SEFERIS – CYPRUS – ASIA MINOR: “memory hurts wherever you touch it”


Giorgos Seferis, one of the most important Greek poets and a Nobel laureate, had a deep connection with Cyprus. During the three trips he made to Cyprus, in 1953, 1954 and 1955, he wrote some of his greatest poems, all of which were dedicated to the island of Cyprus. These poems express perfectly the island’s cultural wealth, history and identity while conveying the ideas and values of Cyprus, which remain timeless and relevant to the current time. In Seferis own words, Cyprus is the place where, miracles still happen. At the concert, seven symphonic poems will be performed from the collection “Κύπρον ου μ’ εθέσπισεν” which was published in December 1955. The composer of the songs is Giorgos Kalogirou.

On the centenary of the Asia Minor Catastrophe, Giorgos Seferis the poet from Smyrna, becomes the connection between Cyprus and Anatolia. Cyprus and Anatolia, are not only connected historically, culturally and aesthetically, but also through the emotions of their people, in both regions “memory hurts wherever you touch it”. Along with songs from Seferi’s “Τραγούδια καταστρώματος” poetry collection, one will enjoy the composers new songs entitled “Ο καημός της Ιωνίας” based on the lyrics of Eurydiki Perikleous-Papadopoulos in regards to Anatolia as well as poems of Cypriot poets such as Michalis Passiardis, Vassilis Michaelidis, Dimitris Lipertis set to music by the composer himself.

The narrator, being both the poet and the bearer of speech, is an integral part of the concert.

With the use of both traditional and modern instruments, the songs with create a musical passage to connect past, present and future.

A poet’s words express every individuals need for truth, consolation and struggle to stay alive and active in difficult eras. Now, in the times we live, these words have to be heard and become a guide to the conscientious challenges we face.

The live music performance consists of five musicians (lute, guitar, flute, percussion, santouri) and a narrator.

George Kalogirou: Voice – Guitar – Tzouras

Charalambos Panteli: Lute – Lavta – Guitar

Constantina Xenophontos: Voice – Percussions

Veronica Aloneftou: Santoor

Constantinos Makaritis: Flute

Christos Pettemeridis: Narration