Uproot: Music from Asia Minor

Be transported, enchanted and entranced by music from a long-lost land

The Greek Chamber Music Project (GCMP) presents Uproot, a powerful program of Greek songs from Asia Minor. GCMP performs modern arrangements of Greek music from the region, celebrating this vibrant musical heritage and capturing the refugee experience through song. Uproot weaves histories and personal stories throughout, generating a universal dialogue about the impact of forced migration and building a bridge to the experience of modern-day refugees. Uproot first premiered its Bay Area tour in February 2023 to an enthusiastic reception.

Help us reach our goal to record Uproot: Music from Asia Minor

Upcoming Dates

Santa Clara University

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 • 12pm
Music Recital Hall (map)
Free admission

Part of the Music@Noon Series at Santa Clara University. Part of GCMP’s CD release tour to celebrate the full-length album Uproot: Music from Asia Minor.

Katerina Clambaneva, vocals
Ellie Falaris Ganelin, flute & arrangements
Elektra Schmidt, piano

“intimately compelling”

Jeff Kaliss, San Francisco Classical Voice

“engaging…an hour well spent.”

Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio


“The Greek Chamber Music Project has found beauteous sound in the songs of the more than a million Greek refugees forced to flee their historic Anatolian homeland a century ago. The Uproot program is intimately compelling, positioning the folksy but compelling soprano voice of Athenian Katerina Clambaneva among the artful chamber arrangements by Ellie Falaris Ganelin for her flutes, the cello of Lewis Patzner, and the piano of Elektra Schmidt. They traverse alluringly the regret, the humor, and the pride of the refugees who bolstered the Greek culture of the 20th Century, as well its population, with melodic modes and dance rhythms reflective of Turkish and Arabic influences. For audiences, this is a journey both of discovery by the ears and recognition by the heart.”

—Jeff Kaliss, San Francisco Classical Voice

Recalling a Catastrophe with Chamber Music
Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio – February 4, 2023

Music from the Uprooted
Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News – February 1, 2023

Uproot, Concert Tour Marking Asia Minor Catastrophe Centennial, Opens Feb. 3
The National Herald – January 31, 2023

Greek Urban Folk Music Makes the Journey From Taverna to Salon
Jeff Kaliss, San Francisco Classical Voice – January 27, 2023

Greek Chamber Music Project Presents Uproot, a Program of Songs from Asia Minor
The National Herald – December 3, 2022

Historical Significance

Asia Minor was a thriving cosmopolitan center for Hellenic life since ancient times. Port cities like Constantinople (Istanbul) and Smyrna (Izmir) had rich musical traditions that reflected their diverse populations: Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Arabs, Gypsies, Jews and Europeans.

But during the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Greece and Turkey went to war, leading to the genocide and expulsion of Greeks in what is known as the Asia Minor Catastrophe. In the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Greece and Turkey resolved to end their disputes by making their nations ethnically and religiously “pure.” Greek Orthodox Christians living in Turkey were forced to move to Greece, and in turn Turkish Muslims in Greece were sent to live in Turkey. The resulting 1923 Population Exchange uprooted 1.6 million people across the region and is considered an act of ethnic cleansing. Uproot commemorates this dark period of history a century later.


Katerina Clambaneva

Katerina Clambaneva specializes in traditional and contemporary Greek music and performs internationally, throughout Europe and the United States. She is captivated by world music and is very interested in cultural fusion through musical expression. She has a versatile voice and enjoys singing in a multitude of languages.

Katerina maintains a busy performance schedule participating in several groups including, PAKAW!, Plastikes Karekles, and the Josquin Singers of B.A.C.H. Cities she has performed in include Athens, San Francisco, Oakland, London, Isle of Wight, Ixtapa Mexico, Brussels Belgium, Istanbul, Luxembourg, Mytilini Greece and counting. Favorite venues include the National Theatre in London, the Green Note in Camden, ODC Theatre in San Francisco and 1002 Nihtes in Athens.

Career highlights as a vocalist include the dance production of Rebetiko with Yannis Adoniou’s KUNST-STOFF and music by Minos Matsas, with shows in Berlin and San Francisco and the film score for the Spanish film De Tu Ventana a la mia directed by Paula Ortiz with music composed by Avshalom Caspi.

Katerina was born in San Francisco and raised in Athens, Greece. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Classical Civilizations from UC Berkeley, she built her career in Arts Administration and Marketing. She has been living in London since 2009, where she completed her Masters in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Music at City University and currently works as a performing arts manager.

Ellie Falaris Ganelin

Ellie Falaris Ganelin is a flutist and music director who is classically trained and welcomes other traditions into the fold, including jazz, Latin, Balkan and klezmer music. She is active as a performer of chamber and orchestral music in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is committed to making classical music inviting and accessible for all as an ambassador and performer for the Awesöme Orchestra Collective. For the past decade, she has been the director of the Greek Chamber Music Project, which aims to inspire, educate and challenge audiences through innovative programming. Ellie received her B.A. in Music from the University of Maryland, where she also holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Minor in French.

Elektra Schmidt

Award-winning pianist Elektra Schmidt performs as a solo artist and in chamber groups in the United States as well as France, Greece, and the United Kingdom. She has had the good fortune to work with such visionaries as Marios Papadopoulos, Neil Immelman, Theodor Paraskeveku, the Ganev duo and others. After graduating summa cum laude from the National Conservatory of her native Greece, Elektra pursued her post-graduate studies in Paris at the Schola Cantorum and the Conservatoire Raoul Pugno under the guidance of distinguished pianist Lilia Boyadjieva. Elektra is the founder of Artist Migration, an organization dedicated to the integration and mobility of international artists. Elektra has been on the panel as adjudicator in the United States Open Music Competition since 2017.

Press Images

Katerina Clambaneva | photo credit: Rania Gallianos
Ellie Falaris Ganelin | photo credit: Xilo Photography
Photo credit: Hugh Dugan
Photo credit: Hugh Dugan


For booking inquiries, please contact Ellie Falaris Ganelin at greekchambermusic@gmail.com.

Technical and hospitality rider

Past Performances

2023 Engagements

Johns Hopkins University

Sunday, October 22, 2023 • 3pm
Gilman Hall, Room 50 • Bowman Drive, Baltimore, MD

Co-sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University’s Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship, the Departments of Anthropology and Art History, and the Program in Islamic Studies.

Katerina Clambaneva, vocals
Ellie Falaris Ganelin, flute & arrangements
Emma Selmon, clarinet
Mary-Victoria Voutsas, piano

University of Maryland

Friday, October 20, 2023
Tawes Hall, Ulrich Recital Hall • 7751 Alumni Drive College Park, MD

Co-sponsored by the University of Maryland Department of Classics and the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies and by Hellenic Society Prometheas.

Katerina Clambaneva, vocals
Ellie Falaris Ganelin, flute & arrangements
Emma Selmon, clarinet
Mary-Victoria Voutsas, piano

San Francisco Greek Film Festival

Sunday, March 19, 2023
Delancey Street Screening Room • 600 The Embarcadero, San Francisco
4:30pm – live music
5pm – screening

The San Francisco Greek Film Festival proudly presents a one night screening of the award-winning film Smyrna (Σμύρνη μου αγαπημένη): a powerful film about the Asia Minor Catastrophe and a love letter to the cosmopolitan city of Smyrna. The director of the film, Grigoris Karantinakis, introduces the film and holds a Q&A after the screening. GCMP performs instrumental selections from UPROOT, with performances by Ellie Falaris Ganelin (flute) and Christina Elektra Schmidt (piano). The film is spoken in English, Greek and Turkish, with English subtitles. Presented by the San Francisco Greek Film Festival

Old First Concerts

Friday, February 3, 2023 at 8pm

1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA and Live-Streamed

This performance is made possible in part by the generous support of Dr. Alexi Exuzides.

Sacramento State University

Friday, February 10, 2023 at 7pm

Hinde Auditorium • 6000 J St, Sacramento, CA

Sponsored by the Hellenic Studies Program at Sacramento State University

St. Paul Lutheran Church

Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 4pm

1658 Excelsior Ave, Oakland, CA

Katerina Clambaneva, vocals
Ellie Falaris Ganelin, flute
Lewis Patzner, cello
Jonathan Alford, piano