Our History

Please visit Musical odyssey Youtube channel for some of the performances of our students. Musical Odyssey- an inspirational journey into Music!Nafplio city was the scene for an international gathering of world-class musicians in a summer school that ran for the first year in Greece.

Artistic director Yekaterina Lebedeva explains why: “I have organised successful summer schools elsewhere, and my Greek husband suggested that Greece could provide the perfect setting – and it did! I also wanted to do something to help Greece during this difficult period, and musical tourism is not a bad idea.”

According to Mrs Lebedeva, who is a Professor of Piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, this summer school not only provides teaching from leading musicians, but also helps participants kick start their career by providing prizes to outstanding students. These prizes are engagements for concerts on the international scene.

Professor Lebedeva also commented on the reception she faced during organisation: “It was amazing – everyone was so supportive!”. She met two locals – Mr Babis Michos and the late Col. Michalis Reppas who encouraged her and helped in the first steps. Dimitris Kostouros, the re-elected mayor offered support, spaces and infrastructure through the Municipal Organisation for Culture, and so did private-sector musical schools such as the Nafplion Odeon.

Professor Lebedeva also said that having sponsors on board was on was necessary for the success of the project. “Our sponsors make the school what it is”, she said. “Without them we could never have Greek students on the course which was so enriching for everyone, nor the spaces and pianos, nor the concerts for prizes – nothing would have happened without the generosity of the people involved, and their hard work.”

Professor Lebedeva is upbeat about the prospects: ‘ I want to continue bringing stars of the international classical music scene to Greece to share their art, to share their thoughts and ideas with everyone who wants to learn. I want to bring inspiration to Greece and I want Greece to inspire everyone who comes here’. Apart from Yekaterina Lebedeva, other teachers to date have been Cristina Ortiz (piano), Janina Fialkowska (piano), Vanessa Latarche (piano), Laurens Patzlaff (piano), sopranos Judith Howarth , Susan Bullock, Jenny Drivala and Sumi Jo, and accompanist Manolis Papasifakis.

The students were bowled over, and a community was born – they are all now on each others social networks, having not just met but forged a community of musicians during just a few days, that were nonetheless very intense. And what they said was

This was my best lesson ever‘-

Hungarian tenor Gyula Rab (Student at Royal College of Music, London), who won the prize of Aspect Foundation with a sponsored concert in London at the Leighton House.

…studying with Cristina Ortiz was really breathtakingly wonderful, I learnt such a great amount from that experience; being able to watch her classes with others was brilliant; I loved the age/experience range as well – I’ve made some great friends from the course; I loved being in an environment in which to talk non-stop about music! I’ve never experienced that before. I think best of all for me was that immersion in musical life and conversation – living and breathing music – very addictive, like a healthy drug…!-

UK pianist Thomas Harris (Student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London), also an Aspect Foundation prize recipient.

The course is Greece was a wonderful experience, really interesting. I met new people, discovered another country, and most of all the lessons I had with Yekaterina Lebedeva, the advice, the discussions we had about my technique, the interpretation and analysis of a score were simply priceless!

French pianist Tony Fallone (Student at the Royal College of Music, London), a recipient of The City Lit Institute prize with a concert in London.

Thank you deeply for your attentions these past days in Greece and the wonderful opportunity given with the recital prize. It has been an invaluable experience for me.’

Spanish pianist Antonio Galera Lopez (Concert pianist from Spain), a recipient of Concordia Foundation prize with a sponsored concert at St Martin In the Fields.

I’m so touched thank you very much for the prize! I’ve had a wonderful time on the course and it’s a lovely way to finish it. I really think you couldn’t have picked a better teacher than Judith – selfishly speaking, I’ve managed to work on a lot of bel canto technique before a busy competition period and I look forward to consolidating this with my teacher in London. It’s refreshing to get soprano to soprano tips. Luxury!’

UK soprano Natasha Day (Student at the Royal College of Music, London), a recipient of a French Festival ‘Young Virtuosi’ prize

Beautiful city, great teachers, fantastic organization and interesting lectures. What could be better!’

Aldemir Tokov (Student at the Central Music School, Moscow) a recipient of Aspect Foundation prize with a sponsored concert in London at the Leighton House.
According to Professor Lebedeva, classical music needs to break down silos of en elitist mentality. “Classical music is for everyone, that is why we held 5 open public concerts, one with guest artists piano and violin from Turkey and 4 student concerts. Performance is an act of generosity. And we are putting it on the web – www.musical-odyssey.com”. It was important for the summer school to have piano and voice, as the two disciplines have much to learn from each other, but also there was a number of lectures, including one by the renowned classicist Dr Armand D’Angour of Jesus College Oxford on his British Academy fellowship research project of reconstructing Ancient Greek Music, with the attendance of the Harvard Summer School in Olympia and Nafplion students. As part of it there was also a performance on a reconstructed ancient lyra by Konstantinos Moysiades. The course was opened by the outstanding duet of Turkish musicians: violinist Ozcan Ulucan and a pianist Birsen Ulucan.

Professor Lebedeva wants to continue this venture in Greece: “I am now looking forward to organizing next year’s activities with great enthusiasm and I hope to see you there in our growing international musical community: come and study with us, come and observe, come and listen to our concerts in the beautiful city of Nafplio with its charm, history, culture, sea and sun!”

Yekaterina Lebedeva
Artistic Director
Musical Odyssey Summer Masterclasses

2014 21st to 29th July 2014

2014 Teaching faculty:

Piano- Yekaterina Lebedeva (Russia, UK), Piano- Cristina Ortiz (Brasil, France)
Voice – Judith Howarth (UK)
Accompanist /vocal coach- Manolis Papasifakis (Greece)
Visiting singing coach- Marcio da Silva (Brasil, UK)

Visiting performing artists :

Ozcan Ulucan -violin
Birsen Ulucan -piano

Guest lecturer:
Dr Armand D’Angour, Fellow and Tutor in Classics, Editor of the Jesus Record, Jesus College, Oxford.

2015 24th to 31st July 2015

2015 Teaching faculty:

Piano- Yekaterina Lebedeva (Russia, UK) Piano- Janina Fialkowska (Canada, Germany)
Voice- Jenny Drivala (Greece)
Voice- Susan Bullock (UK)
Accompanist /vocal coach- Manolis Papasifakis (Greece)

Visiting performing artists :

Ben Capps (cello)- USA

201619th to 26th July 2016

2015 Teaching faculty:

Piano- Yekaterina Lebedeva (Russia, UK)
Piano- Vanessa Latarche (UK)
Piano- Laurens Patzlaff (Germany)
Voice- Jenny Drivala (Greece)
Voice- Sumi Jo (Korea)
Accompanist /vocal coach- Manolis Papasifakis (Greece)

Visiting performing artists :

Harry Nowakowski-Fox (Piano) – UK
Alisa Liubarskaya (cello)- Belarus

2017 Teaching faculty:

Piano- Yekaterina Lebedeva (Russia, Uk)
Piano- Artur Pizarro (Portugal)
Voice- Nuccia Focile (Italy)
Accompanist /vocal coach- Manolis Papasifakis (Greece)

2018 Teaching Faculty:

Piano: Yekaterina Lebedeva (Russia/UK)

Piano: Nikolai Demidenko (Russia/Spain)

Voice: Susan Bullock (UK)

Voice: Sergei Leiferkus (Russia/Portugal)

Accompanist/vocal coach- Manolis Papasifakis (Greece)

2019 Teaching Faculty: 

Piano: Yekaterina Lebedeva (Russia/UK)

Piano: Artur Pizarro (Portugal)

Voice: Dennis o’Neill (UK)

Accompanist/vocal coach: Manolis Papasifakis (Greece)

Visiting Performing Artists:

Chinese orchestra of traditional instruments.

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