“The 35 year-old internationally renowned, award-winning musician put his brilliant career in Germany on ice in order to bathe in the deep waters of the European Union’s flagship enlightenment initiative, which is the latest challenge to the unfolding cultural history of the Republic of Cyprus”
The European Capital of Culture – Pafos 2017
Marios Joannou Elia is a much-sought-after artistic director of major European institutions and projects which dovetails with his compositional career. In 2013, the Board of Directors of the Organisation Pafos 2017 unanimously elected him as the Artistic Director of the European Capital of Culture 2017. Elia was the youngest person ever to direct a European Capital of Culture. Pafos 2017 sets up a contemporary Open-Air Factory with its cultural machinery installed mainly outdoors. The motto “Linking Continents, Bridging Cultures” covers a wide range of projects, organized into several production areas such as “Myth and Religion”, “World Travellers” and “Stages of the Future”.
In relation to his vision for Pafos 2017 Elia says:
“From a European perspective and for international visitors who are going to engage with the place, what makes a city attractive is it’s uniqueness in the eyes of its habitants. The goal for Pafos 2017 should be to celebrate the personality of the city with all its strengths but also to face up its challenges and build a programme that simply cannot be repeated anywhere else. This programme shall create a big arc into the future. It will widely concentrate on the people of Pafos and their development and it will be our task to draw upon and expand their experiences. We will make the year 2017 a project empowerment for as many people as possible, with multiple-participation being the key to success.
The underlying basis for the programme planning will be one built on sustainability with a long-term vision. We should create something bold and ambitious and strive to be open to new ideas (for example the proposal for the ‘Open Air Factory’ being perfectly suitable here). The plan is to move forward but with a retrospective context, with the intention of ‘evolving’ the state of mind of the population. This juxtaposition starts now in 2013.
Being born in Pafos, I am so excited and proud of my city’s successful nomination for the prestigious title of the European Capital of Culture 2017. This is a great opportunity that is certain to bring a multitude of benefits for the city. Notwithstanding the current economic situation, it will present some major challenges. However I do strongly believe that intelligent and strategic planning can turn this into a positive event – by augmenting our creativity and collective engagement. Pafos must now be considered as a cultural brand to invest in with the appropriate ‘mythos’ and hence rendering it globally accessible and desirable to an unparallelled degree.”
Ulm and Mannheim
Since the start of 2013 Elia accepted the artistic director’s position of a large-scale participatory music project commissioned by the City of Ulm in Germany. For this project, all the major music groups of the locality will unite for the first time and converge on the premiere of the newly composed oratorio by Elia which will become the focal point of the celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the completion of Ulm Minster; the tallest church in the world. The open-air premiere will take place at the Muensterplatz, in the central square of the city, in May 2015.
Elia has also directed the 2.7 million euro open-air multimedia symphony AUTOSYMPHONIC commissioned by the City of Mannheim and mainly sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. Mannheim’s Lord Mayor, Dr. Peter Kurz, praised Elia when he said:
“As an artistic director, a music educator and a composer of world-class cultural events, Dr. Elia was commissioned by the City of Mannheim to create AUTOSYMPHONIC – the highlight for the 125th anniversary celebration of the automobile, which was invented in our city. This colossal project was by far the most exceptional cultural event ever in the history of Mannheim and likely in Germany too. AUTOSYMPHONIC was described by The New York Times as ‘an individualistically crafted, one-of-a-kind work of art’ and it immeasurably boosted Mannheim’s image at a European and International level. Furthermore, it decisively supports the candidacy of Mannheim for the nomination of the European Capital of Culture 2025.
During the years he was engaged by our city, from the beginning of 2009 till the end of 2012, Dr. Elia made a highly significant contribution to the cultural life of the City of Mannheim. Not only did he design, compose and direct the project of AUTOSYMPHONIC at which some hundreds of professional and amateur musicians, world-leading visual artists and multimedia companies took part, but he also initiated and supervised music educational workshops for many teenagers. He also transformed the centre of the city into a gigantic, open-air concert arena, in addition to integrating the popular music group Söhne Mannheims with the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir.
Dr. Elia further participated at other central events for the City of Mannheim, like creating and directing the musical highlight of the New Year’s Reception of Mannheim’s Lord Mayor at the Rosengarten Mozartsaal in front of a live audience of 2,300 people. He has also represented Mannheim at many festivities across Germany with great success. These engagements included the so-called ‘Stallwächterparty’ in Berlin, in which 2,000 prominent guests from the political, economic, social and cultural life of Germany took part.”
Additionally, Elia has innovatively directed several other cultural events that took place in places such as the Toihaus Theatre Salzburg (2005), the Salzburg Airport (2006), the baroque Mirabell Garden in Salzburg (2007) and the Skopje State Opera House (2009).
December 28, 2013 / Newspaper / Language: English
Forging ahead with passion
Meeting the man at the helm of the Culture Capital
LUCIE ROBSON (CYPRUS WEEKLY)
April 21, 2014 / Magazine / Language: Greek
Cultural Pafos: the heart of Europe 2017
ELITA MICHAELIDOU (like.com.cy)
The acclaimed Cypriot composer and artistic director of Pafos2017 Marios Joannou Elia talks about his hard work.
March 16, 2014 / Newspaper / Language: Greek
Pafos as a Vivid Lighthouse of Culture
MEROPI MOYSEOS (POLITIS / PARATHYRO)
Sept. – Oct. 2013 / Magazine / Language: Russian, Greek
Marios Joannou Elia – The Artistic Director of Pafos 2017
“Pafos 2017 is rather a national issue and not just a local one”
BARBARA CHRISTOFOROU (PRESTIGE)
September 16, 2013 / Newspaper / Language: Greek
Marios Joannou Elia: Imaginative Grounded
“Pafos attractive means Pafos different”
GIORGOS SAVVINIDES (O PHILELEFTHEROS)
The baton of the artistic direction of the European Capital of Culture 2017 has been passed to the hands of composer Marios Joannou Elia from the beginning of September. The 35 year-old internationally renowned, award-winning musician put his brilliant career in Germany on ice in order to bathe in the deep waters of the European Union’s flagship enlightenment initiative, which is the latest challenge to the unfolding cultural history of the Republic of Cyprus. [Read Interview]
CYBC ENTEXNOS [RIK 2014 / in Greek / 30 Min]