In her debut novel in English, Greek author and world-class conductor Stamatia Karampini brilliantly unravels a mythological archetype against the backdrop of the modern classical music industry.
A six-year-old girl from Crete is frightened when she spots her own name inside a book of mythology: ARIADNE Despite being reassured it is just fiction, during the next thirty years, Ariadne’s life continuously reflects the myth– like the moon mirrored in a rain puddle on the asphalt. Her Ulyssean journey from Crete to Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russian and the UK is marked by an immigrant’s infinite loneliness, the ebb and flow of memory, waves of passion, desire, regret, shame and yearning for an unrealized dream. All the while overt sexism obscures reality and gradually fragments her identity. Until one day in Stockholm, she crosses paths with a familiar soul: a fallen, self-exiled “Olympian god” in need for help.
Thank you, Stamatia Karampini and RABT Book Tours
About the author
Stamatia Karampini is a symphony and opera conductor, as well as a published author.
Born and raised in Greece, Stamatia grew up in Crete and Thessaly. At 5, she started learning the piano, the cello and eventually singing and composition. She started conducting youth orchestras, ensembles and choirs at the early age of 13, when, during her school vacations, she would participate in International conducting Master Classes in Europe.
She officially studied Orchestra and Opera conducting under Prof. Hermann Michael at Munich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater. She graduated youngest in her class and with high honors, specializing in opera conducting. She went on to receive a master’s degree from the same institution. After two more years as a student of Prof. Jorma Panula at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, she received the postgraduate Diploma in conducting, specializing in music of the 18th, 19th and 20th century.
At age 19, Stamatia won First Prize at the Alexandra Triantis conducting competition in Athens. She became a recipient of the Richard Wagner scholarship in Bayreuth. Since that time, she has won a variety of prizes at international conducting competitions such as the Nikolai Malko and the Dimitri Mitropoulos contests. As part of St. Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebrations, Stamatia received an honorary degree from the Prokofiev Organization for her exceptional performances of Prokofiev’s works with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
Maestro Zubin Mehta has called her “one to watch“. Hermann Michael referred to her as “possibly the most impressive conductor after Mitropoulos to emerge from Greece“. Famous Italian author Quirino Principe wrote an essay dedicated to her ( “…this young woman´s life is a rare example of artistic asceticism; leading a life entirely dedicated to music and marked by countless sacrifices…”).
When Stamatia Karampini was 25, she received a personal invitation from Kurt Masur to share the podium with him in a collaboration with the Orchestre National de France. She rose to the task with tremendous success. As the Altamusica review noted: “The young Greek conductor Stamatia Karampini performed Shostakovich´s 5th Symphony with an astonishing level of intensity and structure, exhibiting a profound knowledge of the work with a passion previously demonstrated by conductors of the caliber of Mravinski, Kondrachine, Ancerl, Sanderling, Bernstein and more recently, Haitink. From start to finish, she remained in complete control of the orchestra, wielding the baton with extraordinary precision–a phenomenal interpretation. The audience left the concert hall tonight with the impression that a new star had been born”.
Stamatia Karampini garnered more public attention after her memorable participation at the international conducting competition in Besançon where she won the “Prix du Public“. The audience´s reaction was described in the press the next day as follows: ” During the final performances the Greek candidate maintained her undeniable charisma, her unique gestures and a close intimate communication with the orchestra musicians. As the only one of the finalists to conduct by heart she gave the most personal interpretation of Don Juan. The audience exploded in applause, many of them standing, a reaction appropriate to a passionate interpretation and demonstration of a deep understanding of the musical material.”
As a finalist in the Donatella Flick competition, she stood in front of the London Symphony Orchestra, conducting Debussy´s “La Mer” and Prokofiev’s suite to “Romeo and Juliette”. A 25-minute documentary about the Greek conductor, entitled “Young Conductors of Tomorrow”, was broadcasted on the cultural channel ARTE for the French and German television.
Stamatia Karampini has been in charge of various operatic productions, such as Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” at the State opera in Frankfurt, and Strauss’s “Die Fledermaus” at the Komische Oper Berlin. During the 18/19 season Karampini conducted and taught at the US Jacobs School of Music. She has collaborated with renowned musicians like Maxim Vengerov, Bertrand Chamayou, Antoine Tamestit, Alison Balsom and Sayaka Shoji, to name a few.
Stamatia’s previous engagements included concerts with the Brussels Philharmonic, the Würth Philharmonic orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony orchestra, the Staatstheater Darmstadt and Frankfurt, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra and Choir Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Orchestre National de France.
In these and many other venues, she has proven her remarkable range, spanning the German and Viennese Schools of Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler, Brahms and Richard Strauss, as well as the music of Bartók, Liszt, Debussy, Sibelius, Ravel, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and Shostakovich. She has a rich operatic repertoire and often conducts the first performance of contemporary pieces.
Stamatia Karampini’s debut novel, ARIADNE & DIONYSUS, launches in May 2021.