Oxford Philomusica, Oxford
The Oxford Philomusica, the Professional Symphony Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford, has made a quantum leap in 2012 and has grown in stature, having increased the number of concerts and its geographical reach. As a result of having recruited some of the top players in the country and having increased rehearsal time, the Orchestra has consolidated its position amongst the finest in the UK. In 2012 the Oxford Philomusica’s University Residency was renewed for an unprecedented third five-year period. Also in 2012, HRH Princess Alexandra became the Orchestra’s royal patron. Some of the other major achievements of the year include collaborations with celebrity artists, such as Lang Lang and Andra΄s Schiff, a major new chamber music series, critical acclaim in national newspapers and the release of a second CD, Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
Corfu Museum of Asian Art – Exhibition: Edward Lear & the Ionian Islands
The exhibition Edward Lear & the Ionian Islands, organised by the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, was held at the Palace of St Michael and St George from 26 May to 31 August 2012 and was jointly supported by the A. G. Leventis, Bodossaki and J.F. Costopoulos Foundations. The exhibition marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of the painter, illustrator and poet Edward Lear (1812-1888) and brought together some of his most lyrical oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and lithographs, representing scenes from the Ionian Islands and the still-unspoiled landscapes seen in his travels through mid-19th-century Greece and Albania. The exhibition aimed to evoke a vision of the untrammelled beauty of the Ionian world as Lear saw it when he returned, in the 1850s and 1860s, time and again to Corfu.
National Gallery, Athens – Exhibition: From the Collections of the A. G. Leventis Foundation
The product of a two-year-long collaboration between the A. G. Leventis Foundation and the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutzos Museum in Athens, the exhibition From the Collections of the A. G Leventis Foundation (1 March 2012 - 3 June 2012) brought together 270 paintings, watercolours, prints and drawings from the Foundation’s three important art collections. Displayed in three conceptually and architecturally distinct sections, the Paris Collection (17th-20th-century European artists), the Collection of Works by Greek Artists (19th-20th centuries) and the Collection of Works by Cypriot Artists (20th century) were presented together for the first time in their history. Works of European art from 17th-century Dutch painting to 20th-century Post-Impressionism, representative works illustrating the story of Greek art from the 19th century to the 20th, and paintings by the first generation of Cypriot artists underlined the Foundation’s dynamic presence in the field of culture and offered visitors a unique aesthetic and educational experience.
UNESCO hosted the innovative new musical Dimentia, presented by Alex Panayi (music) and Stergios Mavrikis (text and lyrics) and directed by George Rodosthenous, on 15 October 2012. Attended by an audience of 1000 people, the musical embraces references to migration and Cypriot daily life, as well as long-standing issues about human relations, love and the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. On the evening of 30 October 2012, the opening of the exhibition Nature and Faces of Cyprus was held at UNESCO. Photographs of landscapes and birds by BirdLife Cyprus and Anastasios P. Leventis and portraits by Doros Partasides were presented to high-ranking representatives of the Secretariat and of the Permanent Delegations to UNESCO, as well as to several French MPs and special guests. In the words of the Director-General, Irina Bokova, who congratulated the A. G. Leventis Foundation for its commitment to the many projects it has led since Cyprus became a member of UNESCO, the exhibition testified to the willingness of Cyprus to make culture a condition to sustainable development. Anastasios P. Leventis stressed the importance of biodiversity in Cyprus for the European natural heritage.