It was in the last three decades of the 12th century that Lavrentios, a monk from Mt Athos, felt compelled to leave Megistis Lavras Abbey of Holy Mt Athos due to the heretic dominance of Varlaam and Akindinou. Upon his arrival in Pelio, 20 kilometres east of Volos and at an altitude of 600 metres (at the site where Agios Lavrentios is now located), the only building that existed was a monastery built by Benedictine monks. Owing to the gold granted to him by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komninos, Lavrentios completed the monastery of Agios Lavrentios (St Laurence) in 1378, on the site of the previous monastery, and, naturally, named the premises after himself. This settlement would later become one of the largest village-towns of Pelio.
The village of Agios Lavrentios owes its material prosperity not only to the absence of stifling occupational forces from mountainous areas, but also to self-rule, autonomy, the unobstructed growth in population and thriving wealth during the 17th and 18th centuries. The coastlines and fields of Agria and Lehonia are split into two equal portions of land belonging to Drakia and Agios Lavrentios respectively and are separated by a great ravine. The inhabitants developed commercial and small industry activities, created links with ex-patriate Greeks and with important European centres, whilst, on a local level, the area was reinforced by the populations of Epirotes, Vlachoi and islanders.
The aforementioned developments in combination with a high concentration of scholars, artists, teachers, educated priests and the operation of schools and libraries, contributed to the creation of a local society which, up to the present day, reveals, regardless of its agricultural beginnings, an urban idiosyncrasy. An amalgam of cosmopolitan temperaments is apparent not only in social expressions and ideals but also in the old noble houses and the closed courtyards that still abound in this area.
At present, about 650 years after the arrival of the first monks, Agios Lavrentios remains a village with an autonomous social life. Its preserved architectural style, the rich network of cobbled streets, the total absence of cars and its natural location in a dense forest of beech, olive and chestnut trees, create the sensation of a place which has remained unchanged throughout the centuries.
THE MUSIC VILLAGE
arTree, a society for musical expression, in collaboration with EKPOL, the Municipality of Artemida and the people of Agios Lavrentios, will be organizing “Music Village” for a 10th year in a row.
This event aims at pre-scheduled and spontaneous performances of musical ideas and the productive exchange of ideas and projects among artists of diverse nationalities.
At the same time, it offers sixteen workshops/masterclasses for group activities, which will be co-ordinated by artists/musicians of international calibre in the area of contemporary or historical performance and creation. The themed sections of each workshop will function integrally and will intend to approach musical art broadly, yet effectively, whilst putting particular emphasis on original and unconventional areas that have not yet been integrated into the Greek educational system.
The above-mentioned activities will take place in a centuries-old venue of historical importance, where high aesthetics are not only reflected in the local architectural style of Pilio, but are also apparent in its special natural surroundings. During their sojourn, the “temporary” residents of “Music Village”, as well as acquiring the desirable knowledge, will also have the opportunity to participate actively or passively in numerous music performances that will take place in houses and courtyards of the village and in piazzas and forest clearings. They will also have the chance to take part, together with their instructors, in walking tours / excursions and take appropriate musical instruments along. Finally, they will enjoy accommodation in traditional hostels in the village and will taste the cuisine of Pilio and the celebrated “ritual tsipouro drinking sessions” at the central village piazza.
As coordinators of this newly established music community, we invite you to take part, actively or as visitors. Rather than falling into the typical traditions of a closed circle festival or a touristic fete, we intend to establish a creative symbiosis among artists, music lovers, locals and the natural environment and hope to create an institution that will reinforce both creativity and human relations.
Agios Lavrentios is about 21km from Volos, at an altitude of about 600m.
Access from Volos is by bus, taxi and car.
2 routes run daily (except Sunday) to and from Agios Lavrentios
MAGNESIA KTEL (ticket cost 2,20 €).
From Volos we move to the coast of "Agria". After crossing and before reaching "Kato Lechonia", we find a sign to Agios Lavrentios left.
The fare from Volos is about 20 €.
The fare from Agria is about 12 €.
MUSIC VILLAGE TEAM
(coordination of educational and artistic projects)
Kostas Makrygiannakis studied music at the Synchronon Conservatoire of Thessaloniki, with Stavros Sourgounis and at Trinity College of Music in London, with Nicola Hall and Colin Downs. He holds a guitar diploma and a master’s degree in music.
Since 1997, he has performed in venues and festivals in Greece, UK, Germany, Denmark, Cyprus, Switzerland, Finland and the Czech Republic. His interests include chamber music, new music for guitar, historically based performance as well as pop music, conceptual music and composition. His collaborations include many distinguished musicians, dancers and actors. He has premiered many new works for solo guitar as well as for chamber ensembles, promoting contemporary music in Greece and abroad. He has broadcasted for EBU, BBC and ERT among other networks and has been involved in several album recordings. Fragments is his first album featuring his solo guitar music.
In 2005 - 2011 Kostas inspired and organised the Guitar Plus Festival, the only Greek festival entirely focused on chamber guitar music from the Renaissance to the present day. Since 2012 he is the artistic director of the Municipal Conservatoire of Thessaloniki. He is a founding member / artistic director of Music Village International Arts Community, one of the most important cultural societies in Greece, which brings together artists from all over the world in the context of performing, education and cultural cross-breeding.
(coordination of educational and artistic projects)
Thymios Atzakas was born in Thessaloniki in 1971. He studied the classical guitar with Costas Cotsiolis, Hubert Käppel and Carlo Marchione. He was taught the oud and modal music by Ziad Radjab, Βehnam Manadjedi and Ross Daly. He is a graduate of the New Conservatoire of Thessaloniki, the Music Academy of Köln and the Academy of Music and Drama of Leipzig.
He lived in Berlin from 1998 until 2004. During the last decade, his main avocations have been the performance and exploration of the ud and other lute instruments, music composition and improvisation. Moreover, as a guitar player, he also performs early and contemporary music.
Thymios has so far performed at international festivals and attended to and participated in many projects in Greece, Cyprus, Τurkey, Romania, Spain, Portugal, England, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Morocco and Syria and Kirgizstan. He has broadcast and recorded for the Greek Radio and Television, the WDR, Deutsche Welle, MDR, Arte and the BBC.
He has also founded music groups, amongst others: the Armos Ensemble, the Tropos Quartett Berlin, and, in collaboration with Antonis Anissegos, the SOMA.
As of 2005, Thymios teaches the oud and co-ordinates music groups in the sector of Traditional Greek Music at the Department of Musical Arts and Sciences of Makedonia University.
George - Emmanuel Lazaridis
Born in Greece, George-Emmanuel Lazaridis has embarked on a flourishing international career, appearing in prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and Barbican St Lukes, Carnegie Hall, Stockholm’s Konserthuset, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, receiving great critical acclaim from audiences and critics alike.
He has performed with leading orchestras such as the Hamburg Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Strasbourg Philharmonic, and has appeared in international festivals including Harrogate, Athens and Montpellier.
George recently released CDs of Schumann piano works and the R.Strauss and Rachmaninov sonatas for violin/cello and piano with Yuri Zisslin (Somm), as well as of Liszt’s B minor Piano Sonata and Grandes Etudes de Paganini (Linn Records). These have been rapturously received, with five-star reviews from the international press, including recommendations by Gramophone Magazine, International Piano, The Pianist, Diapason, and BBC Music magazine, which selected both CDs as instrumental discs of the month. He will be soon recording Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition for LINN Recordings.
As a composer, Lazaridis has received commissions from the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Europa Cantat International Festival and several others. Recent successes have included a recital tour in prestigious venues in Europe and the USA and concerts at the Epidaurus Ancient Theatre in Athens presenting his own composition Love Ends in Tragedy.
Lazaridis’ playing has been characterized as ‘special enough to be beyond comparison’ (BBC Music Magazine, Adrian Jack), and he has received a plethora of honorary awards and scholarships, including medals from the prestigious Academy of Athens and the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
(production manager - IT manager, webmaster)
Alexandros Seitaridis was born in Athens in 1981.
He has studied computer science at the University of Hertfordshire and has acquired a Bachelor of Science with Second Class Honors (First Division) in Computer. He has also graduated from the Workshop of Pedagogic / Playing through Theatre of Lakis Kouretzis at “Theatro tis Imeras” and puppet theater workshop by Stathis Markopoulos.
He works as a consulter of internet and technology (IT Manager) and as web sites designer. He has worked as a Film and Video Editor in many short length film movies, in documentaries and music video clips.
He was the editor of the two-page article on technology news, “High tech Street” of the monthly magazine Difono. He has designed and edited many catalogues, posters and flyers for concerts and music artists’ exhibitions.
He is jointly responsible for the operation of internet radio station “Radio Art” with listeners from all around the world.
He is trying for Art to be in every aspect of his professional activity and combine multiple disciplines.
He is a founding member of the artistic group “Fortunati” where playing through theatre and puppetry, they create new worlds and ‘travel’ through fantasy and fairy tales.
He has attended seminars of ancient drama and is a member of the Martha Fritzila’s group “Dromos me Dentra”.
From 2010 he is the Production Manager of international music festival “Music Village“ in Agios Lavrentions, Pelion.
He is Lighting Designer, specialising in lighting design for dance, theatre and music live shows.
He is a freelancer video artist creating videos and installations Video Projection Mapping from 2014 for theater, music and dance performances.
He has collaborated with the Athens Concert Hall (2008 & 2018), Thessaloniki Concert Hall (2017 & 2018), Onassis Stegi (2011 & 2015), National Theater (2009), Thessaloniki Dimitria Festival (2017), Thessaloniki International Film Festival (2006), Gialino Musical Theater, Kyttaro Live Club, Contemporary Art Gallery Potnia Thiron, Baumstrasse, Act Theater in Patras (2018), Mainalo Music Festival (2005), BoC Festival in Fanovanoumeni in Papellomenia and Nicosia, DIPETHE Kozani, French Institute of Athens, Enastron Theater, Theatro tis Imeras, Club Fuzz (2007) in collaboration with Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols manager).
(coordination of production)
Dimitris Zacharakis was born in Kozani. He studied musical theory (harmony, counterpoint, fugue) and orchestral percussion at the Municipal Conservatory of Kozani. He graduated from the Department of Music Science and Art (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki) and specialized in Orchestral Percussion with the professor A. Vasiliadis. He has completed his postgraduate studies in Early Music with the professor D.Kountouras. He has attended percussion lessons and musical interpretation workshops with P.Prommel, Th.Milkov, N.Zeltsman, F.Nanoya, Tchiki Duo, M.Pastore, G.Hatzinikos, D.Evnouchidou, D.Kountouras, P.Iliopoulos.
He has participated in concerts with the Orchestra of Detmold Academy, the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki as well as with orchestral ensembles and chamber ensembles of University of Macedonia. He has also participated in various ensembles at festivals in Europe (Festival Sud Arles, Festival Aix en Province) and Greece.
He has composed music for theatrical productions.
He is a professor at music high school.
He has been collaborating with the International Music Community - "Music Village" since 2012.
Anastasia Stavrou was born in 1996 in Ioannina, Greece. Her father, Yannis, was her first music teacher and inspired her to begin her musical studies at the Municipal Conservatory of Ioannina with piano teacher Chrysoula Bairactari-Marouli. She has graduated from the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia (BA in piano performance) with professor Uwe Matschke and has completed music theory studies (counterpoint) at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki. She has also attended orchestra conducting lessons with Vladimiros Symeonidis. Her artistic activities include recitals for solo piano and chamber music, greek folk music concerts, new compositions conducting and film score composing.
Since 2016, Anastasia has been member of the production team of “Thessaloniki Piano Festival”, and has been cooperating with the International Music Community - "Music Village" since 2018. She is a founding and active member of the “Greek Folk Music Ensemble” in Ioannina and member of the “Cantus” choir conducted by Konstantina Milia. Since 2020, she has been working at the Music High School of Arta teaching piano, choir and music ensembles.
Since her childhood, Anastasia has been dancing ballet and contemporary dance and the last few years she attends argentine tango lessons. At her leisure time she likes reading books, watching movies and traveling.