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Newspaper of Zuerich ''Neue Zuercher Zeitung'' Lebensart ,
Lifestyle, 9.10. Sept. 2000

Painting holidays in Greece.

A charming garden near the sea side with a big house, some bungalows, a stage and a concert pavillion. And between roses, geranias, palms, lemon- and fig trees a dozen people scrawling and daubing yealously. I'm spending painting-holidays in the cultural meeting place "Hellenikon Idyllion" at the Peloponnes. It is leaded by Gielia Degouda, a nun, an artist and a teacher at the girls` college "Theresianum'" in Ingenbohl {Switzerland}. The first day is relaxing but soon we begin to paint...Finally at the last day we have our exhibition. We are congratulating eachother...Who would have expected that we would reach such an dexterity. We didn`t get artists in such a short time but we have got a new perception and have discovered new dimensions around us and inside ourselves.......

"Westfalenblatt ", 21.10.1998, about the theatre of Egeira

The same day the small antique theatre was visited, lying in the mountains above Egion. There is a wonderful view to the golfe of Korinth and to the Parnass with the sanctuary of Delphi. The members of the "Zupforchester" had a rehearsal open air until sun set. Finally they played a greek song "Arnisi" composed by Mikis Theodorakis the most important contemporary greek composer who is very popular and is joining the folk music in his country. "

A bukolic concert in a mythological atmosphere Written by Katja Gross,

Member of the orchestra The "Holstein chamber orchestra" from the northern part of Germany was this year again staying as guests in the musical-cultural centre of "Hellenikon Idyllion" in Selianitika. After a concert in Athen on July 18th the musicians spent a week here to prepare other concerts and to recreate at the sea side in the wonderful garden of "Hellenikon Idyllion" under smelling rose bushes and lemon trees. What was the reason for the 65 young instrumentalists between 13 and 25 years and their leader Hajo Jobs to come back the second time? Nadine, a member of the orchestra, who plays the violin (21) coming from Hamburg says: "This centre, where you can be alone and where you have the possibility to practice everywhere, even directly near the sea side is singular."

At the beginning of the week the manager of "Hellenikon Idyllion" Andreas Drekis had organized an open air concert in Peristera near the mountain Chelmos which is the origin place of the Styx fountain. We played Swedish dances of Max Bruch, an Hungarian dance of Johannes Brahms, German dances of W.A.Mozart and as a tribute to the hostes "Peloponisiakos" of Skalkotas, a greek composer. After this beginning which was received very enthusiastic, the orchestra gave an impression of splendid playing together with its prominent solist Hjalmar Boehm. With great clearness and sensibility the solist mastered his part. The 6th symphony of Antonin Dvorak accomplished the evening. To arrange a symphonic evening in such a place in the hills of Peloponnes suits to the ideals of Andreas Drekis, who takes care of musical-cultural meetings in his home for years. For the cooperating Germans it will be an unforgettable experience. On the way to the hills they had stopped at the river to swim and to rest under the small falls and trees where the antique gods had scooped nectar. Before the concert the people of Peristera had invited the guests prodigally to eat and drink at long tables, and after the concert the young musicians and the greek visitors were celebrating and dancing during the whole night together. So the orchestra will keep a remaining impression of greek hospitality of the excellent atmosphere in this wonderful landscape and will know now, that it is not necessary to play in a great hall to have cultural meetings.

Concert-Travel to Greece Written by Brigitte Franz, member of the orchestra.

From 9th to 20th of July 1993 the Youth Sinfonie Orchestra Leipzig of music-school "Johann Sebastian Bach" with its conductor Iwan Iwanow travelled to Greece. We had had the idea to connect rehearsals and concerts with excursions to antique sites. So Selianitika was the destination for the young musicians, which is a small watering- place at the northern coast of Peloponnes, between Patras and Egion. Here Andreas Drekis, whose heart belongs to music and other arts, has founded a juwel for artists, Villa Idyllion. In his cultural holiday-resort musicians of all over the world can meet for lessons and concerts combined with recreation. Drekis had organized 2 concerts for the youth orchestra Leipzig. But first there were rehearsals in Villa Idyllion. The young musicians had beside their repertoire of music from Bizet, Gounod, Lloyd Webber and Strauss also music of a greek folksong which should be played to honour the hosts. They had studied this song already in Leipzig. But now they had to work together with the singers Barbara Luther and Nicos Voutsinos ( formerly German Opera Berlin). Beyond that Voutsinos had composed an epigramm to honour antique Greek heroes. After a short look to the music the orchestra decided spontaneously to play the hymn in both concerts together with the singers. The rehearsals alternated with swimming in the golfe of Korinth and sight-seeing of antique towns. Trips to Mykene, Epidaurus, Korinth and Olympia brought the antique history to the young musicians. Both concerts at the end of the stay, which were open-air, were indeed the highlights. On 16th of July the orchestra played on a stage directly near the coast in Selianitika. The inhabitants and the tourists were very interested, as the winds-group had already played every evening there, so there was nearly no empty seat in the auditory.

The second concert was on 17th of July at the west coast of Peloponnes, in a foretress above Killini within a "Festival of Antique Theatre". The magnificent surrounding together with the music was for the orchestra as well as for the about 1500 visitors an unforgettable and overwhelming impression. Both concerts were an experience and a great success for the young musicians from Leipzig and their conductor Iwan Iwanow. Not only the Greek pieces but also the wellknown melodies of "Cats", "Phantom of the Opera" and "Carmen" and the music of Johann Strauss inspired the listeners. The enthusiasm and ovation challenged several extras on both days. The earnings of both concerts run in a foundation to dig out a sunk town probably near Helike, a village near the coast. This was agreed upon the orchestra and the manager before starting the journey. There was another point: The concert in Selianitika should be an example for young people to motivate them founding an orchestra of their own in the region of Egion. The reactions after the public general rehearsal and the concert in the evening gave hope, that this idea could be realized. We wish a great success to this project. The travel was sponsored by the support of cultural ministery, by Jeunesses musicales and by the piano-factory GmbH in Böhlitz- Ehrenberg.

''The Idealists Epicurean Garden" Article from the German newspaper "Passauer Neue Presse", 16.11.1996, written by Ariane Freier

They philosophize in classical Greek in the moon's reflection, paint water colours in the shade of lemon- and olive trees or celebrate in the surroundings. In "Hellenikon Idyllion" individualists can combine hobbies and holidays or just let the soul develop. The fishing village lies on the southern coast of the Gulf of Korinth on the Peloponnes. A narrow path leads from the sea directly to "Hellenikon Idyllion". It's a vacation place with a difference, i.e. a musical-cultural centre attracting musicians, philosophers, artists and classical authors. Villa-appartements of natural stone and wood with large verandas or terraces provide a cosy living area. Andreas Drekis offers courses of theatre, dance, archaeology, literature and art, run by professional teachers. Choirs and orchestras practice in expectation of the new season. In the garden pavillion soloists such as the state-prize-winner for young musicians, Constance Ziemann, or the "Small opera" from Berlin- Zehlendorf. The owner of the place, Andreas Drekis, the son of an orthodox priest from Egion, who studied in Switzerland, fulfilled a lifelong ambition in creating "Hellenikon Idyllion", i.e. an epicurean garden, which in itself is a joy to behold. Those with mutual interests should find a new awakening, free of any commitments or obligations. Equally welcome are those not actively involved in music. EDV specialists, who are prepared to help for a few hours in the office, composers or graphic artists, can in fact work towards a very reduced prize if not for free vacation. There is also time to relax, for example on the hollywood swings in the 4000 m² large garden of Eden. Fig trees, roses, orange- and lemontrees bloom and blossom. Spontaneously founded groups play music or group mountain walks or garden parties provide contact with other guests. The shade of the trees and the indoor music hall makes practising, even in the height of summer (40 degrees celsius) bearable. The sand and pebble beach in front of the garden is inviting us to swim. The restaurants and cafes at the sea front are an open invitation to enjoy oneself. There are also local dance halls outside the village and for guests with the urge to explore, Mr. Drekis has a lot of suggestions for excursions. Indeed, those who have made one visit usually want to repeat the experience. "In my dreams, I am always in Selianitika", says Constance Ziemann, the young pianist, " the idyllic atmosphere is just unique."

MAGICAL NIGHT WITH VAGELIS VARVARESOS ''PELOPONNISOS'', Patras-Newspaper August 1998 Child-prodigy charms the audiance

The large audience that gathered on saturday the 2nd of August in the beautiful garden of the holiday resort and cultural centre "Hellenikon Idyllion" in the village Selianitika near Egion, had the opportunity to enjoy a rare artistic event in the midst of summer.

14 years old Vagelis Varvaresos, one of the ten best young solists in the world, who had come with his family from Solonica especially for the event, delighted his audience not only with his skill as a pianist, but also with his sensitivity and his simple manners. Under the thick follage of fruit and ornamental trees, the virtuose notes of the piano combined with the fragrance of the roses, the jasmine and the nightflowers, to bring the music back to nature, the source of inspiration both for the composer as well as the executor, creating for the listening a rare combination of musical pandasia and an orgy of follage so different from being in an impersonal hall, that carries you away, inspires you and gives a truly majestic dimension of the enjoyment of classical music. The talented young man interpreted some of the most difficult works by Liszt, Chopin, Prokoviev and Balakierev but also by Hantzidakis with amazing skill, significant sensitivity, expressiveness and majestity and was applauded by his enthusiastic audience. He is a new star in the music scene who promotes our country internationally. In this breathtaking garden- an oasis of cool air and calmness amidst the noisy holiday resorts- the famous pianist Milena Molova ( V.Varvaresos' teacher, who was by his side during the concert, supporting him with her presence), is holding piano seminars at "Hellenikon Idyllion" with students from Greece and abroad for the third consecutive year. The students practise on a wonderful german grand piano SCHIMMEL, embraced by natur amongst the rustling of the leaves and the trilling of the crickets. Along with the piano, violin, flute, classical song, choir, cello, guitar etc. seminars which will continue until October in this garden where the Muse and the Spirit meet creatively, events- in which distinguished artists from all over the world will participate- will be hold throughout August.

Classical Greek in Epicure's Garden

Magazine of German society of philologues A small warm breeze flows through the holiday-resort nearby the gulf of Corinthe. From the leaves of the numerous trees you hear the light metallic chirp of cicades while single sunrays find their way to the ground. Round a big stone-table is sitting a group: Germans, an Austrian, teachers of Athens. As a moderator among them the IPTS expert-advisor Old Languages.The only language combining all is Classical Greek, as the Greeks don't speak German, only a little English. Corresponding is the absent knowledge of New Greek of the others

Nevertheless they all have found together to connect the pleasure with the useful in the holidays: active holidays in speaking and reading Classical Greek. They all aren't used to speak this language of the past. Therefore they kindly and indulgently keep company. "What`s your name? Where do you come from? Why did you come here?" The questions are simple, more complicated are the answers. One helps the other, everybody tries to understand as much as possible, so it will become easier. The Greek take most pains in getting accustomed to the Erasmic pronounciation, used in remaining Europe. The Germans internal are in greater distance to spoken Greek. But the enthusiasm for this differenciated language, in which the first time in Europe the most wonderful hymns were sung, unpassing thoughts were thought, helps a lame dog over a stile... Afterwards they read together. Purposeful a Greek chooses the gods' dialogues of Lukian, the masterpiece of the old scoffer in selected Attic. Lecture means really lecture, as they read round aloud. When all did understand the tenor, it is good, if not they paraphrase in ancient Greek. But often it's not enough, so the moderator has to help in German or in New Greek. But the good mood remains. Additional to the flippant lines of Lukian there are also thoughtful ones. The group reads Plotin's scripture about's not necessary to read much as there are few lines very substantial. You can dream of it in the following long siesta. Those active Classical Greek holidays (they take 2 weeks) arose out of the initiative of the owner and manager of the resort. When he got bored by normal tourism, he tried to gain other visitors, mostly musicians and other artists. Afterwards he extended his program to other cultural fields. But no course he supports more than this for Classical Greek. And the members enjoy the meeting with artists, the concerts in moonlight, the lectures and the endless dialogues. For a language, often declared for abundant or dead, this is a spontaneous initiative, a ray of hope. ;

Hellenikon Idyllion 2000

Course with E. Weinzierl und E. Waechter in Greece Is there anything more beautiful than the combination of arts, music and nature? This summer (1st - 13th of August 2000) a flute course took place, which combined all those things in an ideal way. The 8th time E. Weinzierl and E. Waechter convoked interested flute players, students, amateurs and professionals for working, learning and making music together under the greek sun and not at least for celebrating and enjoying. The 8th time the course was guest by Andreas Drekis, the owner of Hellenikon Idyllion, a music-creative holiday place in Selianitika/ Egion on the Peloponnes. Engaged in music and philosophy he, the son of an orthodox priest levelled since years to create a place where you can organize various courses free of the daily compulsions in the atmosphere of a paradise garden. The multiplicity contents chambermusic-, piano-, violin- or flutecourses, choir- and orchestra-holidays and courses for ancient Greek or painting. The close combination of music and nature is guaranteed when listening to the concerts the fruits like figs or lemons are growing into your mouth...As an indefatigable manager Andreas Drekis had organized 2 concerts in Xylokastro and Galaxidi, additional another performance in Selianitika at a village festival with fireworks. With our concert in Galaxidi there should be consecrated a new cultural centre, as Andreas Drekis has always good contacts to the cultural scene there and he is a master in organizing short-dated concerts. We also had possibilities to visite such famous places as Korinth, Mykene or Delphi........Such an intensive working-program needs an adequate compensation: swimming in the sea nearby, the daily frappee in the coffee-shop at the promenade and the abundant dinner in the neighboured taverne were also highlights of this very stimulating course-stay... ''Flöte aktuell " 4/2000. Mechthild Horn

''Märkische Allgemeine'' , 21. 10. 2000 "...A smelling nosegay of roses, jasmine and rosemary receives the newcomers, exotic flowers in red, yellow and blue seduce the view. In this paradise-garden recreation, culture and education have their right as well. This is the intention of this man who has created "Idyllion" as a place of meeting at the north-west-coast of Peloponnes directly at the sea-side looking to Parnass...."

''Der Chor '' 2/97 For us, the choir- rehearsals are most important. Andreas Drekis, the manager had composed a real concert-tour. First we are going to Delphi and afterwards for three days to the island of Kefalonia, where we join a choir festival with our gospel- and spiritual program. A great program of visiting tours is offered to us all over the day and in the evenings the concerts take place. This combination is very attractive. We can't forget the greek hospitality we met everywhere. Nobody could be hungry or thirsty. And everywhere we are accompanied by Andreas Drekis. He is managing carefully all big and small problems, in leading us through the country and he takes care of our comfort. After those beautiful and exciting days we feel like coming home back to Selianitika. Happy about the tranquillity around us we feel like lucky owners.

''Die Glocke '', 29. Juli 1995 "....Andreas Drekis has precise conceptions of his guests profile. Made to measure their warrent of apprehension should be music-intellectual with high mental claims, loving nature and the ancient Greek culture (in day-trips there can be visited such antique sites as Delphi, Epidaurus, Mykene, Olympia, ancient Corinthe), besides they should bring enthusiasm for the "beauty and the truth". Behind those unspoken claims there is no bumptiousness but the requirement to save valuations which threaten to get lost, tobring them to a new and alive experience and to a new consciousness."