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Savveria Margiola: Music is in her Genes

By on May 10, 2024

by Kelly Fanarioti

Her involvement with music came naturally, since she grew up with a father who was a bouzouki virtuoso and a grandfather who played the violin, while at the same time island songs were constantly played at home due to the Naxian (the Aegean island of Naxos) origin of the family. Savveria Margiola, daughter of Dimitris and granddaughter of George Margiolas, stands out for her special voice, her strong musical cultivation and her innate kindness.

As she explains to NEO, when she was young her home was dominated by music, which made her love this art and eventually led her to devote herself completely to it.

“What everyone has inside their soul sooner or later comes to light. For me, music was a clear choice, but being raised in such a musical environment, listening to my father and grandfather playing music in our house and the sweet singing of my grandmother Sophia, definitely played a vital role in discovering the magic of music, loving it and understanding early on my own need for expression through it.”

Savveria Margiola, however, did not rest on her family’s laurels, but during her adulthood she studied two completely different subjects. She holds a bachelor degree in Sociology from Panteion University and a Master’s degree from the Medical Department of the Kapodistrian University of Athens.

I couldn’t help but ask her how these two subjects are combined with music, which she followed in the end.

“I don’t think there is an absolute convergence between science and art. University knowledge includes logic and objectivity, while the arts include emotion and freedom of expression. However, education cultivates and develops you in all fields, including art. My involvement with studies was a personal need. I was attracted to the idea of understanding society and observing people’s behavior within it in a more scientific way.’’

So far, she has sung lyrics of great poets, such as Odysseas Elytis, Kostas Varnalis, Tassos Livaditis, as well as songs of the great composer and ecumenical Greek, Mikis Theodorakis. She belongs to the new generation of artists, who on the one hand know the work of the most important personalities of modern Greece, and on the other try through their voice to keep it alive.

But what happens to a large portion of young people who ignore, or do not care about artists who are also a kind of spiritual leader?

“Unfortunately, the excessive promotion of music without aesthetics, culture and meaning is ubiquitous nowadays. The majority of young people are brought up with musical garbage. This has resulted in a gradual decline in interest in music written by such great personalities as Mikis Theodorakis and Manos Hatzidakis, because they cannot understand its value,” she says, stressing that on the opposite side of this situation there are artists with vision and creativity. “Fortunately, our country has very remarkable people who resist chaos and contribute to the preservation of our artistic wealth.”

As for her influences from international artists, Savveria Margiola may incorporate foreign sounds, like many of her peers, however, most of her influences are purely Greek, since she deals with folk and art songs. She loves classical music, jazz and ethnic music, and her favorite artists are Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Aziza, Avishai Cohen, Jacob Collier, Pomme and Nai Barghouti.

This summer will be quite active on an artistic level, as she will continue her concerts with the Mikis Theodorakis Popular Orchestra, which was founded in May 1997, by musicians who had played with Mikis Theodorakis and knew his work well. At the same time, she will give concerts throughout Greece with Manolis Lidakis and her beloved friend Thodoris Kotonias.

She stopped having free time after her daughter’s birth two years ago, but it’s something that doesn’t bother her.  “I have a completely different everyday life. Personal free time doesn’t exist as it used to be, but I try to create quality time by engaging in activities with my family that include reading, connecting with nature, traveling, and playing a lot. The rest of the time is devoted to music, and generally 24 hours is no longer enough,” she says with a smile.

In the fall of 2022, she sang with the Mikis Theodorakis Popular Orchestra at the emblematic Carnegie Hall in New York and as she states, it was an experience of a lifetime. “The pulse and warmth of Diaspora Greeks created a feeling that I can’t put into words. I wish to be given the opportunity again to sing for the Greeks who live there.”

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