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Evagoras Karageorgis playing lute
|Birth name||Evagoras Karageorgis|
20 December 1957 |
|Occupations||composer, songwriter, laouto player|
He grew up in Tsada, outside of the city of Paphos - Cyprus in 1957. His first influence was his father Γεώργιος Δ. Καράγιωρκης - Georgios D. Karayiorkis from Λάπηθος - Lapithos, a great traditional lutist of his times. Also his elder brothers Sotiris and Stelios gave him many lessons on Greek music during the 1960s and 1970s.
Evagoras attended the Nicosia Technical School (Τεχνική Σχολή Λευκωσίας) during his last two years of secondary education. It was during this period when he started to compose music. The themes from this early works were inspired by his strong emotions over the unpleasant situation in Cyprus as a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion. On the final graduation ceremony of his secondary school period (1976) he gave his first "concert" at the School for the Blind Amphitheater (Αμφιθέατρο Σχολής Τυφλών) with music entirely of his own composition. Due to the lack of technical (and financial) means, and of formal music education, he used a simple radio-cassette recorder to record his compositions.
His family was not in position to support him financially for music studies abroad (his secret love). So after a couple of years work in a printing office and night work as a self-taught musician in taverns and restaurants of Paphos, he decided to migrate initially to Luxembourg for six months and then in 1982 to New York where he worked as a musician during the night hours and studied music by day at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College with Allen Brings and Leo Kraft (1981–1988). He graduated with the degrees of B.A. in Music and M.A. in Music Composition. For one year (1988–89) he continued postgraduate studies at the N.Y.U., studying composition with the Israeli composer Menahem Zur and Philosophy of the Arts with David Echer. At the same period he also took postgraduate courses in Ethnomusicology and Electronic Music.
Since 1989 he is being teaching music in the Public Schools of Cyprus (Paralimni Gymnasium 1989-90, Dali Gymnasium 1991-94, University of Cyprus 1994-95, Acropolis Lyceum 1995-2005, Ayios Georgios Lakatameias Lyceum 2005-). In 1990 he began composing music for all the major theater companies of Cyprus (THOC, ETHAL, Satiricon, THEPAC) writing music for a variety of theatrical productions (Στου κύκλου τα γυρίσματα-Around the Circle, Στης Κύπρου το βασίλειο-At the Kingdom of Cyprus, Βάτραχοι-The Frogs, Κύκλωπας-Cyclope, Mary Stewart, Η τρελλή του Σαγιώ-The Mad Woman of Sayio, Κλέψε λιγότερο-Steel less, Χρονικό Λεόντιου Μαχαιρά-Chronicle of Leontios Makhairas, Macbeth, Λυσιστράτη- Lysistrata, Η Ρωμιοσύνη εν φυλή-Hellenic is a Race, Τρωάδες- The Trojan Women, Το άσμα του γιοφυριού- The Ballad of the Bridge, Επιθεωρητής-Inspector, Η αγάπη της Μαρικκούς-Marikkou's love, Οι αγροίκοι, Για ποιον να βρέξει-For Whom to Rain). In the theater he worked with many directors (Ch. Zanos, A. Pantzis, N. Siafkallis, D. Mbembedeli, I. Iordanides, N. Charalambous, M. Pieris, G. Mouaimis, E. Poullaides.
At the same period he works also for TV writing music for various series and documentaries (Το παναΰριν-The festival, Ο αθθός της Πιτσιλιάς-Pitsilias flower, Το σόιν του Αριστείδη-Aristidis family, Πολιτισμός στην κύπρο-Culture in Cyprus, Stelios Votsis, Jack Iacovides, H kerameiki sthn Kypro-The story of ceramics in Cyprus) collaborating with directors such as A. Constantinides, S. Mouaimi, M. Demetriou. In 1992, he wins the A’ Pancyprian Song Competition with his song Τ’ όνειρον-The dream. After his first success he publishes his first cycle of songs, Το παλιό λαούτο-The old lute (1994), based oν poetry by D. Lipertis, M. Pasiardis, traditional verses as well his own.
For the last fifteen years has given many performances with his own works in Cyprus, Greece, Germany, France and England. In 1994 he published The old Lute, a cycle of songs based on Cypriot dialectic poetry, a combination between electronic sound environment and a traditional instrument. In 1997 he published the song cycle, Τόποι σε χρώμα λουλακί-Places in the color of lulaki. A third work, in collaboration with the famous Cretan lyre player Psarantonis, features his songs written for the Χρονικό του λεοντίου μαχαιρά - Chronicle of Leontios Machairas, a dramatized version by Michalis Pieris. In 2006 he published the work Με δίχως τα’ ανοικτάριν - Without the old key, a duo collaboration with the double bass player Irenaeos Koullouras. Among his many musical interests is the research and exploration of the traditional Cypriot music (the modes, rhythms, melodies and harmony).
On that aspect and in collaboration with the Cyprus Research Center they publish two volumes of traditional songs (Κυπριακή Δημοτική μουσική: Ακριτικά – Παραλογές και Θρησκευτικά – Ο θρήνος της Παναγίας). This interest has three aspects: Composition, performance as well as theoretical analysis. As a result, a lot of his compositions combine elements from the contemporary musical world and the local Cypriot idiom. This research and exploration has been more creative with the collaboration of other professional musicians from Cyprus.