The secrets of Greek folk clarinet

Technique, repertoire, tunings, cultural connotations

Manos Achalinotopoulos

25 - 31 August

Duration: 30 hours
Time Schedule: 11.00 – 14.00 & 17.00 – 20.00
Language: Greek / English

Manos Achalinotopoulos, one of the most famous and prolific masters of folk clarinet worldwide, will be conducting a unique workshop on the instrument and its music. Performing style, repertoire, cultural merging together with articulation, microtonal tuning, circular breathing and the role of human anatomy in playing will be explored and discussed.

Moreover, participants will have the opportunity to meet Christos Karakostas and Samir Kurtov, two living legends of the balkan music who are joining Music Village for two days.

The workshop is open to experienced performers of the clarinet as well as to all musicians interested in the subject.

cv achalinotopoulosManos Achalinotopoulos

Manos Achalinotopoulos considered by critics, composers and musicologists as the best clarinet performer of the new generation in Greece, was born and grew up in Athens where he lived with his Asia Minor origin parents. He started learning the flute and clarinet from a very early age. He was taught clarinet by V.Soukas and he studied theory of music next to N.Drellas and M.Tavlos

As of 1990 and afterwards he develops a rich artistic activity both on the level of performances – concerts and in discography.

Collaborations on the radio, on the television, in discography, and in performances, with the whole range of Hellenic composers, musicians and singers. Indicatively, we mention: Chr.Aidonidis, T.Verra, G.Koros, Ar.Moschos, P.Chalkias, S.Kazantzidis, V.Perpiniadis, D.Savvopoulos, G.Dalaras, Ch.Alexiou, M.Theodorakis, D.Papaioannou, D.Papadimitrioy, El.Arvanitaki, Alk.Protopsalti, D.Galani, E.Vitali, Glikeria, E.Tsaligopoulou, Th.Mikroytsikos, S.Kraounakis, G.Andreou, N.Portokaloglou, G.Kiourtsoglou, D.Lynch, S.Sinopoulos, S.Lantsias, M.Siganidis, K.Theodorou, A.Ioannidis, Th.Papakonstantinou and others. He also performs similar creative collaborations abroad with artists, such as Ara Dinkjian, Abeer Nehme, Bijan Chemirani, Peter Prommel, John Psathas, Goran Brecovic, Peter Kowalt, Ocay Temiz, Misirli Ahmed, Muazzam Ali Khan, Susheela Raman, Nana Mouschouri, Pirashanna Theverajah, Hamish McKeich and others. Personal record productions, such as: Hyacinth (1998), the Popular Clarinet (1996), Live in Amsterdam with the big orchestra Nederland’s Blazers Ensemble (2004), Zopyrein* (2010), Flight on light (2012), etc.

Performances throughout the globe in over 35 countries with the top participations being those in the big Jazz Festival of Montraux both in 1999 and in 2001, in the Sphinx Festival of Belgium, in the Savvorama at the Concert Hall of Athens and of Thessaloniki with Dionyssis Savvopoulos, while he participated with his clarinet as the mail soloist in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Athens Olympic Games.

Since 1998, his activity has been different from that of pure folk clarinet music, researching, composing and collaborating with musicians from all over the world, issues related to modern modal music creation, modern composition and improvisation, oralities in music and musical modalities in the expression of the clarinet in the modern world. This activity is associated with it always trying to creatively illuminate both interactions with neighbors musical cultures as well as the relation of the clarinet to the earlier indigenous winds (zurnas, bagpipes, flutes). For the critics, what makes Manos Achalinotopoulos so special is the mixing of the traditional style of playing the clarinet and its special idioms with Jazz, Balkan Ethnic style and influences of the western music.

In March 2006 a collaboration with internationally renowned Greek-New Zealand composer John Psathas began with a series of performances – concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra of New Zealand in Wellington fisrt. Then, the collaboration continued with Auckland Philarmonia Orchestra where he interpreted as the main soloist, on 18/03/2011 at a show held in Auckland Town Hall (and was broadcast live by the Radio New Zealand both in Australia and New Zealand), the multi-thematic musical project “The new Zeibekiko”, which attempts a timeless view of the Hellenic myth acting in an orchestration through the interaction – dialogue between the traditional sound and the symphonic one, while In December of the same year he joints a performance at the Music Hall of Constantinople with his fellow artist, Turkish clarinetist Serkan Cagri, as they are accompanied by a multitude of excellent Hellene and Turkish artists, illuminating the parallel paths of the interpretative tradition of clarinet on both sides of the Aegean Sea.
Following that, an important event was the series of concerts held at the Music Hall of Paris “Cité de la musique” and in the festival “Les Orientales” of Saint Florent le Vieil having as a theme the melodic and elaborate instrumental music of Ioannina and Preveza (alipassalidika) (June 2013).
His participation as a soloist representing Hellas in the international clarinet festival which was held in the Concert Hall of Amsterdam “Main Hall, Muziekgebouw” on 07/04/2016 was a very special moment. This top organization hosted important clarinetists from around the world and from many musical genres (classical, jazz, local traditions, etc.). Among others, the artists participating in such organization were Joris Roelofs, David Kweksilber, Husnu Senlendirici, etc. (April 2016).

He participated as a soloist, composer and orchestrator in a series of performances entitled “Sacred Imaginations” with the music (modern and ancient) of the Christian East: Greece, Lebanon, Russia, Ethiopia and India. The artists that have also participated are Abeer Nehme, Susheela Raman, Samuel Yirga, the Doros Ensemble, and others. It was presented in London (King’s Place), in Paris (Théâtre de l’Atelier), and in Berlin (Babylon Theater) (June – July 2015). In September 2017 he participated at Sacred Imaginations II, where the pre-existing performance was specially adapted for the Barbican Theater in London, but retained its basic idea of music (new and ancient) from the Christian East: Greece, Russia, Ethiopia , India collaborating with artists such as Samuel Yirga Sam Mills, Ensemble Doros, Susheela Raman and others.

In 2018, the great Greek choreographer, Dimitris Papaioannou, included extracts of Manos Achalinopoulos discography as soundtrack in his performance "Since She" which was at fisrt designed specifically for the Wuppertal - Pina Baus Dance Theater and since then it has appeared in various countries worldwide, while in Greece it was presented at the central stage of the Onassis Foundation's Arts and Letters (May-December 2018).

The invitation to the Paris Conservatory to play and teach, from 20 to 22 December 2018, was an important moment in his career both on a personal level and as an honor for the Greek folk school in general. On the central stage of the Conservatoire of Paris, "Salon Vinteuil" he performed in a solo clarinet concert "a tribute to the Greek folk clarinet", having a great success, while at the same time he taught at the Conservatoire in a master class entitled "Transformations and interactions in the musical performances of the Greek folk" with the participation of many undergraduate and postgraduate students from different regions of the world.

During the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 he taught in master classes and workshops of a wide range of themes related to the interpretation and performance of the Greek folk clarinet in Houdetsi of Crete, under the Ross Daly Labyrinth auspices. These master classes and workshops, attended from students from different countries of the world, had an interactive form with the organization of music ensembles, performances and concerts that took place at the same time In April 2019 he taught in a series of master classes titled "Greek, Balkan Music and Clarinet" within the framework of the "Labyrinth Catalunya" institution in Cardedeu of Spain, in which clarinetists, singers and musicians of various musical instruments participated.

He is Associate Professor of the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia.