Christos Tzifakis

guitarist – composer


Christos Tzifakis was born in Athens, Greece in a musical family. His uncles were folk musicians from Crete and his grandmother was a classical piano soloist. He chose the guitar as an instrument of musical creation since he believes that it unites these two musical worlds.

In 1988 he was accepted at the Dutch Royal Academy – Conservatorium Maastricht as an exceptional talent and studied with Kees Dirkx. He finished his studies as a classical guitar soloist in 1994 with distinction and honors “cum laude”.

During his studies in the Netherlands, he participated in prestigious guitar festivals of Europe Cologne, Amsterdam, Volos, and Cordoba, where he had the chance to interact with masters of the classical guitar such as Hubert Käppel, Thomas Müller-Pehring, Abel Carlevaro, Pepe Romero, Leo Brouwer, and Costas Cotsiolis.

In 1991 he was awarded a scholarship by the Conservatorium Maastricht and traveled to Cordoba (Spain) where he studied the flamenco guitar with Manolo Sanlucar. Returning back to Athens, he continues his formal education with Michalis Travlos (theory and composition) and Markos Alexiou (Jazz).

In 1994 he performed as a soloist with the Symphony Orchestra of Limburg – the Netherlands with the Cuban composer-conductor Leo Brouwer at the podium of the maestro. This cooperation influenced him deeply and he started composing his first pieces for solo guitar soon after that.  In 2003 the Greek composer Michalis Travlos composes and dedicates his “Duo Concerti” for guitar and orchestra to C. Tzifakis, who performed it with the Orchestra of the Colours- Athens under Miltos Logiades and recorded it with the Symphony Orchestra of Sofia – Bulgaria under Nick Ivaylov.

In 2000 together with the dancer Melina Ioannidou Ivanisheva he founded the flamenco-jazz group “flamenco aire” with which he performed his music at jazz-ethnic festivals, where he had the chance to cooperate with many jazz and folk musicians and dancers (Georgios Xylouris, Jim White, Megalakakis brothers), as well as with flamenco artists (Gerardo Nunez, Carmen Cortez, Oscar de Los Reyes).

Among his compositions for solo guitar, flamenco–jazz ensemble, and theatre are his two guitar concertos for guitar and orchestra: A) “flamenco alchemy”, based on the forms of flamenco, was performed at Megaron concert hall – in Athens in 2011 with “Intrarti” orchestra Athens and choreographed and danced by the Spanish flamenco dancer Joaquin Grilo, with the participation of Jose Valencia, Carmen Grilo and Rafael Requena and B) “ El Greco’s footsteps”, based on the traditions of the Cretan music, which was presented at the Greek National Opera and recorded by the Greek National radio orchestra 2021.

In 2022 he performed with the Greek National Radio Symphony Orchestra under the Spanish conductor Oscar Navarro at Megaron concert hall Athens.

He has taught and lectured at guitar festivals, and organized seminars, at Panteion University, Athens on specific topics concerning the combination of the flamenco and classical guitar techniques, as well as the composition technique of Spanish composers

Since 2015 he is the artistic director of the Anogeia guitar festival in Crete.
On May 2022 the record company NAXOS released his first personal album with the title “Flamenco Odyssey” (catalog number 8.579112).

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