I was born in Athens back in 1969! In a year full of important events, such as Neil’s Armstrong walk on the moon, the Woodstock, Carlo Santana recording his first album, Monty Python comedy troupe forming, I selected to “appear” the same day when Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. I can not easily dismiss the possibility that all these events have affected me to believe that the possibilities for progress and improvement are endless and that life should be filled with music and love!
I started playing the mandolin in the tender age of 7 years old, by joining the soon-to-become-famous Mandolin Orchestra and Choir of Fotis Aleporos that consisted of 25 mandolin players and a choir of 30 singers. After 2 years of mandolin and music theory training, I started participating in concerts, and before I was 10 years old, I appeared in front of almost one thousand people in a concert at Greece’s largest theater, a life-changing experience!
I remained a member of this group for 25 years, during which I consistently participated in concerts all over Greece almost twice per month, having mastered a repertoire of more than one thousand songs, that included traditional music from Greece and Italy, as well as some Classical repertoire.
During this period, I was also lucky enough to record with the Mandolin Orchestra & Choir three CDs that were a great success in Greece, as well as do a TV series that recorded the traditional mandolin music of Greece. Being so young, this exposure literally changed my life, gave me recognition, blessed me with a large network of friends from the music and arts Greek scene, and also significantly improved my skills to present in front of big audiences.
At the same time, I finished high school, got my first degree in Maths, and continued with Postgraduate studies in Computing, Information and Telecommunications in Scotland. This was a happy period, as I met my wife-to-be, and concurrently had the time to explore and enjoy the Scottish land and people.
After returning to Greece, I started working for a young Greek technology company, doing research and development in Telecom and IT. Being creative through the day, I remained motivated to continue my mandolin adventure and at the same time I started a new adventure, that resulted to me getting a degree in Advanced Music Theory Studies and will also give me a degree in Classical Guitar.
Being split between two disciplines, i.e. technology and music may seem difficult or even weird, especially when the disciplines seem different. Instead of having second thoughts about it, I decided early to pursue both technology related activities that earned me a living, as well as music studying and playing that filled my life with joy and happiness.
It turns out this dual role was the best thing that happened to me. Without the make-a-living burden affecting my artistic selections, I’ve since been able to enjoy music and mandolin more, learn much much more and be at the same time creative.