Needed before 2015-12-31
$ 2,500
So far donated
$ 1,335

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Pantelis Assimakopoulos

Pantelis literally started his life listening to his mother, a piano teacher, play the Gaveau for hours each day. His mother was also his first teacher although later he continued his study formally at a department of the National Conservatory.

The archaic and unproductive teaching methods made him quit and turn to keyboard playing with various bands. His last band, Synthesis, recorded an LP and toured extensively but Pantelis soon returned to his familiar acoustic piano environment.

The milestone in his musical life was his meeting with Marcos Alexiou, a literal legend in the Greek and European jazz scene. It was the first time that Pantelis realized the importance and impact of music in his life. He studied with him for eight years jazz piano, modern harmony and jazz improvisation. Marcos taught him musicality, freedom of expression and a unified attitude towards sophisticated music.

During the nineties, Pantelis played jazz clubs, made radio appearances, took part in jazz festivals and partnered with many Greek jazz musicians. He also formed his own piano trio which helped him develop his personal style and a more stable and intimate sound.

A few years ago, Pantelis decided to abstain from public appearances in an effort to improve his playing and piano technique. He started taking private lessons with the Russian concert pianist Marianna Aivazova and continues until present. This hiatus was necessary in order to gain maximum benefits from the study of great composers like Debussy, Chopin and above all, Bach, the master technician.

Although music has been the half part of his life (the other half is essentially his wife and 4-year old daughter), Pantelis never got a degree in music from any source. He holds a degree in Physics from the Athens University and also a MSc in Computer Automation from the same institution. The implacable flow of everyday life demands a daytime job for any decent family man. Pantelis works as senior system software engineer in a very popular computer firm and spends the rest of his time with his family, his private studio and of course, his Boesendorfer.

His long-term projects include the recording of all Joplin rags together with other ragtime composers' works. He also plans on recording a series of standards with his jazz trio and solo work.

Classically trained but deeply engaged with jazz, Pantelis subscribes to the axiom "The talented jazz pianist plays as if the music was written and prepared, while the talented classical pianist plays as if the music was improvised".

He holds a liberal view where interpretation cannot be detained or even worse, dictated, and can be anything as long as it serves the purpose of art, to communicate feelings, to educate and to matter.

Arlen-Jarrett - 'Over the Rainbow' 
Bach - Inventions 
Bach - Well-Tempered Clavier 
Beethoven - Sonatas 
Botsford - Rags 
Brahms - Fantasias 
Brahms - Waltzes 
Brubeck - Points on Jazz 
Chopin - Etudes 
Chopin - Preludes 
Chopin - Waltzes 
Debussy - Children's Corner 
Debussy - Preludes 
Gershwin - Rags 
Janza - Aviation Rag 
Joplin - Rags 
Scarlatti - Sonatas 
Scott - Rags 
Wooster & Smith - Black Cat Rag