Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 November 2002
Conductor's Baton for Bach's Music
Appearance of Prizewinner Lisa Xanthopoulou
Bad Homburg. Lisa Xanthopoulou conducts with very frugal gestures, guiding the orchestra sometimes only with finger signs, yet paradoxically inspiring it through her spirited temperament to impulsive and passionate music-making. The prizewinner of the Bad Homburg Conducting Competition demonstrated this ably in the Schlosskapelle, and exclusively with baroque works - not in fact her domain, so her stylistic security and flexibility provided even more of a surprise. The 34-year-old Greek conductor had won against the other 50 contestants in June and, before the concert commenced, received the award of 10,000 euros from the BHF Bank Foundation.
The orchestra was the Cologne Sinfonietta, this year's "orchestra in residence" of the Schloss concerts, and she took them along various interpretative paths, always in accord with the works and soloists...... Lisa Xanthopoulou showed great refinement in the first movements of the concerti, never rushing at them, her particularly dynamic and striking interpretation of the final movements thus culminating in a rousing finale. This was the case in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto in G Major no. 3 BWV 1048, where the tonal tautness of delivery and strong ground bass optimally approximated the "authentic sound" in interpretation.......It was only here, by the way, that Lisa Xanthopoulou picked up the conductor's baton for the finer nuances. Handel's Conerto Grosso in D Minor op. 6,10 likewise sounded refreshingly unacademic, striking in its spirited tempo relations, its polyphony well transported to the listener.