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Greek Island of Delos to Host First Concert After Thousands of Years

delos concert
Ancient Greek theater on Delos. Credit: Bernard Gagnon/ Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 3.0

The sacred, uninhabited Greek island of Delos will host a concert featuring Ukrainian, Russian, and Greek musicians on Monday, May 30, 2022.

This concert will be the first of its kind to take place on the island, which is full of ancient ruins and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, since antiquity.

The European Union Youth Orchestra, which is comprised of young musicians from across the EU, along with Ukrainian, Russian, and Greek musicians will perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as well as Carmen Fizzarotti’s reworking of Vivaldi’s “Autumn,” entitled “Floating Autumn.”

The piece “Seventeen Strokes of the Bell for Peace and Sustainability” by Marshall Marcus will also be performed at the concert on Delos.

Amongst the musicians will be rising star violinist Diana Tishchenko from Ukraine and lyra virtuoso Sokratis Sinopoulos from Greece.

The historic concert will be livestreamed starting at 19:30 CET on ARTE and will be projected on large screens in cities across the world.

The aim of the concert, which was organized by the World Human Forum, the European public media ARTE, and the Athens Concert Hall, is to bring awareness to the damaging impacts of climate change and the urgent need to protect the planet.

It marks the beginning of the ALPHA MISSION-ΔELOS, which has the same mission of protecting the environment.

The Greek Island of Delos to host concert for the first time in thousands of years

Although it’s relatively unknown to many tourists, Delos is one of the most important mythological, historical, and archaeological sites in all of Greece.

There are extensive excavations on the island, revealing ruins that portray Delos as a holy sanctuary, dating back to a period even before Greek mythology named it as the birthplace of the Greek gods Apollo and his twin sister, Artemis.

Amazingly, some ruins of ancient stone huts on Delos date back to the 3rd millennium BC.

From 900 BC to 100 AD, the island served as a cult center for the god Apollo. Eventually, it became a religious pilgrimage for the Ionians after undergoing a number of “purifications” at the command of the city-state of Athens around the 6th century BC.

Along with the ruins on Delos, the tales that go along with this enchanting island are captivating.

The island, referred to as “the sacred island of Delos,” is where, as Greek mythology has it, Leto gave birth to Zeus’ twins, Artemis and Apollo.

The story goes that because of Hera’s jealousy of Zeus and Leto, she ordered all lands to shun Leto, making it difficult for her to find a place to give birth.

However, Zeus asked Poseidon to find a secret, safe place for Leto to give birth. She ended up on the island of Delos, and, since the island is not connected to the land, she was able to safely give birth to her twins, Artemis and Apollo.

From that moment onward, the small, rocky island was declared “the most sacred of all islands” by Callimachus in the third century BC in all of Ancient Greece and was devoted to Apollo. It was said to be “bathed in the unique light” of Zeus’ son.

Today, the island maintains its majestic serenity, as, excluding caretakers and the archaeologists who continue to uncover its ancient secrets, no one is permitted to stay overnight on the island. Those who would like to explore the island and pay tribute to its magnificent history are allowed to do so, but only as part of day trips.

The Greek Island of the Gods is connected by ferry to the island of Mykonos, with the trip taking a mere 45 minutes.

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