Concert Artists


NOTIS MAVROUDIS

For four decades, Notis Mavroudis, along with his teaching career, has a strong presence in all the guitar proceedings of our country. He studied guitar at the National Conservatoire with Demetris Fambas, and in 1969 in Spain with Jose Tomas.

   As a soloist and guitar tutor, but as a composer of art songs as well, he gave many concerts and recitals, in Greece and abroad. In 1965 he was awarded the 1st Prize at the Thessaloniki Song Festival and in 1969 the 1st Prize at the International Guitar Contest in Milan. In 1990 he was awarded at the international child song contest in Lisbon. In the same year the Brazilian Embassy in Greece awards him the «Heitor Villa-Lobbos» for his contribution on the popularization of the work of the Brazilian composer in Greece.           

  His presence through all these years is unfailing, with compositions for Theatre and Cinema, columns in newspapers and magazines, interactions with radio stations, as well as a web project that began in 1969 in the Music Academy of the municipality of Milan, and continued from 1975 in Greece (chiefly in Athens). He has at times taken over managing positions in national institutes and organizations and he has been an art director in a number of festivals. From 1983 to 1987 he publishes and manages the only guitar magazine, Tar (string), while he organizes important concerts of world famous guitarists.  

   His rich discography includes acts for classic guitar and compositions with popular singers. In 2000 he started a 6-record series in the form of a duet entitled «Café de l’ Art», recording various types and seasons of music. In 2005 and 2006, he wins the “Arion” award for this series of albums with cinema music and adaptations of songs of Tsitsanis and Vamvakaris.

   In 2002 he established the record Label “Corifeo” of “Eros music” company, which is distinguished for the exceptional alternative publications of various music types. Particularly interesting is his artistic monitoring and the co-ordination over 29 Greek guitarists, recording the history of half a century’s guitar discography entitled: “Master Class”. From 2006 he is the person in charge of the musical planning of the “Athenian Underground”. From October 2006, he is running the web periodical TaR, in the web page: www.tar.gr


MICHALIS KONTAXAKIS

A prize winner in many international guitar competitions, including the 1st prize at the prestigious “Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition”, Michalis Kontaxakis is considered to be one of the leading classical guitarists of his generation.

He graduated from  Costas Cotsiolis' class at the Municipal Conservatoire of Piraeus. He also studied at the Robert Schumann University in Düsseldorf under the guidance of Joaquín Clerch.

He has performed at the international guitar festivals of Volos (Greece), Naxos (Greece), Veria(Greece), Guitar Art Festival-Belgrade(Serbia), Düsseldorf (Germany), Gevelsberg (Germany), Sinaia (Romania), Bucharest (Romania), Las Palmas (Spain), Sernanselle (Portugal), the Guitarmania Festival (Lisbon-Portugal) and at concert halls such as the Centro Cultural de Belem (CCB) in Lisbon, Megaron-the Athens Concert Hall, Thessaloniki Megaron, Teatro piccolo (Milano-Italy), Auditori i Palau de Congressos de Castelló (Spain), Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus and many others. 

As a soloist he has performed with the AUKSO Orchestra (Poland), the Arad Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania), the Filarmonia das Beiras (Portugal), the Vallés Symphony Orchestra (Spain), the Collegium Instrumentale de Valencia (Spain), the Bucharest Radio Orchestra and the Athens State Orchestra.

He has premiered numerous guitar works, many of them dedicated to him, such as: “Estudio de ligados”  by Joaquín Clerch , “Choros no 2” and "Strovilos" by Efi Markoulaki, "Hadjidakis Suite" by Leonidas Kanaris, "States of mind" by Dinos Constantinides and "Nocturne for Michalis" by Michalis Andronikou. In 2006 he recorded a CD for NAXOS with works by M.M. Ponce, F. Martin, E. Krenek, Tarrega, A. Khachaturian and the world premiere of  “Preludios de primavera” by J. Clerch. In 2008 he recorded the premiere of the work “Midsummer night’s dream” by Periklis Koukos.    

In 2004 he formed the Kontaxakis-Ivanovich Duo with the noted Croatian guitarist Dejan Ivanovich and since then they have often performed music for two guitars at concert halls around Europe receiving excellent reviews. Their first CD was published in 2010 by KSGExaudio including works by J.S.Bach, F.Sor, M.Castelnuovo-Tedesco and J.Rodrigo.


MARCELO DE LA PUEBLA

Born to a Chilean father who was a folk guitarist, and a Danish mother who was a classical pianist, Marcelo de la Puebla inherited a unique musical legacy from these two cultures. He spent most of his childhood in France, where his father was heavily involved in the arts and culture of Paris. As a teenager, de la Puebla lived in Chile, where he became passionate about traditional music from Latin America; he would go on to become a brilliant performer in this tradition. Returning to France, he became a student of master Alberto Ponce, the most prestigious protégé of Emilio Pujol, himself a disciple of Francisco Tárrega -- thus falling into the great historical school of Spanish classical guitar.


Following years of study, de la Puebla won the First Prize for Guitar at the National Conservatory of Aubervilliers -- La Courneuve Region, and the Advanced Diploma of the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris “Alfred Cortot.” Subsequently, he won the International Guitar Competition Trédrez -Locquémeau. Since winning these awards and honors, he has performed and given masterclasses throughout Europe, USA, Latin America, North Africa, Spain, France, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Morocco, and Algeria.


In 1999, De La Puebla recorded the world premiere of the complete works for guitar by Spanish composer Vicente Asencio. This recording, produced by Mandala french company and distributed worldwide by Harmonia Mundi, was made with the invaluable collaboration of Mrs. Matilde Salvador, Asencio’s widow (a great composer herself). In May 2004, de la Puebla was featured in Havana as a soloist in the world premiere of the Concerto-Cantata of Perugia by Leo Brouwer, with the National Symphony Orchestra and Choir of Cuba, under the direction of the composer. Brouwer, a prominent and prolific composer-guitarist, dedicated his Variations on a Theme of Víctor Jara (based on a song by the famous Chilean artist) to de la Puebla.

De la Puebla has also collaborated with Gustavo Becerra-Schmidt, a beloved Chilean musical patriarch. In 2004, it dedicated to her his Sonata No. 4. Under Becerra-Schmidt’s leadership, de la Puebla performed the world premiere of Concerto for guitar and percussion ensemble, with members of the Seville Royal Symphonic Orchestra. This was recorded live and broadcast by Radio Nacional de España. Recently, the Government of the Republic of Chile, through the National Council for Culture and the Arts, has provided de la Puebla the funding to record Becerra-Schmidt’s complete works for guitar, produced and distributed worldwide by Sonografic spanish company.

De la Puebla’s interest in new music has led to collaborations with many prestigious composers worldwide, including Colette Mourey (France), Javier Jacinto (Spain), Takashi Ogawa (Japan), Gerard Drozd (Poland), Javier Farías, Juan Antonio Sánchez , Fernando García and Alberto Cumplido (Chile), Ssu-Yu Huang (China), Nabil Benabdeljalil, Mustafa-Aisha Rahmani and Ahmed Essyad (Morocco).


In april 2015, he performed in USA Portland Classical Guitar Series the world premiere of In Memoriam Variations, on the Song of the Partisans. This masterpiece was written by French composer Colette Mourey, as part of the commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of France. It has been awarded a Grand Prix by the IBLA Foundation.


Since 2009, De La Puebla is professor at the Professional Music Conservatory of Seville, Spain.


Maestro Leo Brouwer sayed about him:

Marcelo De La Puebla is one of the most prominent soloists of his generation. I amaze his interpretations for understanding the styles and for its virtuosity. Possibly his version of my "Rite of the Orishas" is the best recording of our day. I composed for him my "Variations on a Theme of Victor Jara".

Listen to him!

LEO BROUWER, Havanna 2012



GEORGE TOSSIKIAN

Born in Piraeus in 1981. He studied guitar under Iakovos Kolanian (Contemporary Conservatory of Athens), graduating in 2004 with a unanimous First Class Diploma.

At the same time, he attended seminars by internationally acclaimed guitarists, and distinguished himself in Greek competitions, and also at the International Renaissance Music Contest-Festival of Armenia, where he was awarded First Prize.

Since 2005, he has given recitals and participated in festivals in Greece and abroad.

In recent years, he has been a permanent collaborator and member of the orchestra of composer George Varsamakis, while, since 2011, he has been appearing as part of a duet with guitarist and composer Notis Mavroudis. 
In 2010, his first discographic work was released, under the title ''Guitar Music by Greek Composers'', with works for guitar by established, as well as young, Greek composers, many of them premiere recordings.
Three years later, he brought out his second album, entitled "Mosaic", consisting of compositions influenced by the musical traditions of countries of the Near East and the Balkans.

In 2015, a CD entitled “Aurora” was released, in which George Tossikian plays pieces for guitar, and the Suite for Guitar and String Ensemble by George Varsamakis.

He teaches classical guitar at the Contemporary Music Education Conservatory, and at the Philippos Nakas Conservatory.

http://tossikian.webs.com/


IAKOVOS KOLANIAN

Iakovos Kolanian, a well-known international guitarist, with numerous performances in Greece and abroad, ranks among the most prominent artists of his generation. Always attended with interest by the public, his interpretations, driven by vision and faith, often form a bridge between classical music and the music traditions of the world. Iakovos Kolanian studied classical guitar with Evangelos Assimakopoulos at the National Conservatory of Athens, Greece. He graduated in 1985, awarded with the first prize and special honors for exceptional performance. Subsequently, he broadened his knowledge by attending various seminars in Greece and abroad. He started his musical performance journey by giving individual recitals in many cities in Greece and on television and radio programs. In addition, he performed as a soloist with almost all Greek symphonic orchestras (Athens State Orchestra, Thessaloniki State Orchestra, National Symphonic Orchestra of the Greek Radio-Television, the Orchestra of Colors, the Camerata Orchestra of Athens, etc.). Kolanian released his first album in 1989, consisting of his own transcriptions of Armenian popular music. He then toured England, France, Italy, and Austria, while also being featured on BBC, Radio France, and the Austrian Television (ORF). His collaboration with the Symphonic Orchestra of Armenia and its conductor Loris Tjeknavorian resulted in the recording of “Zarhe,” a concert for guitar and orchestra, and the release of a CD with ORF – with the composer himself as the conductor, which Kolanian has performed in various cities all over the world. In 2002, a new CD was released by “Eros Music” with the J. S. Bach Lute Suites transcribed for guitar by Kolanian himself. The following year, in a CD released by the “Pomegranate” company - Boston, MA, Kolanian recorded anew the Armenian popular songs on his own transcription, adding also works of the Armenian national composer, Komitas. That CD won an award in Hollywood, USA, as the best in the category of Best Instrumental Albums. The success was followed by a new tour in various cities of US and Canada, including, among others, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Austin, and Vancouver. Since then, Kolanian has repeatedly toured the U.S.A., and other countries. His latest recording activities include a CD with works of Agustin Barrios, released by “Pomegranate” company in Greece and abroad, as well as his transcription for guitar of the famous work “Epitafios” (Epitaph) by the world-renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. 70,000 copies of this CD were distributed by the daily Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia. For this recording, Kolanian received a note with the following complimentary remarks by the legendary composer: “Thirty-five years since John Williams and some other great guitarists have dealt with my work, and specifically with “Epitafios,” Iakovos Kolanian comes to add his own view, in the double role of arranger and performer. In arranging the eight parts of the work for solo guitar, I believe that, while he remains faithful to the spirit and letter of “Epitafios,” he also renders fantastic “breadth” and “depth” to it, by making best use of all the great technical and expressive potentials of this magnificent and difficult instrument. Thus, having no intention to underestimate the previous attempts, I dare say that I consider this arrangement as being the closest to the spirit of my work, while, at the same time, it enables the performer to wholly unfold all potentials of musical expression and technical maturity. I rank Kolanian, as a performer, at an equal level of excellence, since in many parts of the work, he achieves technical and expressive perfection. It is a fact ,though, that “Epitafios” for solo guitar, in its entirety, attains a new dimension, which, I’m sure, will be fully appreciated both by those who are familiar with my music and the larger audience. I truly wish for him to enjoy the great success he deserves. I would also like to publicly express my affection and thanks for his love towards my work.” Mikis Theodorakis – Athens, 9/18/2006 In September 2011 he received the Komitas medal of the Government of the Republic of Armenia-Ministry of Diaspora for his high-level creativity and performance in the sphere and for making considerable contributions to the development of Armenia-Diaspora partnership through activities. Since 2004 Iakovos Kolanian has been collaborating with the “Philippos Nakas” music company and publishing house, recording CDs with works of E. Pujol, J. Sagreras, F. Carulli, M. Carcassi, and F. Sor, and publishing the respective music books. In parallel with his artistic activity, Kolanian teaches at the “Philippos Nakas” Conservatory, being also the artistic director of “Contemporary Music Education” Conservatory in Athens, Greece, and of "Pelion" International Guitar Competition.



LARRY HAMMETT & MIRANDA ARANA


Larry Hammett is currently coordinator of guitar studies at The University of Oklahoma.  He is a recognized expert in many styles of music including classical and jazz guitar.  He has been performing professionally since the age of 16.  His teaching career began in 1982, when he became one of three select students to teach guitar at Montana State University while studying with Christopher Parkening.  He earned a Masters Degree in Guitar Performance from Texas Tech University under Dr. James Bogle.  He has held teaching positions at: Texas Tech University / Midland College / and has been on the University of Oklahoma faculty since 1991.  In 2009 he was one of several faculty members awarded teacher of the year by The University of Oklahoma.  Mr. Hammett also helped found the "Unlimited Music Arts Festival" in 2013 with Greek colleagues, Paul Demetriades, George Kyratsos, Pavlina Fotopoulou, and most recently Iakovos Kolanian.                                                    

    Mr. Hammett’s recordings and compositions are aired worldwide and he gives over sixty performances annually both as a soloist and with his jazz trio.  He has performed and given master-classes in France, Mexico, Argentina, Greece, Serbia, and throughout the United States.  In addition to his busy schedule, he often participates as a Lutenist with Dr. Gene Enrico’s Collegium Musicum and accompanies the Flamenco Dance class for the University of Oklahoma School of Dance. 

    Larry’s albums which include Brazos Island / The Larry Hammett Quartet / Fantasias Felines / The Larry Hammett Quartet featuring Genie Jones / Musiques a voir / Live At The Grand House Can,  are aired world-wide and can be found on Itunes, Spotify, CD Baby, Digital Cable Radio, Pandora, as well as a host of other licensing organizations.  Mr. Hammett’s compositions range from solo guitar, jazz, music for modern dance and Avant-garde.  He is also in demand as a producer / arranger for many different pop and classical albums. 

    Flautist. Miranda Arana also has been performing all over the world for almost 30 years.  She began her career in the Philippines when she was 17 years old, and continues to tour the U.S with a number of different groups including the newly formed duo with Larry Hammett “Nuclear Okra.”  A graduate of Wesleyan College, she currently teaches world music at The University of Oklahoma, where she has been for the last 15 years.  She has over a dozen albums to her credit and will be at the Paros Festival as an ensemble teacher and performer with Larry Hammett.

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Guests


Thomas Anderson (USA), Konstantinos Apolopitanos, Giorgos Georgatos,

Haris Kambylis, Vassilis Kanaras, Kostas Konstantinou, Nikos Manitaras, George Bar,

Themis Papadimitriou, Panagiotis Tzinas, Vassilis Raptis