Gramophone Magazine (June 2012)
plays with technical command, rich piano sound, strong rhythm, power, and
musical authority. They don't come much better than this."
Harold C. Schonberg, The New York Times chief music critic
Sgouros gives the impression of exceeding the normal human limits of
piano technique... his interpretation has a charming magic, structural
clarity, and is deeply philosophical yet always natural-sounding...
opening up an exceptional path of appreciation and understanding of the
music... his rhythmic impulse in the fast passages reminds us of Sergei
Prokofiev himself! We hope to hear again this remarkable pianist"
Ukrainian Daily News (April 2010)
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, Avery Fisher Hall,
Royal Festival Hall (London), Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Salle Pleyel de Paris,
Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Great Hall of Moscow
Conservatory, Prince's Palace of Monaco, 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,
Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, 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 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 made his Berlin Philharmonic debut that same year with Herbert von Karajan in the Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto, and was subsequently re-engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for two memorable performances of Tchaikovsky's Concert Fantasy Op 56 under Mariss Jansons.
His sell-out performance of Chopin's 1st Piano Concerto in Carnegie Hall
secured his reputation as an elegant yet fiery Chopinist.
He has recorded more than a dozen 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 2003,
he made a live recording of Rachmaninoff's 2nd and 3rd Piano Concertos with
the Cyprus State Orchestra on the occasion of Steinway & Sons' 150th
anniversary. His artistry has also been showcased in two DVD albums - an
acclaimed solo recital from the 2000 Montpellier Festival in France, and a
live concert recording of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with the Bilkent
Symphony Orchestra in April 2006.
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
In September 1997 he participated 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 famous actor, filmmaker and critic Nikita Mikhalkov 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”. He made a much heralded
return to Moscow in October 2005, joining forces with the prestigious Bolshoi
Theatre Orchestra in a gala concert to mark the 200th anniversary of the
founding of the Kremlin Museum.
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 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, produced by Grammy Award winner Adam Abeshouse, has now been
released on the Elysium label.
November 2007 saw him joining a star-studded lineup in Beijing for
the 2008 Beijing Olympic cultural celebrations, performing Rachmaninoff's 3rd
Piano Concerto with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra under Tan Lihua. A
highlight of the 2009 season was Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto with the BBC
Symphony Orchestra of London directed by Jiri Belohlavek. He embarked on an inaugural tour of the Ukraine in 2010, with concerts in Kiev and Odessa.
As one of the foremost interpreters of Chopin, his appointment to
the celebrations committee of Chopin 2010 comes as little surprise (the
year 2010 having been officially declared Fryderyk Chopin Year by the Polish
Parliament). And in homage of the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt in 2011, EMI/Warner Classics has issued a new double-CD set entitled “Essential Liszt” with landmark recordings by Dimitris Sgouros and other featured Liszt exponents of the modern era.
He made a welcome homecoming to the gilded mansions of the
Newport Music Festival in Rhode Island in July 2011, and 2012 saw him
open the Festival of the Aegean in Greece and headlining the 2012/2013 seasons
of the Mannheim
Philharmonic and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestras. He ushered in 2013 with Orchestre National de France in Mozart's Piano Concerto No 21, and embarked on a tour of Italy with the
Budapest Festival Orchestra and Ivan Fischer in May 2013. A wider European
tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra embracing The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Greece and Hungary is confirmed for the 2015/16 season. In recognition of
his distinctive achievements, UNESCO conferred upon him their Prize for Arts,
Sciences and Literature in May 2014.
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 6 continents, and he is now firmly established as one of
the leading pianists of the younger generation.
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