On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, during a press conference held at the offices of the Catholic Diocese of Syros, His Excellency Petros Stefanou, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Syros, together with the ANO International Organ Festival’s Executive Director Charis Vekris, introduced the festival’s new Artistic Director.
Born in Hermoupolis, Maestro Tsialis, whose international presence is impressive, stated that he was particularly glad to be given a chance through the festival to offer his experience and knowledge to his birthplace’s cultural scene. Next, Conductor Stefanos Tsialis presented the program of artistic events that will take place within the framework of the 7th ANO International Organ Festival. He said that his goals as Artistic Director include invitations to seminal artists in various fields of Music to join the festival. He believes that such eminent artists will contribute to making the festival’s artistic program even richer, bolster the festival’s international profile, and steer it towards claiming a place on the map of major organ festivals around Europe.
Stefanos Tsialis biography
He served as the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Athens State Orchestra from 2014 to 2020. During his six-year tenure there, he succeeded in increasing audience numbers by more than 60 percent despite a difficult economic climate, and improved the artistic quality of the ensemble beyond measure. This was due in no small part to his contacts with musicians of the calibre of Vladimir Fedoseyev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph Eschenbach, Martha Argerich, Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov and Elisabeth Leonskaya, who accepted his invitations to Athens on multiple occasions. The improvement in quality of the Athens orchestra also resulted in several concerts being broadcast by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and in it receiving regular invitations to attend prestigious international festivals such as the ‘Festival of Flanders’, the ‘Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo’, the ‘Marvao Festival’ and the ‘Enescu Festival’ in Bucharest, where it performed under his baton in September 2021. The press described the ensemble’s music-making as “a revelation”. It was on the heels of this success that Stefanos Tsialis was invited to appear with the ‘Enescu Philharmonic’ and Bucharest Opera.
In 2020 and 2021 two recordings with works by Nikos Skalkottas performed by the ASO under his batton were released by NAXOS receiving excellent critics: „Recorded with due clarity and immediacy, this release is an ideal way into a defining period of Skalkotta’s musical evolution, and an ideal introduction to his orchestral work in general“(Grammophone Magazine), „you really must hear this. It’s a revelation“ (ClassicsToday.com).
In June 2022 the Athens State Orchestra was invited to a ten-day China tour under his laedership which was postponed.
Stefanos Tsialis has worked with more than 90 orchestras in many EU countries as well as in Canada, the US, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and others. They include the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the MDR Radio Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, the Hanover Radio Philharmonic, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Nuremberg Philharmonic, the Dortmund Philharmonic, the Saarland State Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Philharmonic Orchestras of Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Teatro Massimo Bellini, the Haydn Orchestra in Bolzano and the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest.
In the current 22/23 ans 23/24 seasons, Stefanos Tsialis was reinvited to work with the Hamburg Symphony, the Staatskappelle Weimar, the Enescu Philharmonic Bucharest and the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. He will also be working with the Saarland Radio Orchestra, the Hanover Radio Orchestra, the Rhineland-Palatinate State Philharmonic in Ludwigshafen, the the Babelsberg Film Orchestra, the Schleswig-Holstein Symphony Orchestra, the Babylon Orchestra Berlin and the Bucharest Opera Company. For several years, Stefanos Tsialis has also been involved in performing and recording film music. He has specialized in accompanying silent movies. He speaks eight languages.
Stefanos Tsialis is regularly invited to perform with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamburg Symphony, the Athens State Orchestra, the Saarland State Orchestra and the Thuringian Philharmonic.
Stefanos Tsialis has collaborated with world famous soloists, such as Maxim Vengerov, Viktor Tretyakov, Martha Argerich, Igor Levit, Elisabeth Leonskaya, Anatol Ugorsky, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Geringas, Uto Ughi, Petra Lang and Igor Oistrakh.
He was born as the son of a danish mother and a greek father in Hermoupolis (Greece) in 1964. After studying piano at Thessalonica New Conservatory and musicology at Copenhagen University, he went on to graduate with distinction from Vienna Academy of Music as a conductor and répétiteur, and attended masterclasses with, amongst others, Leonard Bernstein, Vaclav Neumann and Rolf Reuter.
After his first engagement as assistant conductor and director of studies at Meiningen State Theatre, in 1996 Stefanos Tsialis received a scholarship from the Richard Wagner Foundation. From 1997 to 2004, he was chief conductor of the Central German Chamber Philharmonic, while from 2001 to 2004 he was also permanent guest conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. He subsequently returned to Meiningen State Theatre as First Kapellmeister and Deputy General Music Director from 2005 until 2009. From 2009 to 2013, he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Thuringia Philharmonic in Gotha whereas from 2015 till 2019 he was its permanent guest conductor.
In his operatic work, Stefanos Tsialis has collaborated with directors such as Peter Konwitschny, August Everding and Christine Mielitz. Developing a repertoire of 60 works, he has conducted a host of operas including Elektra, Salome, Wozzeck, Jenufa and Mona Lisa.
In 1995 he conducted the German premiere of Mikis Theodorakis’s opera Medea in Meiningen. This was to be the start of a long working association with the composer. Today, Stefanos Tsialis is regarded as one of the leading interpreters in the world of his countryman’s work.
Stefanos Tsialis has performed at many prestigious festivals, such as the Enescu Festival, the Flanders Festival, the Handel Festival in Halle, the Tivoli Festival in Copenhagen, the Athens Festival, the ‘Braunschweig Classix’ Festival, the Lisbon-Estoril-Festival and the Hamburg Music Festival.
Stefanos Tsialis has recorded CDs for the NAXOS, Genuin and Centaur labels. He has also appeared in television and radio recordings for German public broadcasters ARD, Deutschland Radio Kultur, MDR and NDR as well as broadcasters in Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Romania and South Africa.