Memory & Harmony – An evening celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Hellenic Institute

Anniversaries, Events, Conferences,Forums and Symposiums, Music — By on December 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Dr. Charalampos Dendrinos, Director of The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway

On Thursday 30th of November, the Hellenic Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary with a beautiful evening of music and discussion held in its main hall. Dr Evelyn Stefanaki writes:

Natasha Lemos, Member of Executive Board of the Hellenic Center, opened the evening with a very warm welcome, followed by Professor Katie Normington, Senior Vice-Principal of the Academic department of Royal Holloway and member of the Hellenic Institute Steering Group who made the opening remarks.

Dr. Charalambos Dendrinos, Director of The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, then took the stage. He said that The Hellenic Institute was created in order to show primarily how Ancient Greek perceived the “cosmos”. He remembered the early years of the Institute when the departments of Classics and History joined forces to create a new center at Royal Holloway for the study of Greek History, Thought and Culture across the centuries.The first five years of the Institute were formidable ones, he noted, where the foundations were laid for the establishment of the Hellenic Studies shared between History and Classics, which was then  the only such degree program in a British University devoted to the diachronic and the multidisciplinary study of the Hellenism.

Dr. George Vassiadis, Director of the Centre for Greek Diaspora Studies, Royal Holloway and Dr. Bettany Hughes

He commemorated the work done by Mrs Julianne Chrisostomides in securing funds for the continuation of the lectureship in Byzantine History and the establishment of a new lectureship in Byzantine Literature and Greek Paleography along with a number of scholarships, bursaries and other awards for the Institute’s students. The establishment of the Friends of the Hellenic Institute in 1999 and securing of the funding from the Greek Ministry of Culture and Education, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, the H. Leventis Foundation and the Hellenic Foundation and private funding were essential in the development of the Institute.The Hellenic Institute, conducts innovative research programs, publishes volumes, organizes lectures, seminars, international seminars and other events for scholars, students and the public. Royal Holloway is now the only College which teaches Modern Greek History in Britain, One of the most important development was the establishment in 2015, of the Center for Greek Diaspora Studies. The Center explores the history and contribution of the millions of Greek and Cypriot migrants to their host communities and countries around the world and promotes cooperation through the sharing of ideas and information and the coordination of collaborative research programs.

Panayiotis Gogos performing

Dr. Bettany Hughes, an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster then discussed The Study of Hellenism with Dr. George Vassiades, the Director of the Centre of Greek Diaspora Studies, Royal Holloway. She is a Scholar at Oxford University, she has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and lectured at Cornell, Bristol and UCL. She is a Tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education and a Research Fellow of King’s College London.  She has written and presented over 50 TV and radio documentaries and she has been given a Special Award for services to Hellenic Culture and Heritage. Dr. Vassiades asked Dr. Hughes the reason for her Hellenic studies and she replied that she had a fascination with history in the Ancient Greek way and history of a broader sense for the study of Humanity. She emphasized that stories motivate humans and that there is a critical importance of Memory in the Human Story and that the Greeks are the masters of story-telling and she included examples of Homer.

View of the auditorium / Great Hall of the Hellenic Centre

The second part of the evening, included a wonderful piano recital by Panayiotis Gogos under the name of “Metamorphoses”. This included Schubert – Liszt Transcriptions and Chopin’s Scherzo No 2, op.31. Mr. Gogos, has given numerous concerts throughout Europe since graduating with honors in piano and counterpoint in 1998. As a postgraduate he studied in Athens with Valery Sagaidachny, then he continued his piano and chamber music studies at the Toulouse Conservatory. He the performed at “Cite Internationale des Arts” in Paris for 3 years. Since then he has performed widely as an “Ambassador of the Music of Chopin”, a title conferred by the Polish Ministry of Culture.

l to r: Chrysanthi Lemos,
Panayiotis Gogos and
Dr. Evelyn Stefanaki

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