Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Greek musician to perform, lecture

Music often plays an intricate part in the culture of a group of people or society. In this way, music has become a fascination for many through its ability to express ideas and emotions that words often cannot.

“Music is a challenging and sensitive object of study as it’s transient by nature,” said Danae Stefanou, a music studies professor at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. “The way we deal with sounds always has a lot to say about the way we deal with ourselves and with others.”

Stefanou will be on campus throughout the week and will be performing a concert called “An Evening of Experimental Greek Music and Intercultural Improvisation” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, in the Moody Recital Hall.

She will also give a lecture titled “Improvising Greece” today at 3:30 p.m. in Gorgas Room 205. The concert and talk, both of which are free to attend, are part of the University’s Greece Initiative.

The concert will also feature Andrew Raffo Dewar, an assistant professor in New College and music, on soprano saxophone. After Stefanou’s performance, the two will improvise as a duo for the second part.

Creative Campus intern Meridith Shook is part of the team promoting the event. Shook, a junior majoring in art history and Spanish, said Stefanou’s visit will offer more than just a unique music experience for the Alabama community.

“There are so many students and professors who don’t have the chance to study abroad themselves, and Dr. Stefanou coming here gives students that opportunity,” Shook said. “The Alabama Greece Initiative and Creative Campus are hoping that it will spark more dialogue with foreign schools, as well as spark more interest in Greek culture and studying abroad.”

Stefanou expressed similar regards about the relationship between the University and Greek culture.

“I’m really honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Dewar,” Stefanou said. “I’m also very enthused at the prospect of presenting exciting new works composed in Greece to an audience in Tuscaloosa.”

Stefanou has dedicated her studies to multiple fascinations of music. As both a performer and a professor, her work explores experimental and improvisational music techniques in both her studies and her own music-making.

After studying and researching musicology and piano performance at the Universities of Nottingham and London, Stefanou’s focus shifted toward American experimental composers.

“At that point, I realized that the music I was listening to, the music I was making and the music I was studying did not have to be totally separate things,” Stefanou said.

Along with formal education, Stefanou also plays the piano, which she learned as a child about 25 years ago.

“I very much see teaching as performing,” Stefanou said. “Both activities are great in the sense that they give you an opportunity to communicate, to open up and expose what you do to people that can add to it and enrich it in their own unique ways.”


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