Peter Tiboris, conductor, business innovator, and proud Greek American, who fulfilled his membership in Leadership 100 at the end of 2008, is giving something back to his historic homeland, presenting the Fifth Annual Festival of the Aegean, from July 1-11, in Syros, Greece, for the fifth time since 2002. This year’s Festival will offer a high level of programming, ranging from Puccini’s opera Tosca starring sopranoEilana Lappalainen; to Schubert’s Mass in G Major, No. 2, D.167;Mozart’s Overture to La clemenza di Tito, K.621; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64, all of which Mr. Tiboris will conduct.
The Festival will also present three days of dance with Stars of the Vienna State Opera Ballet performing the World Premiere of Zorba Variations to the famous music by Mikis Theodorakis, as well as scenes from Bolero, Swan Lake (Act II), Il Corsaro, Spartacus, and Anna Karenina. Renato Zanella is the Dance Director & Choreographer.
Tiboris’ first music festival in Greece, which was launched in 1998, took place on the island of Mykonos. Eventually, the Festival moved to the island of Syros, and began presenting operas along with popular music and jazz. Major operatic undertakings have included Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 2005, Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 2006, Mascagni’s Zanetto in 2007 (later recorded and released on Elysium Recordings), and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana in 2008. There have also been appearances by Taximi, Stratos Vougas Jazz Quartet, Human Touch featuring David Lynch, Aquila Theater of New York, and Rebetika from Sweden, among many others.
Born in 1947 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to two first-generation Greek-Americans, Stella Menas and Ernest Tiboris, Tiboris began piano lessons at the age of five and organ at the age of nine. By the time he was 10 years old, he had become the official organist of the St. Sprydion Greek Orthodox Church in Sheboygan. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his doctorate from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne. Thinking that music education would be his career path, he spent the next 14 years teaching music at colleges in Illinois, New Hampshire, and Louisiana.
In 1983, Tiboris was asked to organize a benefit concert to commemorate the 25th anniversary of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos as Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America. On January 7, 1984, he made his New York conducting debut, leading the American Symphony Orchestra, soloists Phyllis Demetropoulos, Sharon Munden, Giorgio Aristo, and Sam Jones, and choruses from Louisiana and New York, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, in a program that included the World Premiere of Dinos Constantinides’ Hymn to the Human Spirit and the New York premiere of Constantinides’ Lament of Antigone.
Following that concert, he realized that artists from all over the world would be interested in performing on the stages of New York’s greatest venues, most notably Carnegie Hall, and he formally launched MidAmerica Productions, Inc., which is now celebrating its 25th anniversary as the foremost independent producer of classical concerts in New York. To date, MidAmerica has produced nearly 1000 concerts worldwide, of which 460 have taken place in Carnegie Hall.
Concurrent with the growth of MidAmerica Productions, Mr. Tiboris has continued his conducting career on a global scale, leading orchestras this year alone in the U.K., Portugal, Greece, Romania, and Italy. His performances have garnered widespread acclaim. Earlier this year, a newspaper in Barletta, Italy, proclaimed in a headline, “TIBORIS’ MUSIC HELD THE PUBLIC AT CURCI SPELLBOUND." In February 2009, the Oxford Times in England, said of his performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony: “Tiboris drew an open, transparent sound from the Philomusica (not always an easy thing to do in the Sheldonian), and expertly judged the underlying march tempi, so that woodwind solo passages had time to breathe.”
Close to Peter Tiboris’ heart has been his role as a facilitator in creating opportunities to present Greek composers, artists, and works to the American public. In 2000, he presented and conducted the U.S. Premiere of Mikis Theodorakis’ Electra; in 2004, the U.S. Premiere of Taneyev’s Agamemnon; and in 2006, Cherubini’s Medée, all in Carnegie Hall.