French-Canadian pianist and composer Alain Lefevre is one of the Quebecois pianists who have sold the greatest number of musical recordings. Revered in his country, he was made a Knight of National Order of Quebec. Accolades in his country, however did not stop him from deciding to make cash-stricken Greece his home.
It was love at first sight when he came to Greece in 1997 on a visit to the eastern Aegean island of Samos. He fell in love with the island so much that he got involved in its problems, even hosting a benefit concert for victims of a fire.
Kathimerini quotes him as having said, “I deeply believe in the Greek genius. While everything might be very organized in countries such as Germany and Switzerland, people in those countries hardly ever laugh; they don’t love life. In Greece, whether rich or poor, you are not snobs, but simple, generous and warm.”
Since then, he has returned many times. Now, as a permanent resident of Athens, he has lived in Voula, a suburb on the Athens Riviera, since last summer. He and his French companion Johanne Martineau made the move at a time of suffering and lived through the referendum, and capital controls that saw Lefevre’s concert schedule scrapped.
“Everyone is always talking about Greece’s natural beauty and ancient civilization. Both are wonderful and unique. But I always refer to the Greeks, who are equally unique and can stand up to all difficulties,” said Lefevre, who told Kathimerini that he grew up in a family that fought hard to make ends meet and feels angry when journalists express negative opinions about Greece.
Not only does he permanently reside in Greece, but his next album to be released in early October is dedicated to his new country and showcases music composed since moving here. It’s title will be “Sas Agapo” (I love you).