LATROBE, PA – The 47th season of the Saint Vincent College Concert Series will continue at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 30, when world-renowned Greek guitarist Dimitris Kotronakis performs in the Saint Vincent Basilica Crypt.
A native of Crete, Kotronakis has been playing guitar since the age of seven and has built a reputation as one of the preeminent guitarists of his generation. He has been awarded a plethora of prizes in guitar competitions across Europe, performed in numerous recitals worldwide and has released seven albums.
Kotronakis graduated from the International Athens Conservatory with a guitar diploma in 1992 under the guidance of Vassilis Kanaras. Following this, he completed postgraduate studies with Costas Cotsiolis in 1996. He also undertook advanced theoretical and musicological studies that led to a degree in musicology from the University of Athens in 1996. Kotronakis would go on to earn a doctorate from the University of Athens in 2014 under the supervision of Markos Tsetsos.
In 1994, he was awarded the first of many awards in his accomplished career, as he took home first prize in the Volos Guitar Festival. Two years later, he placed first in Spain’s Las Palmas de Gran Canaria festival, before earning second prize in the National Conservatory Composing for Guitar Contest in 1998. He earned first prize in both the Sinaia Guitar Festival (Romania, 1999) and Chalics Guitar Competition (Greece, 2002), before winning the major honorary mention award at the 12th Web Concert Hall competition, where he competed against 39 musicians representing all classical instruments.
Kotronakis has played as a soloist with a number of orchestras worldwide, including the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kielce (Poland), the Philharmonic Orchestra of Craiova (Romania), the Artave Orchestra (Portugal), the Orchestra of Colors (Greece) and the Camerata Symphonic Orchestra (Greece).
He has recorded two CDs with music by Nikos Mamagakis, beginning with 2007’s “New Excursion” for solo guitar and “Spring Symphony” for guitar and voice, based on the poetry of Yannis Ritsos. He played lead guitar with the Epsilon guitar quintet for the 2006 record “Angel Guitars” before releasing “Echomythia,” an album with Jazz, Latin and Brazilian vibes for solo guitar.
In fall 2010, he recorded the “Amsterdam Concerto” by Thanassis Moraitis, which is included in the double CD named “Pictures of the Sadness of the Blond Girls and of Eleni,” on which he performs as a soloist with the collaboration of the Camerata Symphonic Orchestra of Athens.
On his sixth album, 2011’s “Our Old House,” Kotronakis plays music for one, two and three guitars composed by Kostas Mylonas. His most recent album, “Toryanse,” was released in spring 2016, and contains modern works for solo guitar.
Kotronakis is a board member of Greece’s historic Volos International Guitar Festival, and he teaches guitar in three music institutions in Athens, including the Music School of Alimos, the International Athens Conservatory and the Panarmonio Conservatory. His upcoming performance at Saint Vincent is part of a 2019 North American tour that includes dates in Ontario, New York and Rhode Island.
Single tickets can be purchased for $27 online at www.stvincent.edu/concertseries or by calling 724-805-2177. College, high school and middle school students are admitted free with valid school ID, while children under the age of 12 are admitted free with adult supervision.
PHOTO: Dimitris Kotromakis
YouTube: Saint Vincent College