05 February 2011


This is an interview done by "System Culture".

  • You have a list of awards etc. as long as my arm, do you think you have had a privileged transition through your career or do you think it has been an extremely hard journey?
I had a normal musical life: studied at Conservatories and Universities for many years. I had a "strict" schooling and excellent teachers. In this, I do feel "privileged". But I also had to work very hard for that. I started as a pianist and continued as a piano teacher/professor for many years, concertizing at the same time. My transition to composition was abrupt: I wrote a choral piece in Greece and it was chosen to be performed at the greatest concert hall of Thessaloniki (my home town) next to Mozart's "Requiem" and Haydn's "Symphonie Concertante". That was a shock! Having my first composition performed in front of an audience of 1,200 people!
After this, all seemed to 'flow' very naturally. I received a fellowship for the DMA degree in piano (from the University of Iowa) and started composition lessons at the same time (under a double-degree program). I changed my degree to a PhD for composition right before the comps!
  • Your points of reference appear (to my uneducated ear) to be from the 20th Century (Dadaesque, maybe - maybe not). Would you consider yourself to belong to that 20th Century tradition or do your influences go further back?
My influences are very distinct: Beethoven, Bartok, Xenakis, Christou (in terms of "structural" techniques). Further influences go back to the Pythagorean theories and the tonal system of the Ancient Greeks (with the extended development of it by the Byzantine musicians).
  • I have always felt uneasy when 'composers' try to merge traditional instrumentation with electronic synthesis, most fail (embarrassingly). How do you walk that thin line and manage not to fall off? How would you go about creating a piece that still managed to maintain a positive credibility?
I have only written two electronic compositions: both of them are on the CD I just released. The first one ("Moods") is strictly electronic. The second one ("Threnos") is a mixture of two performers (soprano-coloratura and flute) with electronic tape. I believe that the answer to your question is: "create a solid structure". To me composition is like architecture: without the "floor plans" and architect would not dare even start the design of any building-small or large. The same is true about composition (at least for me): if I do not create the structure first, I do not even attempt to write a single note.
  • Listening to your pieces has been an absolute joy for me are they available commercially?
Yes, my first CD release will soon be available through itunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and Napster. The CD is titled: "Threnos and Other Chamber Stories". In the meanwhile though, it is also available through my online store right now:





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