Vassilis Varvaresos is one of the most important soloists of his generation.
March 2012 marked his Carnegie Hall recital debut, to both audience and critical acclaim. Immediately following his debut, he was asked to play at the White House for President Barrack Obama.
Being re-invited to the Athens Festival of 2012, Mr. Varvaresos will be making his inaugural appearance at the Herodeion theater in Athens, performing Prokofiev’s Concerto no. 2 with the Athens State Symphony Orchestra.
In December 2010 Mr. Varvaresos was named Most Promising Young Greek Artist from the Critics’ Association of Greece. The dynamic young Greek pianist is also the 1st Prize winner of the Maria Chairogiorgou-Sigara 3rd International Piano Competition, held in Athens in May 2010.
Winner of the coveted First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions at the age of 14, his recital debuts in New York and Washington were acclaimed. The New York Concert Review ended thus: “Following this great program greatly played, Vassilis Varvaresos played a spicy Greek dance with all the exuberance and heartiness of a soul in love with life.” The Washington Post’s headline called him a “Young Master on the Rise.”
Mr. Varvaresos made his sensational New York orchestra debut in 2007 at Lincoln Center performing Lowell Liebermann’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Andreas Delfs. In October 2010, as a special guest of the Archbishop of the Greek-Orthodox Church of America, Mr. Varvaresos appeared with the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra in Chopin’s Piano Concerto in e minor at Alice Tully Hall, while in the winter of 2008 he was asked to be the soloist with the Athens State Symphony Orchestra, representing Greece on a two-week tour of China, on the occasion of the 2008 Bejing Olympic Games. Mr. Varvaresos, on this occasion, performed in front of a total of 6000 people.
Mr. Varvaresos’ made his recital debut in Athens, Greece appearing at the 2010 Athens Festival. During the same summer he has appeared in recital and chamber music concerts in Mykonos, Greece and in Constantinople and Cyprus
Mr. Varvaresos previous seasons included concerts in Vienna’s legendary Musikverein, performances of Chopin ‘s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra in Leukosia and Lemesos under the baton of Spiros Pisinos, recitals in Mykonos, Greece and a featured concert at the International Piano Festival of Gijón, Spain.
Since then, he has performed in numerous occasions both in the U. S. and abroad. Highlight performances include an appearance with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, where Mr. Varvaresos performed Rachmaninov’ s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini and Gerswhin’ s Rhapsody in Blue in a double-bill special event as well as concerto and recital appearances in the U.S. and his native Greece.
As a soloist with orchestra in the United States, Mr. Varvaresos has performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Victoria Symphony in Texas, Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 with the Westmoreland Symphony (PA), Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 with the Dearborn (MI) Orchestra Society, Haydn’s Concerto in D Major with the Hartford Symphony, Mozart’s Concerto No. 5 with the Modesto (CA) Symphony, Mozart’s Concerto no. 20 with the Altoona (PA) Symphony, Rachmaninov ‘s Concerto no. 1 with the JCC of Greater Washington, and Beethoven’ s Concerto no.3 with the Sacramento Youth Symphony.
Mr. Varvaresos’ performances in his native Greece include the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto at the Megaron Hall with the Athens State Symphony Orchestra, Solon Michailides’s Piano Concerto and the Grieg Piano Concerto in the Megaron Hall of Athens, Rachmaninov’s Concerto no. 2, Mozart ‘s Concerto no. 20 and Beethoven’ s Concerto No. 3, with the Orchestra of Thessaloniki. He has performed numerous times on Greek State Television, as well as on television in Italy, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. Mr. Varvaresos has represented Greece in a special “EuroConcert” at the Museum of Modern Art in Helsinki, at the Greek Embassy in Milan, and for the U.S. Ambassador to Greece. He has also performed as a recitalist in Austria, Germany, France, Italy, The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia.
Mr. Varvaresos is a founding member of Fourtissimo!, a group of four award-winning pianists whose goal is to reinvent the concert going experience through tasteful and uncompromising experimentation: unorthodox choice of repertoire, questions and choices concerning the form of the piano recital, and original compositions/transcriptions that test the limitations of the instrument and point the way towards a new type of instrumental virtuosity and inventiveness . The group’s debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in October 2010 received immediate audience and critical acclaim.
Mr. Varvaresos is also active as a composer. His dance composition Three Etudes was chosen to represent the Juilliard School in a Dance Forum hosted by the Pallucca Schüle in Dresden, Germany in October of 2007. He has written ten film scores, including “Ellsworth Kelly: Fragments” and “Sir John Soane: An English Architect, an American Legacy” produced by the Checkerboard Film Foundation. He has also composed the score for the short film “Hardwood”.
Born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1983, Mr. Varvaresos started studying music at the age of five, and received a scholarship to the Conservatory of Nothern Greece. He continued his studies at the Conservatory with Milena Mollova. He won First Prize in the 1995 Petar Konjovic International Competition in Belgrade, the 1996 Pan-Hellenic Young Artist Competition in Athens, and was chosen as one of eleven young musicians from around the world to perform in Monte Carlo in a special “little Mozarts” concert organized by Italy’s RAI TV. Mr. Varvaresos holds a bachelor of music degree and a master of music degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal. His paper on Claude Debussy, which won the Scholastic Distinction Award from the The Juiliard School, was published in Greece by Kodikas Publications. In May 2011 Mr. Varvaresos received his Doctorate in Piano Performance from the Juilliard School. He was a student of Jerome Lowenthal, Yoheved Kaplinsky, and Robert MacDonald.
Mr. Varvaresos is currently pursuing the prestigious Diplôme d’ Artiste-Interpète degree at the Conservatoire Nationale et Superieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris, France. He studies with Michel Dalberto.
Mr. Varvaresos is recipient of Musical Studies Grants from the Bagby Foundation and the George and Marie Vergottis Foundation. Since 2008, he has also been the recipient of the Gina Bachauer Foundation Grant for Outstanding Talent in Music and Onassis Foundation Grant.