Vassilis Tsabropoulos (born 1967 in Athens) is an internationally acclaimed Greek concert pianist conductor and composer. Since 2000 he has recorded with ECM Records.
Having made a tremendous impact around the world with his album Akroasis (2003) in which he performed Byzantine hymns, the versatile Greek Pianist, Composer and Conductor Vassilis Tsabropoulos became famous with the first place he received in UNICEF's contest (1977) when he was just ten.
Born in Athens the pianist, who has been called a child prodigy since the first years of his career, continued his education, which started in Greece, in Paris Conservatory, Salzburg Academy and Juilliard Music School.
Tsabropoulos started playing the piano at the age of seven.He was an early achiever,winning the UNICEF completion when he was only ten. Tsabropoulos attended the National Conservatory of Athenss where he studied with Krinio Kalomiri -daughter of the Greek famous composer Manolis Kalomiris -and Myrto Mavrikou. In 1982 at the age of fifteen he graduated with honours and received a scholarship from Alexandro's Onassis Foundation. He continued to study in some of the most prestigious music academies, such as the Salzburg Academy and the Juilliard School of U.S.He later studied with great pianists such as Rudolf Serkin, Tatiana Nikolayieva and Nikita Magaloff. His greatest influence was Vladimir Ashkenazy a pianist whom Tsabropoulos greatly admires and respects as his mentor. He later composed and dedicated a set of Six preludes for piano for Vladimir Ashkenazy.
With his extensive repertoire of recitals and concertos, Tsabropoulos has taken the stage with Europe's several important orchestras including among others the Philharmonia Orchestra,the Stockholme Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, Budapest Chamber Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic and Italy Radio Orchestra. His repertoire varies from Bach to Beethoven, Chopin to Prokoviev. As a pianist he is highly effective in Russian music, particularly in Rachmaninoff. He has participated in festivals throughout Europe and has performed every season in the musical centers, presenting a wide repertoire in concerts, recitals and chamber music performance. He has made his first USA tour in October 2004 with a significant critical and popular success. Pick of his career is his performances with London Philharmonia and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy in piano concertos of Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.
Conducting has formed a large part of his activities for the past five years. He took up the conductor's baton in 2006 and steadily increased his activity in that sphere. In addition to his compositions and stage performances as a pianist and conductor being always in close contact with many musicians around the world, he has made 12 solo albums. Releasing his albums under ECM, the versatile musician has made a great success with his first album Akroasis. This work, mentioned by The Independent writer Andrew Clarke as "The effects are hypnotic and mysterious, shimmering like ancient mosaics", has become a world bestseller in its own genre.
Tsabropoulos has also been involved in several television projects, such as the Akroasis series (2012) filmed in Athens for ERT1.
Classical and Jazz on ECM:
Vassilis Tsabropoulos was regarded as a major "discovery in jazz circles when he made his debut ECM album in 2000. It was a very rare feat for a concert pianist to play convincing jazz improvisation. As Mike Bradley from The Times wrote: "Tsabropoulos is one of those rare musicians who is equally at home in both the classical and the jazz worlds." Vassilis Tsabropoulos once described the making of different kinds of music as an aesthetic imperative, a conviction embodied in his ECM discography. His unique solo piano releases--Akroasis and the Promise--are inward-looking albums, compelling in their restraint: I am trying to find beauty inside the things, in details and nuances, the pianist-composer says. Although these are recordings that could only have been made by a player with a background in classical music, Tsabropoulos was first heard on ECM as an improviser, playing his own outgoing jazz pieces in recordings with Arild Andersen and John Marshall(Achirana,the Triangle).A third stand on his work, harder yet to classify, is represented in a musical partnership with German cellist Anja Lechner.Their duo disc Chant, Hymns and Dances, with music of Greek Armenian philosopher Gurdjieff, influenced by folk and ritual traditions, and Tsabropoulos' own piece based upon Byzantine hymns, topped international classical charts. A sequel, Melos, with drummer U.T Gandhi eased improvisation back into the picture--and was warmly received by the press.
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