Alexios Porfyriadis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. Between 1993 and 1998 he earned diplomas in piano, harmony, counterpoint and fugue at the State Conservatory of Music. Between 1997 and 2002 he studied composition with Gerd Kuehr at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, receiving a “Magister Artium” diploma in composition with distinction. In 2003 he completed a postgraduate degree program in composition with Beat Furrer. He has also attended composition classes with Erich Urbanner (Austria), Emmanuel Nunes (France), Mathias Spahlinger (Germany), and York Hoeller (Germany).
He was awarded several scholarships, among them the Scholarship for Special Academic Achievements of the Austrian Ministry of Science and Culture, the Scholarship of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, the Scholarship of the Carl Michael Ziehrer Trust, the Music Award of the City of Graz, the State Scholarship for Composition of the Republic of Austria.
Mr. Porfyriadis’ works have been performed in Austria, Greece, Croatia, Poland, Germany, and Belgium. He has received commissions from the Groupe Ensuite (Austria), the Gruene Akademie Graz (Austria), the Duo Penelopi Papathanasiou – Andreas Gomoll (Germany), the Ensemble Tourlou (Belgium), and the Vokalsolisten Graz (Austria).
He has been awarded the Molinari Quartet’s Second International Composition Competition’s Third Prize.
The word “dromenon” is an ancient Greek word used to denote a performance of religious or magical character, a holy spectacle akin to a religious ceremony. Contemporary music also, leaving behind the norms of the past (while keeping the elements that help it develop) has a mystical, magical character. It offers the possibility of multiple interpretations while creating a variety of images for the listeners.
“Dromena” is meant as a quartet composed using those elements of the music of the past which remain interesting: the musical gesture, the dramatic organization, as well as the tranquillity of the second part. Yet the work is not organized in the traditional manner.
My “Dromena” are musical rituals of varying length, out of which the musicians of the quartet must choose which ones to use in order to create their own magical ritual, their own great “Dromenon”. All these longer or shorter “Dromena” are made of a limited and tight musical material. Thus, whichever of the “Dromena” the musicians use, the resulting work—at least as far as the material is concerned—will have a specific structure. It is up to the musicians to choose and combine the “Dromena” in an imaginative way, in order to create an interesting and magical performance for the listeners.