Yesterday I went to the Ionian Academy to watch the annual Christmas concert given by the symphonic orchestra of Filarmonic Society of Corfu, conducted by Alkis Baltas. The concert should had taken place in the Municipal theatre but, due to yesterday's national strike, it took place in the smaller auditorium at Ionian Academy.
The venue soon was full of people waiting impatiently for the concert to start. Around 20.30, the members of the orchestra took their seats, then the conductor entered and they started perfoming their first piece, the three german dances by W.A. Mozart. "Simfonia da caccia" by Leopold Mozart followed and next, four religious music pieces by G. Caccini, Franz Liszt, M. Reger and M. Praetorius. All of those four featured solo singers and the last one even had a local vocal assemble called "Camerata Vocalis", consisted mostly by students of the Ionian University music department.
The second part was exclusively dedicated to greek composers. Two small melodic pieces written by corfiot composer Alexander Grec were performed first, followed by three other pieces of dance music by another corfiot composer Iosif Kaisaris. Last but not least was "Elliniká Kálanta", an upbeat selection of greek carols arranged by the conductor himself, Alkis Baltas.
Overall, the concert was amazing. Being now the only symphonic orchestra this island has, it should be supported by the local people. Many of the musicians are amateurs but this does not mean the result is "amateurish". In my honest opinion, this orchestra can compete even with some professional orchestras.
After all, the word "amateur" doesn't mean "love for the art"?