Vassilis Christopoulos - Biography


Vassilis Christopoulos is one of Greece’s most renowned conductors, equally at home on the concert podium as in the opera pit.


In 2017 he inaugurated Greek National Opera’s new venue in Athens with the company’s first ever production of Elektra by Richard Strauss; the resounding success of his performance led to an immediate reengagement for Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in May 2019, which was unanimously hailed as an indisputable musical triumph. In 2020 he was the “chief driving force” behind the first Wozzeck in the GNO’s history, a production with which the company “arrived on the international stage” (Financial Times). 2022 will mark his US début with Eugene Onegin during San Francisco Opera’s Centennial Season.


He has conducted orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra, German State Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Flanders Symphony Orchestra, the radio orchestras of Saarbrücken (Deutsche Radio Philharmonie), Hannover (NDR Radiophilharmonie), and Cologne (WDR Funkhausorchester), the Nuremberg State Philharmonic, the State Orchestras of Darmstadt, Kassel and Wiesbaden, Bremen Philharmonic, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Qatar Philharmonic, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as all major Greek orchestras.


As Artistic Director of the Athens State Orchestra from 2011 to 2014, he raised the standard of performance dramatically. Reviews became consistently enthusiastic, praising him as “great reformer”; ticket sales doubled despite the harsh financial crisis. Under his direction, the Orchestra supported young soloists and composers, commissioning and premièring 14 new compositions in three years; performed in virtually every corner of Greece including many remote islands; introduced a wide-ranging social and educational program; and won major national and European design awards for its new image.


From 2005 to 2015 he was Chief Conductor of the Southwest German Philharmonic Orchestra of Constance, again responsible for significant and unanimously recognized improvement in performance: under his artistic leadership, the number of subscribers exceeded the mark of 2.500 for the first time in the orchestra's history (from a small town population of app. 85.000); the Orchestra acquired new permanent posts, and toured with great success at renowned festivals and concert halls in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Greece, France, Spain, China, Japan, as well as throughout Germany.


In 2013, Vassilis Christopoulos was awarded Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French Republic.


In 2016 he was appointed Professor of Conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt.


Born in Munich in 1975, he studied oboe and music theory at the Athens Conservatory and orchestral conducting at the “Hochschule für Musik” in Munich with Prof. Hermann Michael. From 1993 to 1995 he was an oboist with the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra.


His discography includes the first recording of Concertos by Nikos Skalkottas with the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra which was released on BIS. His CD “Mozart Arias” featuring French Soprano Géraldine Casey and the Southwest German Philharmonic was awarded a golden Orpheus by the Académie internationale du disque lyrique in Paris for the best Mozart recording in 2009.


Christopoulos is fluent in Greek, French, German, English, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.





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