07-05-07

Dimitris Sgouros

 

Dimitris Sgouros


Soloist

Arthur Rubinstein exclaimed: “I thank God for keeping me alive so that I would be able to hear with my own ears Sgouros play. He is the best pianist I have ever heard, including myself”. He then took off his gold watch and put it on Dimitris Sgouros' wrist as if passing on the torch. Two months later he was dead.

A young boy when he received such high praise from Rubinstein, Sgouros has since amazed audiences throughout the world with his prodigious talent. Highly acclaimed in the world of classical music, Sgouros has performed in major concert halls throughout the world including Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall (London), Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Sydney Opera House, Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Athens).

He has collaborated with some of the world’s best-known conductors and orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, London Philharmonia, B.B.C. Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Oxford Symphony, Santa Cecilia in Rome, N.S.O. Madrid, Vienna Symphony, Dallas & Fort Worth Symphonies, Washington National Symphony, Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra and NHK Radio Symphony of Japan, Sydney Symphony and Melbourne Symphony of Australia and many others.

Born in Athens, Greece in 1969, Dimitris Sgouros began his career as an 8 year old prodigy at the Athens Conservatory, where by the time he completed his studies he had received every award given. He then continued his studies at the University of Maryland and the Royal Music of Academy of London, from which he graduated with 98% - the highest mark ever granted by the Academy. In 1982 at the age of 12, Sgouros made his Carnegie Hall debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C., under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich, performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

He has recorded 10 albums which are sold in many countries, with compositions for solo piano by Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Mozart and also Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Fantasia with the London Philharmonic, and Liszt’s Concerto No. 2 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Slovenia, to name a few as well as the 1st and 2nd Piano Concertos by J. Brahms with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition to being a world-renowned pianist, Sgouros is adept at combining education and art. He has been invited to give lectures at the University of Athens, the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan, the Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and the New Conservatory in Thessaloniki, Greece. He has been honoured with the International Leonardo Da Vinci award and Melvin Jones Award along with many other prestigious Greek and International prizes. In 1988 a Festival was founded in his name in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Since that time, Sgouros Festivals have been organized in cities as far apart as Hamburg and Singapore.

Dimitris Sgouros has been called a “musical phenomenon” and “the Greek Myth” has even been compared to Mozart. Yevgeni Svetlanov, the great Russian conductor said: “Every one of us, would like to have a Sgouros near him”.

In May 1995, Sgouros was invited to give a gala recital in St. James’s Palace, London before an audience which included Their Royal Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden, HRH The Duke of Kent, and more than 300 other distinguished guests.

In September 1997 he was invited to participate in the 850th anniversary celebration of Moscow and performed the 3rd Piano Concerto of Sergei Rachmaninoff in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. His Russian debut was greeted with enthusiastic acclaim with the critic Nikita Michalov saying: “We saw a great pianist perform a concerto by a great Russian composer, as only a Russian himself could” and Pravda wrote: ”His performance, the manner of playing and his interpretation of the concerto, were warmly accepted by Moscow’s public”.
In 1998 Sgouros made debut appearances in Romania giving recitals and orchestral performances in all the main cities of that country. During two big tours in March and October, which were broadcast on the TV stations, he won the hearts and minds of the Romanian people.

In March 1999, Sgouros undertook his first tour of South Africa, giving solo recitals as well as orchestral performances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Johannesburg in the major centres of Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg.

In June 2000, Dimitris Sgouros was invited to give the inaugural concert to mark the official opening of the 4000-capacity Bilkent Odeon Theatre in Ankara, Turkey. Together with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Gurer Aykal, he performed Sergei Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto with tremendous success. The critics said: “The 3rd Concerto of Rachmaninoff is full of technical difficulties. Only Sgouros, a giant of the piano, could play this with such sensitivity!”

In April 2000, he made his solo recital debut in Carnegie Hall, and at that time recorded a new solo piano CD featuring two works from his recital - Schumann's Fantasy in C major and Brahms' Piano Sonata No. 3. This eagerly anticipated CD has now been released on the Elysium label.

Dimitris Sgouros is widely acclaimed for his superlative artistry and virtuosity. From the tender age of 7 he has performed again and again in all the major cities and countries across 5 continents, and he is now firmly established as one of the leading pianists of the younger generation.


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