Eugenia Karagiannidou (Greek: Ευγενία Καραγιαννίδου) known as Eugenia Manolidou or Manolides as she is internationally known, is a Greek classical composer and conductor, presently a TV presenter.
Personal life and education
Born on February 27, 1975 as Eugenia Karagiannidou in Athens, Greece, Eugenia Manolidou started her first piano lessons at the age of five. In 1994, she stopped the advanced piano studies at the conservatory J.S. Bach with the Russian teacher Ala Chalapsi in order to study composition at the Juilliard School. She studied composition and orchestration with Daron Hagen and orchestral conducting with the director of the New York Grand Opera, Vincent la Selva, continuing at the same time piano studies with the American soloist Julie Jordan. In 1998, she began post-graduate studies with the Belge composer and conductor Robert Janssens at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. In 2005, she completed post – graduate studies (major History of Civilization) at the Alpine Universität, Zürich.
Manolidou was married painter Theodoros Manolides, 35 years her elder, in 1995. They separated in 2002 but Manolides denied to file the divorce for some time. Currently she is married to New Democracy politician and editor Adonis Georgiades. She is the mother of 2 children (Alexandros, 1995 and Theodora, 1997) from her first marriage and another one with Georgiades called Perseas (2005). Eventually the two were married on June 22, 2009.
Specializing in symphonic music, her first C.D. was recorded in New York in 1998 with her own compositions, conducting a chamber music ensemble, under the supervision of her composition teacher Daron Hagen, who was also the producer. In October 1998, she went to Sofia where she recorded her first symphony in A major in four movements, entitled «Mythical couples», conducting the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra. A series of recordings with the same orchestra in the ’98 – ’99 period include a ballet in two acts and Greek hymns sung by the Bulgarian National Radio Choir. The ballet was recorded in the Wuppertal theatre with the German dancing group Tanztempel, choreographed by Linda Calder, dancer and choreographer during the last twenty years in Germany. Later on, in 2001 she recorded a new album with ancient Greek hymns (Orphic) for symphony orchestra (Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic), choir and soloists, in the Czech Republic. In 2005, she recorded in Athens the musical drama EPOS, a double CD with full symphony orchestra, choir, soloists and narrator. This last work received the second distinction at the International Competition for Opera Composition Nancy van de Vate, organized in Vienna by Vienna Masterworks in December 2006.
In July 2000, she debuted in Greece at the Apollo theatre, conducting her own music with the Greek «Orchestra of Colours». In September 2000, she presented her compositions, at the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein in Vienna, conducting the Dvorak Symphony Orchestra, on a programme based entirely on ancient Greek subjects. As a result of that concert, she was asked by the President of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde to put to music poems by the German poet R.M. Rilke (1875–1926). The poems and sonnets were presented in Vienna on March 2, 2002, with leading soloists soprano Ildiko Raimondi and tenor Herbert Lippert. In April 2001, she gave two concerts in Brussels organized by the Royal Conservatory of Music, with the Basso Symphony Orchestra of Ankara, where she conducted Beethoven’s overture «Egmont» and Mozart’s 5th violin concerto and No 23 piano concerto. In July 2002, her suite for solo violin and harp was performed at the International Harp Congress in Geneva. In November 2003, she presented her work at the Athens Concert Hall. In December 2004, she performed in the amphitheatre of the Institution of Biological Research in Athens. In 2005, she conducted the Thessaloniki’s municipal orchestra in the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. In 2006, she conducted the Athens’ municipal orchestra in the American Community School’s theatre.
In October 1999, Kunduru-Universal released her first album «Meanings and Symbols», in Greece. Her second album with 10 ancient Greek hymns for soprano, tenor and choir with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic was released in 2002. The following year she collaborated with the Georgiades’ publications on a series of children's CDs based on the Greek history and mythology. ‘Hercules’, ‘Alexander the Great’, the ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’ can be found in the Greek market. Her third personal album ‘ARCHETYPON’, as well as the music of the ballet ‘GHAIA’, were released in 2004. The music of the three-hour historic documentary ‘Alexander, the Great – Myth and Reality’ is Manolides’ first attempt of composing for TV. Recently, EPOS, the award winning work, was released in Greece.
Manolides was going to participate as a judge for the Greek version of The X-factor for Antenna TV, however she was also proposed by the same channel to be a presenter for the Greek version of the Moment of Truth reality game. Her position in X-factor was taken by Katerina Gagaki.
The Moment of Truth became a controversial spectacle in Greece characterized as "hardcore reality television", as well as her own presence there, since Georgiades was a representative with the Popular Orthodox Rally, a right-conservative party. Manolides herself made a controversial statement in an interview for Ethnos TV magazine stating that she would prefer to be a house cleaner rather than visiting the Moment of Truth as a participant.
In 2010 Eugenia was the main judge of Ellada Eheis Talento (Greece's Got Talent) and replaced Matthildi Maggira (show woman). This was a controversial choice as everyone accepted Maggira as a judge. As a result, a lot of gossip arose and the choice of Manolidou as a judge is still frequently debated.
From March to June 2010, Eugenia was a contestant at the first season of Dancing with the stars (Greece). She was elliminated in the semi-final, having received positive reviews for her performance.
In 2011 Eugenia Manolidou, was the main moderator and presenter of the successful Cooking Game show, MasterChef on the TV channel Mega, an adaptation of the original British show.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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