Nicolas Economou

Nicolas Economou (11/8/1953 - 29/12/93) was born in Nicosia and was the first child of his family. His parents, who love classical music, decided to expose him to music as a creative outlet rather than a career. At the age of five, he started taking piano lessons and very soon he revealed his extraordinary talent by improvising on the piano and composing short pieces of music. When Solon Michaelides, the celebrated Cypriot composer, conductor, musicologist and friend of the family heard him play for the first time, when Nicolas was not yet seven years old, he declared: " This child is a blessing to his parents, Cyprus and the World". On his advice, Nicolas"s musical training was undertaken by George Arvanitakis. The turning-point in Nicolas"s life came at the age of ten. It had to be decided whether he would eventually take up music as a career. Again Solon Michaelides, who was following Nicolas"s progress, suggested that his musical education should be continued outside Cyprus where he would have greater opportunities. In September of 1964, after an audition, he was accepted at the Special School of Music of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, a preparatory school for youngsters to enter the Conservatory. In December of that year, in Athens, he won the "Keti Papaioannou" Panhellenic Competition for young musicians up to the age of seventeen. Events themselves were now forming the course of Nicolas"s life. The following year at the age of twelve, far away from his family and culture, he began his musical studies in Moscow. After three years of studies, his piano teacher suggested that he should enter the Tchaikovsky Competition, a world-renowned international music competition. After a year of preparation and at the age of sixteen, he participated in the competition, gaining favourable reviews from the Press, Radio and Television. A year later, he was admitted to the Tchaikovsky Conservatory itself. After Moscow he moved to Dusseldorf and then to Munich, Germany. From his new base there he established himself throughtout Europe as a concert pianist, composer (he studied composition with the Russian Vladislav Zolotorev), arranger, conductor and organiser of music festivals.

As a performer he appeared in Europe, the USA and Canada as well as the USSR, Japan, Iceland, and Israel. He performed solo, with orchestras and other famous performers and composers like Martha Argerich, Rodion Shchedrin, Siatoslav Richter, Michel Beroff, Chick Corea and others. Apart from performing in concert with Martha Argerich and Chick Corea, he also recorded with them. The record with Chick Corea, entitled " On Two Pianos", was the result of a series of concerts in Germany in 1981/82 during which the two musicians would interact with each other by improvising in their own style.

In addition to the records mentioned above, he also released two other solo albums. Today the Foundation is in the process of gathering all the recordings he had made in various countries for Radio or TV broadcasts. Nicolas was about to release several new CDs before he passed away. Those recordings of him playing solo piano (more than ten hours" worth) are ready to be released once negotiations with record companies are completed.

As a composer he wrote music for piano, for small ensembles, symphonic music and film music. Many of his compositions have themes and rhythms from Cyprus and the Mediterranean. Some of his compositions are: "Children Studies", "Sonata for Chick" (dedicated to Chick Corea) for piano, "Cyprus Pictures" and "Cyprus Dances" for an eight piece musical ensemble (octet), the soundtracks for twelve films including "Rosa Luxemburg" and "Die bleierne Zeit", both by Margarethe von Trotta. Apart from classical music, which was his main interest, he used to listen to other kinds of music including Jazz, Rock and Pop. He especially appreciated the music of the Beatles. Like many musicians with broad taste he always used to say, "There is good and there is bad music".

Nicolas also arranged Tchaikovsky"s "The Nutcracker Suite" for two pianos. The piece was originally written for symphony orchestra. Performers and critics alike have praised this arrangement, since all the musical colours portrayed by the orchestra are very well conveyed by two pianos.

In 1978, with the collaboration of the City of Munich, Nicolas organised a "Cyprus Week" in Munich, with artists from Cyprus including actors, musicians, painters, sculptors and the late shadow performer, Paphios. He was also the founder of the "Solisten Ensemble" in Munich with which he performed some of his compositions and those of other composers. He was the co-founder of the well - established "Munich Summer Piano Festival". In February 1992 he organised in Venice the first of a series of piano festivals he intended to establish in Europe with the title "Pianisti non Solo".

As a conductor he directed the distinguished Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, Germany’s Youth Orchestra and the La Fenice Opera Orchestra of Venice.

Nicolas was also a thinker and expressed many of this thoughts and ideas in literary work, poetry and prose. He was a citizen of the World and refused to accept borders, either in the geographical sense, in artistic expression or ideas. It is expected that once his literary work has been classified and appraised, it will be published by the Foundation.

As an acknowledgement of his services and contribution to Culture and the Arts in general, Nicolas was honoured on various occasions by several bodies. The city of Munich honoured him in 1979 for his contribution to the Arts, as a composer and interpreter of classical and modern music, with the award for "Best Interpreter of the Year". In 1983, the Bavarian TV produced a television portrait of Nicolas, more than an hour in duration, in which he is shown in all facets of his creative life. The film, called "Kreisleriana", was directed by Klaus Voswinkel. Since 1988, a seat bearing his name has stood in the Prinzregententheatr of the City of Munich, next to seats of other prominent artists. Because of his outstanding contribution to music, he was accepted in 1992 into one of Europe’s prominent societies, the Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea (The European Academy of Sciences and Arts) members of which are Nobel Prize winners, politicians, artists, church dignitaries and others. In Cyprus he was honoured with the "Tevkros Anthias and Theodosis Pierides" Award.

He had many well-known friends, not only musicians but also persons coming from a variety of intellectual backgrounds. Among them as the late philosopher and playwright Friedrich Durrenmatt, with whom he had a special bond. Others include Arthur Miller and his family, Rodion Shchedrin and the legendary Maja Plisestkaya, Maximilian and Maria Schell, Volker Schlondorff and Margarethe von Trotta. In Greece he had close ties with the late Solon Michaelides and Manos Hadjidakis.

Even though he spent almost all of his life far away from his birthplace, deep inside he remained a Cypriot with all the characteristics of the Mediterranean people. He never lost touch with the island and during his visits to Cyprus he used to mix with all kinds of people, regardless of their background. He greatly enjoyed discussing politics and would eagerly prompt discussions on life and philosophical issues. He was always frank and direct and had no inhibitions in expressing an opinion, and for this he was very much respected. He is not only missed by his friends and associates, but also by those people who knew him through his music or many TV and Radio appearances.

nefcy.com


L'art de Nicolas Economou Vol. VI. Beethoven - Sonatas No. 12 opus 26 / No. 28 opus 101 / Six Bagatelles opus 126 - Nicolas Economou (CD)

L'art de Nicolas Economou Vol. VI. Beethoven - Sonatas No. 12 opus 26 / No. 28 opus 101 / Six Bagatelles opus 126 - Nicolas Economou (CD)

L'art de Nicolas Economou Vol. VI. Beethoven - Sonatas No. 12 opus 26 / No. 28 opus 101 / Six Bagate..

$24.99

L'art de Nicolas Economou Vol. VII - A deux Pianos - Chick Corea & Nicolas Economou (CD)

L'art de Nicolas Economou Vol. VII - A deux Pianos - Chick Corea & Nicolas Economou (CD)

L'art de Nicolas Economou Vol. VII - A deux Pianos - Chick Corea & Nicolas Economou - 43785 - Classi..

$24.99

Mozart - L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. 5 (CD)

Mozart - L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. 5 (CD)

Mozart - L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. 5 - 41671 - Classical music..

$24.99

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. I (CD)

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. I (CD)

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. I - 41667 - Piano Music..

$24.99

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. II (CD)

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. II (CD)

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. II - 41668 - Piano Music..

$24.99

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. IV (CD)

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. IV (CD)

L'Art de Nicolas Economou Vol. IV - 41670 - Piano Music..

$24.99

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