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New York University introduces a new course on Rebetiko Music under the auspices of the Consulate General of Greece in New York
Promoting our Greek cultural heritage, the Consulate General of Greece in New York proposed and gave its auspices to a new project by New York University introducing a new course titled: Songs of the Underdog- American Blues meets Greek Rebetiko.
Created and taught by composer/performer Pericles Kanaris, the new class will begin in January 2020 and will be cross-listed by the Alexander S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies and the Steinhardt School of Music. The class will be accessible to all humanities and social sciences students of the University.
Rebetiko is the urban popular Greek music of the poorest classes of the first half of the 20th century. It is inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity created by UNESCO. Rebetiko was chosen as a living musical tradition with a strong symbolic, ideological and artistic character. It is a cultural concept linked with music, song, dance, as well as a particular attitude and way of life: the life of the outcast, the vagabonds and the displaced, but also of the laboring classes in large cities of newly industrialized Greece of the early 20th century.
The Alexander S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies at New York University provides students with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary understanding of the language, literature, history, and politics of post-classical Greece. The Steinhardt School at New York University offers the highest level of professional training in the performing arts. Students receive intensive and systematic training in their specialization along with a broad liberal arts education.
Composer Pericles Kanaris was born in Athens where he began his study of piano at an early age. He won the B.E.S.T. scholarship from Berklee College of Music and holds an M.Sc. in Mass Communication from Boston University and a B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Kent where he wrote extensively on the potential of music as a medium of communication.
He has composed music for various international media. His composition Project Innocence was given its world premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall on May 2007. He is the composer and lyricist of the song Stin Ygia Mas that became the title theme for the acclaimed Greek music television program. He is the producer of Music of Greece, the first compilation of Greek music ever released by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 2008 Kanaris formed Synolon, a New York-based ensemble. In 2014 he released his debut album Aoratos. The International New York Times recognized his music as ‘a Greek Identity with Global Sounds’. In 2019, the composer presented his Road to Athens series and during the same year, he performed at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center’s Summer Nostos Festival.
Pericles Kanaris is the recipient of the Barnes and Noble Award, as well as the Soren Christensen Award.