History made at Sydney Town Hall with full length Hymn to Liberty performed for first time in Australia

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A dear friend, supporter and contributor of Greek City Times, as well as acclaimed vocalist/musician George Karantonis, along with Maria Yiakouli and Leon Vitogiannis, set the Hellenic flame ablaze to a sold-out Sydney Town Hall on 25 March 2021.

The full Greek National anthem, Hymn to Liberty, 158 stanzas long, was performed live for the first time in Australian history, in a symphonic arrangement led by the acclaimed conductor George Ellis.

Hymn of Liberty George Karantonis
Conductor George Ellis. Maria Yiakouli, George Karantonis, Leon Vitogiannis - Photo George Michailou

Saranta Palikaria, Mbikan Stin Poli oi Ohtroi, were among just a couple of the many other stirring songs performed on the night.

"It was a fitting and gloriously Greek way to celebrate the 200 year Anniversary of modern Greece's freedom!" Karantonis exclaimed.

"I am humbled and honoured to have been invited to perform among such talented musicians in Maria, Leon and the magnificent George Ellis, whose musical prowess and the way he conducts his orchestras never ceases to amaze me."

Hymn of Liberty George Karantonis

When asked about his favourite moment of the night Karantonis said, "The hair raising moment for me was when the entire audience stood with us to sing the known verses of the Greek National Anthem in perfect unison.

"It not only sounded great but the sense of Hellenic pride was more powerful than anything I've ever experienced in all my time as a performer.

"And all the while, acknowledging and loving Australia for allowing us to so gracefully celebrate this momentous and historical occasion."

Hymn of Liberty George Karantonis
George Karantonis, along with Maria Yiakouli and Leon Vitogiannis

Footage from the crowd during the Greek National Anthem, singing proudly in unison.

Esteemed Evzones Photographer Nick Bourdaniotis. The Legend Behind the Lens.