US Cypriot Composer Phyto Stratis Honoured at Edgar Allan Poe International Festival in Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD – The prestigious International Edgar Allan Poe Festival and Awards took place October 7-8 in Baltimore, featuring Poe-themed performances, art, vendors and food all celebrating Poe’s life, works, and his influence in the arts. Composer Phyto Stratis was honored with a special award for his song ‘Alone’, performed by tenor Mark Ryan Anderson and soprano Ariadne Anna, which received the Saturday ‘Visiter’ Award in the Adaptation Category. The awards were presented by writer and producer Rodney Barnes.

Composer Phyto Stratis spoke with The National Herald about the award: “I would like to express my gratitude to the members of the committee for their generosity to nominate and award my composition, and for the opportunity to meet and be among other great artists. I dedicate this award to my super talented performers of the song ‘Alone’ – soprano Ariadne Anna and tenor Mark Ryan Anderson, without whom none of this would have been possible.”

Composer Phyto Stratis was honored with the Saturday ‘Visiter’ Award for his song ‘Alone’ at the International Edgar Allan Poe Festival in Baltimore. (Photo: Courtesy of Cyprus New York Productions)

“The plethora of feelings and thoughts going through my mind were impossible to convey in words,” Stratis said of receiving the award. “Special thanks to Cyprus New York Productions for producing the audio and video of ‘Alone’.

The video for the award-winning song is available for viewing on YouTube:  https://shorturl.at/gosT8.

Along with Stratis’ ‘Alone’, Mediabook: Edgar – Poe by Shadows’ Night a.s.b.l. & ShadoWhisperS in the Adaptations Category and My Soul’s Destiny by Jennifer Christiansen, Ed.S., in the Original Works Category were also honored at the Festival.

According to the Poe Festival website: “The Saturday Visiter Awards are presented by Poe Baltimore to recognize a new generation of artists continuing Edgar Allan Poe’s legacy in the arts and literature around the world. The prizes celebrate media, art, performance and writing that adapts or is inspired by Poe’s life and works.”

An Edgar Allan Poe look-alike with Phyto Stratis at the International Edgar Allan Poe Festival in Baltimore. (Photo: Courtesy of Cyprus New York Productions)
Composer Phyto Stratis won the Saturday ‘Visiter’ Award for his song ‘Alone’ at the prestigious International Edgar Allan Poe Festival in Baltimore. (Photo: Courtesy of Cyprus New York Productions)

“Though he was not wealthy in his lifetime, Edgar Allan Poe was the first American writer to support himself entirely by his pen,” the site continues. “The Saturday Visiter was the name— and spelling— of a local periodical that held a contest for poetry and short stories. Poe won the award for his short story ‘MS Found in a Bottle’ (which he wrote at Poe House.) The Saturday Visiter Awards are named after the prize a young Edgar Allan Poe won while he lived in Baltimore which helped to launch the famed writer’s career.”

Soprano Ariadne Anna and composer Phyto Stratis with the Saturday ‘Visiter’ Award at the prestigious International Edgar Allan Poe Festival in Baltimore. (Photo: Courtesy of Cyprus New York Productions)

Saturday Visiter Awards are presented in two categories: works that adapt Poe’s life or writing (including biography, or true adaptations of his poetry or prose), and original works that are inspired by Poe’s life or writing. In addition, important ‘Poe Places’, including The Poe Museum in Richmond, VA, The Poe Cottage in the Bronx, NY, and Poe House in Baltimore, MD, will highlight exceptional entries specific to their region. The awards are presented every October at the annual International Edgar Allan Poe Festival & Awards in Baltimore.

More information is available online: https://poefestinternational.com/.

It should be noted that ‘Alone’ is one of the songs from Stratis’ upcoming musical titled Edgar Visited. More information is available on the Cyprus New York Productions website: https://cnyproductions.org/.

Composer Phyto Stratis, second from left, was honored with the Saturday ‘Visiter’ Award at the prestigious International Edgar Allan Poe Festival in Baltimore. (Photo: Courtesy of Cyprus New York Productions)
Soprano Ariadne Anna and tenor Mark Ryan Anderson in the video for the song ‘Alone’ by composer Phyto Stratis. (Photo: Courtesy of Cyprus New York Productions)
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