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Program for Greek Chamber Music Project – Uproot – February 3, 2023

Friday, February 3, 2023 at 8 pm

download a copy of this program here.

Greek Chamber Music Project
Music from Asia Minor

Katerina Clambaneva, vocals
Ellie Falaris Ganelin, flute
Lewis Patzner, cello
Elektra Schmidt, piano

This performance is made possible in part by the generous support of Dr. Alexi Exuzides.


All songs are arranged by Ellie Falaris Ganelin unless otherwise noted. Songs marked traditional are originally from Asia Minor.

Apo Xeno Topo (From a Foreign Land)                                          

Menexedes kai Zouboulia (Violets and Hyacinths)

Costas Karipis, lyrics by Georgios Petropouleas
Mortissa Smyrnia (Smyrniote Rebel) (1936)

Stavros Xarhakos, lyrics by Nikos Gatsos
Kaigomai Kaigomai (I’m Burning, I’m Burning) (1951)

Dimitris Gogos
Na Zei Kaneis sti Monaxia (To Live in Loneliness) (1947)

Vassilis Tsitsanis
San Apokliros Gyrizo (I Wander in Exile) (1950)

Ti Se Melei Esenane (What’s It To You?)

Traditional, arr. Costas Dafnis
Sto ‘Pa Kai Sto Xanaleo (I’ve Told You Many Times)

Mikis Theodorakis, arr. Michael Malis, lyrics by Erikos Thalassinos
Feggari Magia Mou ’Kanes (What Have You Done to Me, Magical Moon?)

Epaminondas Asimakopoulos & Harilaos Piperakis
To Ouest (The West) (1920)

Greek song of Neapolitan origin
adapted by Vincenzo Di Chiara & Antonio Barbieri
Den Se Thelo Pia (I Don’t Want You Anymore) (1910)

Traditional, Constantinople
Ehe Geia Panagia (So Long, Virgin Mary)

Texts & translations

Download a copy of the sung texts here.

About the music

This program commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange.

Hellenic-speaking civilizations had ancient roots in Asia Minor, also known as Anatolia, a region that covers present-day Turkey. During the Ottoman Empire, modern port cities like Smyrna and Constantinople were international hubs of culture and commerce, with rich musical traditions that reflected their diverse populations: Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Arabs, Gypsies, Jews and Europeans. Neapolitan songs, waltzes, opera, and the hypnotic Cafe Aman tradition all made up the musical fabric of these places. A style known as smyrneika, meaning from Smyrna, was heard in taverns and cafes.

With the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Greek and Turkish nationalism, the two countries went to war, leading to the genocide and expulsion of Greeks and other Christians. In September 1922, Turkish troops seized Smyrna, looting, killing and raping Greeks and Armenians and setting fire to the city. Christian residents, as well as the swell of their comrades fleeing the Anatolian interior rushed to the Quay, many drowning in the water below. The Greek and Armenian districts largely burned to the ground. This dark moment in history is known as the Asia Minor Catastrophe.

The following year, Greece and Turkey signed the Treaty of Lausanne, resolving to end their disputes by making their nations ethnically and religiously “pure.” Greek Orthodox Christians living in Turkey were forced to move to Greece, and in turn Turkish Muslims in Greece were sent to live in Turkey. The resulting 1923 Population Exchange uprooted 1.6 million people across the region and is considered an act of ethnic cleansing. In this period of upheaval and displacement, one fifth of Greece’s population were made up of refugees from Asia Minor.

Rembetiko was a musical style that emerged in newly independent Greece in the 19th century. It’s an urbanized folk tradition that reflects the pain and malaise of the underworld, people who were not accepted in regular society. Anatolian refugees often became part of the urban underworld and undoubtedly influenced rembetiko with their own experiences of longing and displacement. Dance traditions like the zeibekiko and the tsifteteli, now common elements in the genre, have their origins in Asia Minor.

About the musicians

Greek Chamber Music Project is an ensemble that celebrates the Greek world through captivating programming in intimate concert settings. GCMP is a champion of Greek composers, shedding light on the rich musical repertoire coming out of Greece and the Greek diaspora. Recent programs have included the East Coast tour “Remembering the Jews of Greece,” personal songs about The Iliad in “Conversations with Homer”, and the commissioning of “Talos Dreams” inspired by the myth of the first robot. GCMP has released three full-length albums and performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress, as well as cultural centers and universities across the U.S. and Canada.

Katerina Clambaneva specializes in traditional and contemporary Greek music and performs internationally, throughout Europe and the United States. She is captivated by world music and is very interested in cultural fusion through musical expression. She has a versatile voice and enjoys singing in a multitude of languages. Katerina maintains a busy performance schedule participating in several groups including, PAKAW!, Plastikes Karekles, and the Josquin Singers of B.A.C.H. Cities she has performed in include Athens, San Francisco, Oakland, London, Isle of Wight, Ixtapa (Mexico), Brussels, Istanbul, Luxembourg, Lesbos (Greece) and counting. Favorite venues include the National Theatre in London, the Green Note in Camden, ODC Theatre in San Francisco and 1002 Nihtes in Athens.

Career highlights as a vocalist include the dance production of Rebetiko with Yannis Adoniou’s KUNST-STOFF and music by Minos Matsas, with shows in Berlin and San Francisco and the film score for the Spanish film De Tu Ventana a la mia directed by Paula Ortiz with music composed by Avshalom Caspi. Katerina was born in San Francisco and raised in Athens, Greece. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Classical Civilizations from UC Berkeley, she built her career in Arts Administration and Marketing. She has been living in London since 2009, where she completed her Masters in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Music at City University and currently works as a performing arts manager.

Ellie Falaris Ganelin is a flutist and music director who is classically trained and welcomes other traditions into the fold, including jazz, Latin, Balkan and klezmer music. She is active as a performer of chamber and orchestral music in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is committed to making classical music inviting and accessible for all as an ambassador and performer for the Awesöme Orchestra Collective. For the past decade, she has been the director of the Greek Chamber Music Project, which aims to inspire, educate, and challenge audiences through innovative programming. Ellie received her B.A. in Music from the University of Maryland, where she also holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Minor in French.

Lewis Patzner is a cellist and composer from Oakland, CA, and received his Bachelor’s degree from Peabody, studying with Amit Peled, in 2007. Lewis plays all styles of music and has an extensive list of recording credits, including recently as the featured cellist on the score for the Oscar-nominated film, Can You Ever Forgive Me. His past groups include Judgement Day (founding member), Whiskerman (founding member), and La Dee Da. He currently plays with the Town Quartet, Cosa Nostra Strings, Proteus Trio, Musical Art Quintet, and Ariel Wang.

Award-winning pianist Elektra Schmidt performs as a solo artist and in chamber groups in the United States as well as France, Greece, and the United Kingdom. She has had the good fortune to work with such visionaries as Marios Papadopoulos, Neil Immelman, Theodor Paraskeveku, the Ganev duo and others. After graduating summa cum laude from the National Conservatory of her native Greece, Elektra pursued her post-graduate studies in Paris at the Schola Cantorum and the Conservatoire Raoul Pugno under the guidance of distinguished pianist Lilia Boyadjieva. Elektra is the founder of Artist Migration, an organization dedicated to the integration and mobility of international artists. Elektra has been on the panel as adjudicator in the United States Open Music Competition since 2017.

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