Eleni Karaindrou is the grande dame of Greek theatre and film music. She has become a fixture on the Greek and international music scene. Over the past 15 years, she has won over international audiences and become a worldwide success. Karaindrou has received numerous awards, including the gold cross of the Greek order of honour, which was presented to her by the President of the Hellenic Republic.
Eleni Karaindrou was born in Teichio, a small mountain village in Central Greece. She studied piano and music theory at the Hellenic Conservatory of Music (Ellinikon Odeion) and graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Athens. She also studied ethnomusicology at the Sorbonne and orchestration at the Schola Cantorum in Paris on a scholarship from the French government. From 1975 to 1982, she was one of the executives of Greek public radio’s Third Programme, working with composer Manos Hadjidakis. Since 1975, Eleni Karaindrou has composed music for 19 films, 43 plays, and 15 television and radio productions, working with top directors from Greece and across the world.
Eleni Karaindrou collaborated with film director Theo Angelopoulos beginning in 1983. She composed the music for his films Voyage to Cythera, The Beekeeper, Landscape in the Mist, The Suspended Step of the Stork, Ulysses’ Gaze, which was awarded the Golden Palm at the Cannes Festival, Eternity and a Day, The Weeping Meadow and Dust of Time. She has also composed music for films by Dimitris Mavrikios (Polemonta), Takis Kanellopoulos (The Chronicle of a Sunday), Tonia Marketaki (The Price of Love), Christoforos Christofis (Wandering/Rosa), Lefteris Xanthopoulos (Happy Homecoming, Comrade), Giorgos Koras (The Deserter), Margarethe von Trotta (L’ Africana), and many others.
Karaindrou has worked together with the renowned record company ECM and its creator Manfred Eicher since 1990. During this time, she has released a number of albums, the most recent of which is the powerful Medea,which emerged from Karaindrou’s work with theatre director Antonis Antypas. The piece had its German première at “The Sound of Europe”. Based on Giorgos Cheimonas’s adaptation of the story of Euripides, Medea is performed by a small ensemble, producing a sound that evokes an archaic yet contemporary atmosphere. The characteristic textures of instruments such as the santouri, ney, lyre and clarinet are alternately blended together and juxtaposed with each other.
Medea by Eleni Karaindrou
Savina Yannatou: voice
Alexandros Arkadopoulos: clarinet
Andreas Katsigiannis: santouri
Andreas Papas: percussion
Harris Lambrakis: ney
Sokratis Sinopoulos: lyre and lute
Vagelis Christopoulos: oboe
Yiorgos Kaloudis: cello