Melbourne’s Cretan community pays tribute to the music of Kostas Mountakis

The Cretan Federation of Australia & New Zealand, in collaboration with the Cretan Associations of Melbourne (Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne and the Pancretan Association of Melbourne), organised a tribute concert in honour of great Cretan artist, Kostas Mountakis, on Saturday, February 20.

The event was held at the Cretan House in East Brunswick and was organised under the auspices of the ‘2021 Victorian Council’ and the national program of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.

The musical tribute marked the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Kostas Mountakis in Australia in 1971, as the first Cretan artist to come to Australia, as well as the 30th anniversary of his death.

Tribute concert in honour of great Cretan artist, Kostas Mountakis, on Saturday, February 20. Photo supplied.

During the concert, four Australian-born lyricists performed together for the first time, namely Sifis Tsourdalakis and Yiannis Pollakis from Melbourne, and Antonis Petrantonakis and Michael Platyrrahos from Sydney. They were accompanied by Tony Iliou on the guitar, Patrick Montgomery on the lute, George Rerakis on the lute, Zois Tzikas on percussion and Nikos Tsitsivakos on the bass.

The fantastic Cretan music by these performers was enjoyed by all, including a number of officials and community leaders such as the Archdiocesan Vicar of the Northcote district, Father Evmenios Vasilopoulos, and the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr Emmanuel Kakavelakis.

In his speech, Mr Kakavelakis gave several important facts about Kostas Mountakis, which many Cretans did not know. He also focused on Kostas’ important contribution to the promotion of the lyra, especially in the Greek village of Kissamos where the violin previously prevailed.

Attendees at the tribute concert. Photo supplied.

President of the Cretan Federation of Australia & New Zealand, Mr Tony Tsourdalakis, also gave a small speech thanking everyone in attendance, including the artists. This was followed by Vice President of the Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne, Mrs Eva Gotsi-Gagani, who welcomed everyone to the event and expressed her joy that after ten months, the Cretan House in Melbourne had reopened for all to celebrate together.

Cretan Brotherhood committee member, Dr Stefania Houdalaki, was the Master of Ceremonies, while the biography of Kostas Mountakis was presented by the President of the Youth branch of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, Dr Irini Kyriakaki.

Melbourne’s Consul General gave the artists honorary diplomas at the end of the concert. Photo supplied.

At the end of the concert, Sifis Tsourdalakis spoke on behalf of all the artists and thanked the people who attended, while obviously stressing it was a great honour to present the musical pieces of Kostas Mountakis.

Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr Emmanuel Kakavelakis, also presented honorary diplomas to all the artists at the end, and this was followed by a two-hour party until the early morning hours.

The tribute concert will be repeated in Sydney with the same lyra players on Thursday, March 4.

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