The solo piano works of Theodore Antoniou in the context of contemporary Greek piano repertoire: a performer’s approach

Destounis, K. (2019) The solo piano works of Theodore Antoniou in the context of contemporary Greek piano repertoire: a performer’s approach. Doctoral thesis, Royal College of Music.

Abstract

This study focuses on the music for solo piano by the renowned Greek composer, Theodore Antoniou (1935-2018), with whom I have had a close collaboration for the performances and world première recording of his complete piano works. Despite Antoniou’s international reputation, his piano works still remain neglected. Therefore, I aim to establish a performance tradition which is in line with the composer’s musical perception and to make these works available to a wider, international audience. In this study, particular attention is drawn to Antoniou’s conception of ‘Abstract Programmatic Music’, a term which he introduced in order to describe his own work. My study expands to selected piano works by the living Greek composers Andreas Paparousos, Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, John Psathas and Costas Tsougras, with whom I also collaborated for the purposes of my research. A vital part of my thesis is the examination of my evolution as a pianist through the close working relationship with the composers, as well as the expansion of my skills and techniques on the piano through the study of the chosen repertoire. The core of the current thesis is the comparison and combination among the three main factors which shaped my interpretations of the selected works, namely: 1) the indications in the scores, 2) the composers’ own comments about their works and 3) my personal conception, feeling and reaction to these works. The portfolio which is submitted along with this thesis includes a CD with my recording of Antoniou’s complete piano works, which was released by Naxos as part of its ‘Grand Piano’ series (available here: https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=GP779), as well as a second CD with my recordings of the contextual repertoire.

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