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Following the founding grant for the establishment of the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) in 2017, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supported the Orchestra’s operation and the organisation of its concerts during the 2021-2022 artistic season. GYSO, which was founded by conductor Dionysis Grammenos and is a member of the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO) and the MusXchange programme, comprises young musicians from all over Greece, as well as Greek musicians living abroad. Its primary goal is to identify, guide, train and promote talented young musicians in the symphonic and operatic repertoire under the guidance of internationally renowned soloists and principals of Greek and major European orchestras. Participation in the orchestra is free of charge, following an audition, while all travel and accommodation expenses of the musicians are covered.
At the same time, another main characteristic of GYSO’s activity is the implementation of educational actions, aiming at introducing young people to symphonic music and the values it embodies. In this context, in 2022 GYSO presented the innovative activity “ΕλΣΟΝ VR” in Corfu, in the framework of the Corfu International Festival. Through the use of state-of-the-art virtual reality technologies and specially designed 360° audiovisual materials from live orchestra performances, students from all educational levels had the opportunity to discover the world of classical music in an experiential way. The “ΕλΣΟΝ VR” mask allowed students to wander around the orchestra’s young musicians during the concert, as they performed important works from the repertoire of composers such as Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Weber and Schubert. In addition, the Athens Concert Hall hosted a consultancy and empowerment educational programme entitled “Young musicians of GYSO speak to tomorrow’s musicians” for teenagers who are studying music and are interested in becoming professional musicians. As part of the workshop, participants had the opportunity to meet the performers of a concert and watch them rehearse, experiencing the vibe and challenges of a professional performancein real time.
“At a time when classical music as a concept may seem somewhat distant, incomprehensible or even completely unfamiliar to a large part of our society, it is now more than ever necessary that we come up with new, creative ways to coexist and engage with the public. ‘ΕλΣΟΝ VR’, our Orchestra’s input to the contemporary music scene, is one of the ways to make the musical masterpieces of another era accessible to today’s audiences. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, and while adhering to safety and public health regulations, we invite the audience to experience a live symphony concert, while showcasing the immense talent and potential of the new generation of Greek musicians.”
Founder & Artistic Director, GYSO
“Throughout the years that I have been a member of this exceptional orchestra, we have embarked on many different musical journeys. GYSO, an orchestra unique to our country and its young musicians, has not only offered us immense musical experiences, but has also enabled us to connect with remarkable people who make each project unforgettable. The collaboration and connection among us breathe life into the music pieces and drive us to evolve and discover something new every single time. With these wonderful memories, repertoire, and skills that GYSO has gifted us so far, I look forward to discovering the new places it has yet to take us in the coming years.”
Cello, 25 years old
Codarts University for the Arts, The Netherlands
“My participation in the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra is a thrilling musical journey that offers me new knowledge and experiences. As a member of the orchestra, I am constantly evolving as a musician and have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a multitude of talented people. The initiative of our conductor, Dionysis Grammenos, has resulted in a vibrant, enthusiastic and high-level orchestra that has much to offer. I am particularly delighted as I can participate in these unique GYSO concerts, creating a beautiful outcome with this exceptional group of musicians.”
Violin, 24 years old
Reina Sofía School of Music, Spain