Eleftheria Kotzia

« Kotzia was selected to represent Greece in London's Millennium Celebrations :String of Pearls »

Described by USA Review as doing for the Greek soul what flamenco does for the Spanish, Eleftheria Kotzia has toured regularly in Europe, Canada, the United States, South America, North Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East. She has performed both as a soloist and with orchestras at many of the great International Guitar and Music Festivals, including the 10th Anniversary Series of the D' Addario Foundation in the USA, the Festival Estival in Paris, the Tavener Festival in Athens, the Segovia Celebrations in Spain, the Guitar Foundation of America in the USA (three times), the 10th Anniversary Series of the Festival ‘Guitarras Del Mundo’ in Argentina, the City of London Festival and various other festivals around the world.

Born in northern Greece, in Alexandroupolis , Eleftheria Kotzia studied guitar at the National Conservatory in Athens, the Conservatoire National Supérieure in Paris, and finally at the Guildhall School of Music in London. Among her teachers have been Julian Bream, Alexandre Lagoya, Dimitri Fampas, David Russell and Timothy Walker. She was the winner of the first prize in the 6th International Guitar Competition in Milan.

When Eleftheria made her London debut the Times admired her skill, unfailing beguiling tone and her ability to vary her touch with fluency. Since then Eleftheria Kotzia has performed for various radio and TV stations, including the BBC and WNYC and has given recitals at some of the most famous concert halls in the world, including the Merkin Concert Hall and the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, The Wigmore Hall and the South Bank Centre in London, the Megaron Concert Hall in Athens, Les Halles and the Ampitheatre Richelieu in the Sorbonne in Paris, the Jubilee Hall - Raffles Hotel in Singapore , The Rudolfinum in Prague.

Eleftheria Kotzia has an impressive list of recordings to her credit. Among them the first recording of Michael Tippett's The Blue Guitar, which was described as life enhancing, enjoyed unanimous critical acclaim and was selected by Gramophone magazine as a Critic's Choice Recording of the Year. The American Record Guide hailed her as a wizard-a strong sensuous player with bite and sass. John Tavener's only solo guitar work, Chant, was also recorded for the first time by Eleftheria Kotzia, (‘Mediterraneo’) in a special adaptation made for her by the composer.

Her CDs ‘Fuoco’ on Harmonia Mundi - Mandala and ‘La Guitarra Latina’ on Chandos, ‘Gypsy Ballad’ (Somm) and ’Respectus’ have all received rave reviews.

Kotzia was selected to represent Greece in London's Millennium Celebrations :String of Pearls . She played the guitar part in the first performance of John Tavener's Fall and Resurrection in St Paul's Cathedral, London, which was televised live and subsequently issued on CD/DVD.

An inspirational creative force Eleftheria Kotzia set out in 1992 on an important initiative: the encouragement of non-Greek composers to write Greek -influenced music for her. Her uniquely pioneering work has resulted in compositions by such composers as Dusan Bogdanovic (his popular ‘Levantine Suite’), Stephen Dodgson, Carlo Domeniconi, John Duarte and Edward McGuire, who were all influenced in different ways by the richness of the Greek musical heritage.

Eleftheria has also presented numerous works by Greek composers in her recitals around the world such as Theodorakis, Hadjidakis, Haliasas, Giorginakis, Pittas, Tatsis, and Boudounis.

Estonian René Eespere and Chilean composer Edmundo Vasquez have also dedicated works to Eleftheria. René Eespere wrote and dedicated his guitar concerto to her. It was premiered in October 2007 in Tallin , Estonia and subsequently Eleftheria recorded it.

Passionate in collaborating with other artists she has worked with acclaimed violinist Leonidas Kavakos, Clio Gould, Luigi de Philipi , with mezzo- soprano Patricia Rosario, Flutist Judith Hall, cellist Robert Max etc.

Eleftheria Kotzia has been on the cover of the major guitar magazines (Classical Guitar, Guitar International) and on the cover of the music journal of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (I.S.M) and the Panhellenes. She has given interviews for the US magazine ‘Soundboard’, French ‘Guitare Classique’, the Dutch ‘Guitarren’and the Greek ‘Tar’.

Eleftheria Kotzia was a lecturer at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (2000-2015). She gives masterclasses and training courses around the world. She is a frequent judge in international guitar competitions (GFA, Benicasim , Alessandria).

Within the Catalogue of Lathkill Music Publishers she directs the Eleftheria Kotzia Series which features new, contemporary music for guitar. She is the writer of the guitar method ‘le cahier de ma guitare/guitarobics’, in two volumes.

Since 2007 Eleftheria kotzia is the director of the International Guitar Course and Festival in Ligoure , France.

"Eleftheria Kotzia holds the stage with the sort of presence I have not seen for a while. She has a robust character mixed with a quiet sensitivity .You could say it is something like the voraciousness of Julian Bream combined with a feminine delicacy of control, an alluring combination - all infused with the pizzazz of Greek spirit"
Classical Guitar (Purcell Room - London).

"Kotzia reminds you of the magic of the guitar. A superb disc neatly tying together the lyrical and the fiery."
W. Yeoman. Gramophone.

The Gramophone wrote "a perfect way to spend a magical hour bathed in Mediterranean warmth."

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