Greek Turkish Youth Orchestra

The idea of the Greek Turkish Youth Orchestra (GTYO) originated from the conviction of music lover Leni Konialidis, that playing music in a group generates harmony and friendship in human relations.
Sharing the universal language of music in the same orchestra brings the young musicians closer, thus creating a bridge to harmony.
The Greek Turkish Youth Orchestra experience allowed for these ideas to be realised.
The University of Bilkent in Ankara, which has an important music department under the direction of its Dean, Isin Metin, showed interest in the project. In Athens, auditions were held by professionals in order to select the young Greek musicians for the orchestra, under the supervision of Maestro Tassos Symeonidis. 
Two concerts took place in Turkey; in Ankara and in Constantinople, and two in Greece; at the Irodio Attikou in Athens and in the Roman Odio of Patras. The orchestra was conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. Vassilis Tsabropoulos was the Greek piano soloist in Turkey, while the Turkish piano soloist Gulsin Onay performed in Greece.
The programme included Skalkottas’ Selection of Greek Dances, Erkin’s Turkish Dances, Kocekce Orchestra Suite, Grieg’s Concerto for piano in A minor Op. 16, Cesar Franck’s Suite from Psyche, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.
The success of the project was reflected by the very positive response of the press and the public in both countries. Furthermore, the orchestra allowed for many strong friendships to be developed between the young Greek and Turkish musicians during the summer tour.
In November 2008, five representatives of the GTYO played in Rotterdam during a Forum organised by the Club de Madrid under the name: “Leadership for shared societies: building a world safe for difference”. Heads of States and Governments from over 50 countries participated in this event where Bill Clinton attended the last day of the Forum when the GTYO musicians performed. The programme included Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major K 58 Allegretto con Variation, Skalkottas’ Selection of Greek Dances and Erkin’s Turkish Dances.
The Greek Turkish Quintet, just like the Greek Turkish Youth Orchestra was created to foster dialog, communication, and friendship between young musicians.
In the summer of 2009 Greek and Turkish musicians reunited once again with great enthusiasm. The American College of Greece hosted the Turkish musicians and offered its premises for rehearsals and the first concert performance. The orchestra then travelled to Katerini where it performed at the Dion Theater. The tour continued to Kavala where the concert at the impressive castle, unfolded as a magically fuelled event.
World famous, 26 year old violinist Ilya Gringolts was the soloist on this tour and performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto alongside the orchestra. The orchestra also performed Mozart’s Overture to the Marriage of Figaro and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, and was conducted in alternance by Isin Metin and Anastasios Symeonidis. 
On September 3, 2010, the Greek Turkish Youth Orchestra gave an unprecedented concert in the atrium of the Acropolis museum. The young musicians captivated the public with arias from Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Bizet where Tenor Constantinos Klironomos and Soprano Anna Pangalou were highly applauded. In the second part of the concert, the orchestra presented the Unfinished Symphony of Franz Schubert. Anastasios Symeonidis, conducted the orchestra.
The unique outdoor setting and the impressive venue of the Acropolis museum, combined with the enthusiastic public of all ages, transformed this musical evening into a very special event. The concert was free of charge and two hours prior to its beginning, all seats and stairs of the atrium surroundings were occupied.
The press prized the performance of the orchestra and gave encouraging coverage for the performances and the future of the Greek Turkish Youth Orchestra.
The next day the orchestra travelled to Nafplion where it performed the same programme on the Arvanitias square.

Participations - Performances - Collaborations