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Dimitris Minakakis

www.dimitrisminakakis.gr

Dimitris Minakakis is a composer, performer, pedagogue and writer.  

 Ηis work as a composer reflects a clear influence from Byzantine Music, the classical  Greek tradition, and the late European modernism. These components are assimilated and evolved continuously in his personal idiom. Equally important is the influence of the natural environment.

As a performer, he has established a multifacited career both in Byzantine music as chanter, and in European music as a choir director and orchestral conductor. His repertoire extends from 16th century works to contemporary music.

 Equally multifaceted is his work as a pedagogue. A teacher of theory and composition in distinguished music and educational institutions, he has taught a variety of musical courses, including acoustics, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, and contemporary music. His special teaching approach, which focuses in the simultaneous understanding of theory and practice, has attracted a lot of students, several of whom are now established performers, composers, theorists and music teachers in Europe and the United States.  

 His pedagogical work also extends to administrative duties: a founder and director of several conservatories, he was particularly noted for promoting chamber music and organizing music ensembles. For the latter, he created many arrangements, orchestrations and original compositions, giving the opportunity to students of all musical instruments and levels of training to come into direct contact with ensemble music-making.

 

His work as a writer is the extension of his work as a pedagogue. The internationally acclaimed “THE EAR-TRAINING MANUAL” (Papagriroriou-Nakas editions) aims to develop a multi-dimensional approach in the field of ear-training that appeals to the beginner as well as the professional musician who wants to further refine and expand his/her abilities. “THE ART OF MUSIC AND ITS CRAFT” engages the systematic teaching of music literacy and basic ear-training. The three-part “PRINCIPLES OF MUSIC THEORY” offers a thorough preparation in music fundamentals, aimed at preparing students for the study of harmony. Currently, he is completing for publication a song cycle for children’s or women’s choir, consisting of original compositions and arrangements. Future projects include the publication of chamber and orchestral music works.

Dimitris Minakakis compositions have been performed in Greece, Europe, North and South America by distinguished ensembles, including the State Orchestra of Northern Greece, Strings of the National Orchestra of Athens, Chamber Orchestra of the National Lyric Stage, Athens Youth Symphony, Orchestra and Choir of the Tatui Academy (Brazil), the Athens Kamerata, the Dianapolis Chamber Orchestra (Yambol-Bulgaria), and Alea III (USA). He has also collaborated with conductors such as Dimitris Agrafiotis, Theodore Antoniou, Nikolai Sultanov, Pedro Juliano Delarole, Cadmo Fausto, Pavlos Sergiou, and Stratis Minakakis, as well as soloists such as Igor Kipnis (cembalo), Dimitris Sempsis and Spiros Gikonti (Violin), Martha Arapi, Dafni Panourgia anf Gina Foteinopoulou (soprano), Vayia Kofou (mezzo), Spiros Pavlakis, and Paul Houghtaling (baritones).

 Dimitris Minakakis’ professional career includes faculty appointments in the Anargyreios and Korialeneios Schools of Spetses, the Conservatory of Piraeus Society, the Athenaeum Conservatory, and the Athens Conservatory. One of his most prolific engagements was as a music instructor and head of the music department in Athens College from 1981 until 2013. In this capacity, he founded numerous music programs, including the thriving Athens College Conservatory. In addition to being the Artistic Director of the Athens College Conservatory, he also headed the Municipal Conservatories of Zografos and Aghios Dimitrios.

 A recipient of numerous artistic awards, Dimitris Minakakis received, among others, the Santa Cruz do Grau in 2006 for his “Liturgy” (Holy Synod of Greek Orthodox Diaspora and the Academy of Arts, Civilization and History of Brazil in No), an honorable mention for his chamber music work “Oi Dyo Opseis Mias Diadromis” in the 1990 Y.A. Papaioannou Composition Competition, and a distinction for his song cycle “Erotic Trilogy” on poetry by Kostas Pandelakis in the 1988 Kucyna International Composition Competition. Also celebrated for his pedagogical work, he was awarded the G. Phylaktopoulos Chair in 1996 for “his exceptional presence in Athens College and his continuous contribution far beyond the requirements of his teaching in class”. In 2006, the Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Agios Dimitrios honored him for his continuous and invaluable artistic contribution in the Municipality.

 Dimitris Minakakis studied Byzantine music with Dimitris Bonatsos, Giwrgos Zafeiratos and Giannis Margaziotis, piano with Konstantinos Kidoniatis and Fani Matou, theory with Konstantinos Kidoniatis, Andreas Carbone, and Alekos Ainian, and composition with Yiannis Andreou Papaioannou.

 He lives and works in Athens. From his marriage to Chemistry Professor Panagiota Mouteveli he has two children: musician Stratis (born 1979), currently a Professor of Theory and Composition in New England Conservatory  (Boston, USA), and biologist Georgia (1987), currently a  PhD student (Erlangen, Germany). From the marriage of his son Stratis to Sanskritist (μη χέσω) Dolores Pizarro he has a granddaughter, Catalina.

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Sheet music

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