico Mompou. 

Saturday, July 30, 9:00pm
Karlovasi Town Hall – Catharsis/Κáθαρσις
A special exhibition/concert featuring guest poet, Özdemir İnce, photographer Chrysostomos Galathris, Donoussa Theatre Director, Anastasia Andreadis, and the Ritsos Project Ensemble.

Director's notes

2016 Festival SCHEDULE

The Ritsos Project is an annual festival of the fine arts that celebrates the artistic legacy of the great Greek poet and intellectual, Yiannis Ritsos (1909-1990). Founded in 2014, we seek to unite classical musicians from the world over, with Greek visual artists and actors, to create vibrant and immersive experiences. The main feature of the 2016 Ritsos Project takes its title from the Ancient Greek word Κáθαρσις (Catharsis) – meaning a cleansing or purification of emotions (particularly those of pity and/or fear) through art. The tumultuous global events of the last 12 months pose challenges to us as artists. What does the practice of our art mean in the midst of austerity, capital controls, or during the migrant crisis? How can we use art to respond to these events and to counteract the fear driven responses we find around us? How can art be cathartic? 

This year we are returning to Athens for a collaborative concert at the Vrysaky, bringing together the photographs of Chrysostomos Galathris with music that spans the second half the Twentieth Century. From 1927-31, Yiannis Ritsos, suffering from tuberculosis, was confined to a sanatorium in the outskirts of Athens. Galathris’s work revisits the site of the now abandoned sanatorium, re-imagining the space, and infusing it with the same dream-like quality that underscores much of Ritsos’s own poetry from the late 1930s onwards. This program will be expanded in our final concert in Karlovasi, Samos, featuring guest poet, Özdemir İnce and Donoussa Theatre Director, Anastasia Andreadis.



Festival Roster

the Ritsos Project 2016 

SPECIAL THANKS TO
The Earle Brown Foundation
The Eastman School of Music
The Emporikos Syllogos Karlovassou
The Dimarchio of Samos
Hellenic Seaways
The University of the Aegean
The Pythagorios Music School
Eri Ritsou
Kostas Housiadas
Manos Antreiomenos
Giorgos Margaronis
The Mellos Family