nicolas costantinou


Past Forward is an album of world-premiere recordings showcasing the gifts of Greek Cypriot composer Constantinos Y. Stylianou (b. 1972). Stylianou’s two Sonatas for viola and piano, performed by Hungarian born violist Máté Szűcs and Steinway artist Nicolas Costantinou, contrast the varied timbres of the First Viola Sonata with the spirit of resistance manifest in the Second, which was composed partly as a response to the covid pandemic.

Stylianou’s music encompasses a wide spectrum, and has been performed by leading orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, Bruckner Symphony Orchestra, Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, and Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, and in prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall in London, the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, St David's Hall in Cardiff, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, ORF concert hall in Vienna, Megaron Concert Hall in Athens, the UNESCO Headquarters and the Cathédrale Saint-Louis des Invalides in Paris.

Between 2011 and 2018, Máté Szűcs was principal viola with the Berliner Philharmoniker, with whom he appeared as soloist in Bartók’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. Máté has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders, Bamberger Symphoniker, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, where he was also principal violist, and has worked with prominent musicians including Janine Jansen, Frank-Peter Zimmermann, Christian Tetzlaff, Vadim Repin, Ilya Gringolts, Kristóf Baráti, Kirill Troussov and Vladimir Mendelssohn. For this release he collaborates with Steinway Artist Nicolas Costantinou, who is renowned for impressing audiences with his daring selection of repertoire. He has been hailed by critics as “… an artist of deep emotions, who is capable of performing music with his whole being and soul…” (Kaleva, 2003).

“Despite the short period of time that separates them, these two works are diametrically opposed. The former is characterised by a rich variety of characters and, by extension, timbres, which partly derive from organic references to various musical styles such as baroque music, Greek pop music and Latin music. In contrast, the latter stands as a form of ‘resistance’ to the tragic events that unfolded as a result of the pandemic.” Cyprus Mail on Stylianou’s two Sonatas for viola and piano.

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