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Janis Vakarelis

“One has to keep his name in mind” - this remark has been the quintessence of many concert reviews since the early eighties. The Greek pianist Janis Vakarelis, who was born in Thessaloniki, passed his examination at the Music Academy of Vienna with honours and afterwards continued his studies with Nikita Magaloff and Maria Curcio. Repeatedly his interpretations have met with outstanding response: “Pianist Vakarelis debut is a triumph” (Chicago Sun), “... a revelation... a mixture of Alfred Brendel's intelligence and Vladimir Ashkenazy's touch.” (Tribune de Geneve). “This was Brahms playing of an extremely high order.” (The Times).

Having received the first prize in the Queen Sofia competition in Madrid in 1979, Janis Vakarelis started a brilliant career as a concert pianist. Many orchestras have invited him to play as a guest with them, such as the Gewanhaus Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Haifa Symphony, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, the Wiener Kammerorchester.

He has worked together with renowned conductors such as Simon Rattle, Kurt Masur, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Marek Janowski, Walter Weller, Yehudi Menuhin, Witold Rowicki, Andrew Litton, and Jan Pascal Tortelier.

As a soloist, he has played, among other places, at the Berliner Schauspielhaus, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Salzburg Festspielhaus, the Concertgebouw, the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Zuercher Tonhalle, the Victoria Hall in Geneve, the Teatro Real in Madrid and at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice.

He regularly gives guest performances at the big music festivals, e.g. in Amsterdam, Athens and Spoleto, at the Berliner Festspiele, the Proms, the Pablo Casals Festival, the Estoril Festival and at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, as well as the Echternach International Festival.

He has also given many chamber music recitals with ensembles and artists such as Heinrich Schiff, Misha Maisky, Vladimir Spivakov, Pierre Amoyal, The Philharmonia Quartet Berlin and the Ensemble Wien.

Janis Vakarelis has been engaged for radio recordings and television appearances in Europe and the United States. He has made many recordings for RPO records and ASV, which earned extraordinary reviews (e.g. the recordings of Liszt's 2nd Piano Concerto and Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Witold Rowicki).

His schedule for the current season includes concerts with the Orchestra de Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the United Philharmonic in Vienna, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland in Dublin, two tours with the Orchestre National de France in Slovenia and Spain under Charles Dutoit and Pinchas Steinberg, the Israel Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner, the Philharmonica della Scala under Riccardo Muti, the Helsingborg Symphony in Salzburg, the Swedish Radio Symphony in Stockholm etc.