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Hey, I know that guy…

This is a very recently posted video I found on YouTube featuring the man kind enough to let me call him my teacher for a couple of months last summer:

In March of 2008, Ioannis Arvanitis directed the Hagiopolites Choir at a conference focusing on Dom Lorenzo Tardo, an Italian musicologist who was evidently interested in the reception and transmission of Byzantine chant in Sicily’s Greco-Albanian colonies. K. Arvanitis also delivered a paper called “Towards a Modern Interpration of Grottaferrata’s Musical Manuscripts” (seems to me I heard somewhere he knew something about those). The concert was in the Cathedral of St. Demetrius.

The location of the conference was a place called Piana degli Albanesi, one of the Greco-Albanian colonies that interested Tardo so much, dating back to the end of the fifteenth century. Like the abbey in Grottaferrata, they are Byzantine Catholics who are Italian by geography and communion but Greek and/or Albanian by culture and liturgy.

The “Arvanites,” of course, are Greeks whose heritage is Albanian*; K. Arvanitis’ involvement certainly seems fitting.

* Annotation added, 29 October 2010: I have been asked to clarify that the Arvanites are not Albanian in the strict anthropological, ethnosocial and cultural sense but are in fact Greek-speaking and Hellenic-Orthodox-accultured people who populated and expanded as a group in the geographic region that today is Albania. See here and here for more information.

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