Biography

Text Box: An award-winning composer, soloist, conductor of global acclaim, former double bass leader and literary translator from and to Hungarian, French, English, Italian, Modern and Ancient Greek, dramaturg. One of the very rare conductors who conduct an enormous repertoire of operatic, orchestral, chamber music and ballet works by memory and have perfect pitch.

At 17 he won the Hungarian Guitar Competition and its Audience Prize which lead to an everlasting series of world premieres, among which the first Hungarian guitar concerto by Pál Rózsa. He graduated with honors from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in guitar performance, composition and orchestral conducting. In the history of the Institution and the Hungarian Ministry of Education only he has been allowed, due to exceptional talent, to complete a 5-year course in only 3 years.  He also studied composition and conducting in Florence with masters such as Carlo Maria Giulini, Piero Bellugi, Zubin Mehta, Rudolf Barshai, Yuri Simonov, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Péter Eötvös et al.

While still a student he served as Conductor, Manager and Music Director (Symphony Orchestra of the Hungarian Ministry of Interior, Béla Bartók Music Academy, Vass Lajos Symphony Orchestra, MÁV Zenekar). He is Music Director of the Vass Lajos Symphony Orchestra,Conductor of the Budapest Concert Orchestra, a world known orchestra mainly remembered through its participation in several prestigious projects such as The 3 tenors with Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, Placido Domingo and James Levine and Conductor of the Hungarian State Opera House. Collaborations with soloists include Cyprien Katsaris, Eva Marton, Leonidas Kavakos, Erika Miklósa, Giuseppe Giacomini, Ramón Vargas, Vilmos Szabadi, Andrei Ilyushnikov, Zoltan Gyöngyössy and Marta Sebestyen. 

In 2005 he declined invitation to Carnegie Hall. He regularly performs in the double role of soloist (guitar, keyboard, percussion) - conductor.

For reasons of national interest, he has received honorary Hungarian citizenship. He has received numerous Hungarian Ministry awards,  the '' Excellent Ensemble'' award (twice), the Hungarian Syndicates Award, the Vasas Artistic Award of Excellence, the Budapest Council Memorial Plaque et al.

The Hungarian Television produced his portrait film in 2013.
Notis Georgiou is the youngest member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.
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Selected Reviews

 

 

“...A born conductor”

Maestro Yuri Simonov

 

 

Concert of 28th May, 2008

“…he is a multitalented musician and even more he is one of the very rare conductors who conduct everything by memory, be that symphonies, concertos etc! His repertoire is absolutely enormous.  I was indeed impressed by the musical understanding and the technical skills of Maestro Georgiou. The communication between us was perfect and the truth of the matter is that something positively "special" happened during the concert.

      It was music-creating and not just routine as one can experience too often during concerts. Moreover, Notis Georgiou conducted Beethoven's Concerto N°3 for piano and orchestra by heart (additionally to the symphonic works), which is quite unusual.
     As far as I am concerned, I have already performed this concerto about 90 times worldwide and this was the only time that I ever saw a conductor doing it by memory.

   I would like to stress that I am totally independent in my judgement and that I have no personal interest in recommending him, apart from a real admiration.

Cyprien Katsaris, Pianist

 

 

« A small country like Cyprus, has exported a Nicolas Economou, a Martinos Tirimos, a Marios Papadopoulos, a Notis Georgiou. »

Cyprien Katsaris, Pianist 25.09.2011

 

 

 

"A conductor with an overwhelming, effortless dynamism,...an extraordinary talent with extraordinarily high standard musical gifts, sovereign artistic value and psychological mastery. A most mature artist predestinated for a beautiful future."

Hungarian State Opera House music review (Medveczky Ádám)

 

 

 

Review of Concert of 16th November, 2004

“... Never have I heard Tchaikovsky`s Rococo Variations accompanied with such mastery-not even by the Russians.”

Mezo Laszlo, Cellist of the Bela Bartok String Quartet, Professor of the Liszt Academy of Music

 

 

 

Review of Concert of 21st May, 2002

“... Maestro Notis Georgiou simply has everything.”

Musica Nostra

 

 

 

Review of Concert of 27th June, 2005

“... Hearing the Notis Georgiou-Marku Susan duo in the premiere of my work Rebetikï Suite, I felt, for the first time, justified.”

Vassilis Tenidis, Composer

 

Notis Georgiou’s performances reveal features of my works that even myself ignored.

Vassilis Tenidis, Composer

 

 

 

Review of Concert of 12th June, 2001

“... The best classical symphony performance held in Liszt Academy in the last 50 years.”

Lukacs Ervin, President of Budapest Philharmonia.

 

 

"A completely new age of guitar playing. Notis is for the guitar what Glenn Gould has been for the piano.!

 

…The Hungarian Symphony Orchestra invites the artists par excellence of the Hungarian and International music life: amongst its world-renowned conductors are Kocsis Zoltán, Kovács János, Howard Williams, Marco Balderi and Notis Georgiou" 

Tamás Gál, Conductor, Artistic Director on the occasion of inviting Notis Georgiou to perform 4 guitar concertos at a single concert

(Tarregiana, Rebetiko suite, Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasía para un gentilombre) as soloist-conductor of the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra.

 

 

 

Review of concert as guitar and piano soloist-conductor of 13th December, 2011

Featuring Mozart: Piano concertos no. 21, 27, J. Haydn: Piano concerto in D major

Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez and Pachelbel : Canon

“…Mr Kocsis, Mr Vásáry, welcome the new member of the pianist-conductor generation: Maestro Notis Georgiou.”

Kovács Dávid

 

 

 

“…A man of renaissance”

Szabó Julianna

 

 

“DODECACHORDON ENCHANTS BUDAPEST AUDIENCE”                                                     

Concert of June 11th, featuring the world premiere of Cypriot Diptychon and the world premiere of Folías all' antica, both by Notis Georgiou, and the Hungarian premiere of Rebetiki Suite by Vassilis Tenidis.

 

 

“A most beautiful programme, real music delicacies, gentle music in the hands of masters!”                                                                                                     

Sebestyén Márta, Hungary's best known vocalist, composer and Unesco Artist for Peace, mainly known as the vocalist of the “English Patient”, awarded with 9 Oscars (including Best Soundtrack) in 1997

 

 

23rd April 2013                                                                                                                                                     

„…his professional career is exemplary. His work in local and international music life is outstandingly worth noticing. Not only the usual bio data, the reviews and the references certify Mr Georgiou’s exceptional qualities, but also the high esteem which embraces him in our country’s music life.”                                                                                                                                                                

Dénes Gulyás, tenor, Franz Liszt Prize, Artist of Merit of the Hungarian People's Republic, Outstanding Artist of the Republic of Hungary, Hungarian Heritage Award, Music  Director of Pécs State Theatre, Professor at Liszt Music University and University of Pécs.

 

 

 

Review of Erkel’s Hunyadi László Opera performance, 12th May, 2013

“Authentically Magyar. Full of breathtakingly passionate emotional breakouts, with irresistible drive and electrifyingly dramatic impact, unmistakable, incisive, sharply defined, conscientious, meticulous: simply magnificent’’

Anikó P.Szabó, Hungarian State Opera House music review

 

 

 

16th September 2012

“I got to know Notis Georgiou 8 years ago. His readiness and talent were already extraordinarily high-standard, his knowledge of Hungarian overwhelming. Notis Georgiou has always proved he was born to be a guitarist, as well as his musical sensitivity and his non compromising ambition in his work both as a conductor and as a sensitive musician. Both as a man and a musician, his excellent properties predestine him to satisfy even the highest demands.”

Vilmos Szabadi, violinist, Docens of Liszt Ferenc Music Academy,

Liszt, Hungaroton and Midem prize-winner

 

 

 

Bonn, Beethoven-Haus

«A really overwhelming performance!»

Anthony Pilavachi, opera director (German Critic Award 2011, Echo Klassik Award 2012/

(European Grammy for Classical Music) for the best opera DVD 2012 worldwide)

 

 

«...His gestures, his music instructions are indubitable, his tempo changes captivating, the communication with both the orchestra and the choir highly intensive…He conducted every single opera performance with unerring, firm hand and high intellectual confidence. A pleasure working with him, both as a man and a professional”

Kalman Strausz, Conductor of the Hungarian State Opera Choir

 

 

Notis Georgiou’conducting is able to bring out very special forces in his colleagues. His disciplined and honest personality, his humble dedication to music are exemplary. I am glad we worked together.../… it was very inspiring indeed.”

Daniel Patkos, Violist

 

 

„As a professional, perfect, as a man, we got to know an exceptional colleague. Opera theatres can benefit a lot from his knowledge, his work ethic and persistence.”

Tamás Daróczi, Tenor soloist of Hungarian State Opera House

 

 

„…It is thanks to this ingenious young couple that the Bratislava audience first met Márta Sebestyén.

Their performance was an overwhelming music experience !”

 Erzsébet Pogány, Editor, Cleveland, Bratislava

 

 

„This concert is as special as you are: beautiful, harmonic and exalting, placid and serene !” 

Hedvig Dvorsky, Art critic

 

 

„We are deeply grateful for the stunningly beautiful melodies..., for bringing to us ART, as it was handed over by our ancestors.”

Gitta Pálinkás, Bratislava

 

 

 

Márta Sebestyén about Notis Georgiou / a Hungarian Television interview

available at:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXVL81G31xw

Reporter: When and how did you get to know Notis?

 

Márta Sebestyén: I heard a great deal about Notis among the Greeks in Hungary, they kept mentioning him. The Greek Administration and Community publish a newspaper about their cultural news, which I used to receive too. There I continuously kept seeing  „conducted by Notis Georgiou, Notis Georgiou”. Once I asked: who is this man, this cypriot conductor, who lives here and is so active and appears in so many forums? In secret I thought I should get to him, maybe I could learn something from him as well, because I am terribly happy when I can personally collect songs from the homeland of a person, who is obviously its best conoisseur. I thought a conductor will definitely  be able to recommend  folksongs from his native land. For it is hard to find cypriot folksongs. So once, I saw that he is giving a guitar concert with his ensemble-with Susan,  performing a very beautiful bouquet, a beautiful programme in MOM. I attended the event, taking along a small notebook, which I filled up with notes and saw that they perform entirely such music delicacies arranged on such an intellectual basis, but filled with splendid content, for which delicacies I myself am  very excited and through a knowledge-spreading activity, that goes beyond music and entertainment, teaches and educates, of which I am particularly fond. I found it very interesting. After the concert, when I went to him, it seemed that he was also very happy we finally met and began discussing in a way, that already in the third minute I had the impression that we are just continuing a discussion that began long ago. Thus, for some reason, this meeting became quasi the continuation of a very deep, already existing friendship, after which we met several times. We also discussed about professional issues and it seemed that we can participate in each other’s artistic plans. I find very touching the fact that he got to know so thoroughly the Hungarian culture. The way he speaks is simply fantastic: with such a splendid vocabular treasury, such a pronounciation, that a lot of Hungarian people could feel ashamed with their 50-word sms dialect, so rich is his speech. He has such a feeling and comprehension of the language that, for example, once I asked him to help translating a peculiar Greek carol to Hungarian, to include it in the material of the upcoming recording both in original and in translation. Well, not only did he translate the text, but he somehow did it in a splendid way, in rhythm, taste and tone, as a true literary translator. I myself only know of László Nagy, who was capable of translating folksongs in rhythm,  Bulgarian folksongs to Hungarian, in a way that in Hungarian language the translation perfectly cites the original. In a word, he is an astonishing man. And at the same time, he is always so delicate, playful, simple, in far distance from factitiousness of any kind. I very much like that he is so strongly attracted to nature, that he often goes to excursions and practically knows this country so well, as if it were his palm. Therefore, the fact that he has now become a Hungarian citizen is self-comprehensible. I wish there were plenty of Hungarian-Hungarian people that love and know this country and its culture as much.