ABOUT
Born in Greece, Yiannis Efstathopoulos is a guitarist who performs, teaches and lectures in Brussels where he is based, as well as internationally.

 

Drawn to the Spanish guitar at an early age, he took his first lessons with Evi Pavlidou in the Conservatory of his hometown Dráma, in the north of Greece. He then chose to enroll in music high school, studying both classical and traditional music; at the age of 15 he performed his first guitar concerto with orchestra.

 

On completing school, he moved to Thessaloniki to study classical guitar in the University of Macedonia – Department of Music, Science & Art, as well as in the State Conservatory. He had the privilege of studying with both Elena Papandreou and Thanos Mitsalas, under whom he obtained both his undergraduate degree and the Soloist’s Diploma with the highest marks. He went on study with Oscar Ghiglia in the historical ‘Academia Chigiana’ in Sienna, where he received a scholarship and the “Diploma di Merito”.

 

In 2011 he moved to Belgium and studied in the “Royal Conservatory of Brussels” with the internationally acclaimed professor Antigoni Goni. He obtained a Masters with highest distinction, and returned to the Conservatory in 2014 in order to work as an assistant researcher and teacher.

 

As a student he participated in numerous masterclasses with world famous guitarists such as: Rafael Andia, Sergio and Odair Assad, Roland Dyens, Zoran Dukic, Carlo Marchione, Sharon Isbin, Margarita Escarpa, Duo Melis, Costas Cotsiolis, Gerardo Nuñez and Rolf Lislevand. He took some particularly significant lessons on Spanish guitar with Carles Trepat in Cervera, in the ‘Catedra Emilio Pujol’.

 

Historical inspired performance practice is the topic which as been at the heart of his activity in recent years. After studying early plucked-instruments with Dirk De Hertogh, Nicolas Achten and Xavier Diaz-Latorre, he began to research the history and evolution of the Spanish guitar, focusing on the late Romantic period through till the end of World War II. He is currently doing a Ph.d in the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (in collaboration with the VUB – Free University of Brussels) and his thesis is centered on the “Generation 27” – a brief, ground-breaking period in the history of Spanish guitar music. Researching this epoch has involved much exploration in historical instruments and evolution of the Spanish guitar schools, as well as working on authentic period instruments and strings.

 

Yiannis has given recitals and chamber music concerts in Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands in reputable concert halls such as Palais des Beaux Arts, Flagey(Brussels), Palacio Chigi(Siena), Seu Vella(Lleida) and Megaron Concert Hall(Thessaloniki). He has collaborated with groups “Les Alchimistes” and “Balkan project” in Brussels, “Omicron Ensemble” in Athens and “Lira Orfeo Miquel Llobet” in Barcelona.

 

Aside from his performances, he gives regular lectures in academies and conservatories in Belgium, and has also presented his research in major guitar conferences such as “IGRC-University of Surrey” ( UK) “The instrument of change-Melbourne Conservatory of Music”-Australia, 3rd Altamira Guitar Symposium in Hong-Kong and published as well in international magazines.

 

In winter 2017 he recorded his first solo album with works from the Spanish modernist period; it will be released by the Belgian label “Passacaille” imminently. He plays on a guitar made by Christopher Dean, strung in gut and silk.