Interview to Michalis Papageorgiou

The composer of the song for CLOE, Michalis Papageorgiou, gave an interview to CLOE platform and we thank him warmly for this. He talked to us about music, his students and the crisis in the arts due to the pandemic.

When did you start working with music?

From the age of eight, I started studying classical piano at the National Conservatory. I liked the music very much, I loved it from the very first moment. When I was nineteen I got my diploma as a solo pianist. Then I continued my studies in theory. I worked with ERT, with various conservatories. I am still an official collaborator of ERT with the music ensembles. Then I was appointed to secondary education and have been a teacher in music schools in the country for nineteen years. I teach piano to students, currently teaching musicals and chamber music. At the same time, my second speciality is cultural studies, I have studied Greek Culture at the Hellenic Open University and I am now doing my Master’s degree in Music Education.

When did your music career begin? When did you know you were a musician?

I believe that music was in my life… forever. Yes, ever since I can remember I wanted to be a musician. In kindergarten, I had heard that we were put to music and I was crazy about it.

At the same time, you’re also a teacher in schools?

Yes, in music high schools and middle schools. These are full-time schools with the curriculum that they have, the public school curriculum plus nine hours of music education. I do piano lessons as an instrument of choice, choir, musicals and music history as I have studied upper-level music theory.

What is it like to teach children?

It is very interesting and every day is different. You are never bored (laughs). And you know, in the past I wanted to make them good musicians. But now growing up I realized that children have innate music, music is an expression, it has existed since their birth – these are proven things. I also have a responsibility to express myself through music and to enjoy the benefits of music.

Has the pandemic affected children and how is this expressed through music?

Some children became more introverted and some took out their extroverted character. Things have gone further. It is not this normalcy and what worries me in the generations of children who grow up with mobile and the internet and have two lives, the real and the virtual, is that all this time the pandemic has been oriented towards virtual life. I believe that little by little this will end and things will get better.

Are there new possibilities with technology in relation to music?

Of course, the children are also pioneers in this, they showed us programs, we made videos with whole orchestras and choirs, each child from his home. We made a video with a musical, I played the children piano, the children sang and we composed all this with the help of new technologies.

Did the pandemic affect the art scene in general in Greece?

The artistic space has been influenced in the part of the interaction of the artist and the listener. It is one thing to see a theatrical performance through a computer and another in the theater is completely different. The experiential arts have been influenced.

How much did the pandemic affect education?

In the field of education we went a little further, we have a weapon that is e-learning that we can use and we became a little wiser, not that it is the same as living education.

Michalis Papageorgiou:

Piano teacher and pianist at the Music School of Ilion, the National and the Athens Conservatory, Michalis Papageorgiou is a musician born in Athens in 1973. He studied piano with a scholarship at the National Conservatory of Athens with Nina Nikolaidou and Marina Lambrinoudi. He graduated in 1993, receiving a Diploma with distinction unanimously, First Prize and Distinction for outstanding performance, while at the same time he studied higher music theory (Diploma in Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue with distinction). He has continued to study the piano repertoire with Alexandra Papastefanou, Adreas Marchand (Stuttgart Music Academy), Markos Alexiou (jazz piano) and has participated as an active pianist in piano seminars with distinguished soloists such as G. Mournier, El. Mouzala, Duo Ganev, J Zacharieva, M. Papadopoulos, M. Tirimos etc.

He participated in the music ensembles of ERT (1995-2005 Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra of Varied Music) playing the piano, harpsichord, cello. At the Philippos Nakas Conservatory as an accompanist for string, woodwind, brass and classical singing schools (1998-2002). Collaborations with distinguished artists such as Katie Papalexopoulou preparing lyric singers and actors, Mimis Plessas, G. Hadjinasio, G. Markopoulos, mellos brass, Al.Stoupakis, Lakis Chalkias, K. Makedonas, K. Papadopoulos, baritone Stefanos Koroneos, the choral ensemble “Voice Box” etc. He has performed as a piano soloist, pianist in chamber music ensembles and as an instrumental member of ERT music ensembles both in Greece and abroad (Athens Concert Hall, Thessaloniki, Stuttgart Piano Centre, Stuttgart Academy, Grand Master’s Palace in Rhodes, Tuscany, Barcelona, Rajasthan, etc.).

He has composed music for the world’s first ecological game on iOS and Android Planet book, for ecological fairy tales “In the forest with lakes” and “Blonde beach” by K. Papageorgiou, for the children’s play “Come to my place” on the subject of bullying, he has played the piano (music cover Schubert impromptu op.90 ) in the award-winning short film EXIST by writer and director Vangelis Zouglou. He is a graduate of the Department of Humanities in Greek Culture of the Hellenic Open University. He has also composed music for the song CLOE.

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