Theodora Athanassiou

Theodora Athanassiou was born in Athens. She holds a degree in Education Studies from the University of Patras. She turned to music at the early age of six, teaching herself the bouzouki the baglama and taking part in school music bands and clubs. At eleven, she took up classes on repertoire and modes of folk guitar under the guitarist Nikos Protopapas. She has been working in live music clubs as a guitarist since the age of nineteen. For the last ten years she has been focusing her studies on the eastern system of melody types (makam) for lavta (the Constantinople lute) and yaili tanbur under Christos Tsiamoulis and Eugenios Voulgaris, as well as on rythmology for traditional percussion under Sergios Voulgaris, as part of a five-year course in the Department of Greek music and Instruments at the Municipal Conservatory of Patras. Since 2004, she has attended a number of master classes on the technique and repertoire on lavta (2005) under Pericles Papapetropoulos and other eastern music traditions (afghan rabab, 2004 / KhaledArman, Persian radif, 2006 / Darius Talai) with Labyrinth Musical Workshop in Crete. In 2007, she attended a master class on the special technique and classical repertoire on yaili tanbur under Eugenios Voulgaris (Music Village, Ag. Lavrentios, Pelion). She trained on vocal registration and speech production using physical techniques under the theatre director Maria Panoutsou (2006) and has appeared in theatre productions and radio and TV programmes as a musician and performer. She has been studying towards the special diploma in Higher Theory of Western Classical Music (Harmony Diploma) with the Municipal Conservatory of Ilion, Athens and holds the diploma of Byzantine Ceremonial music (under Athanasios Paivanas, Conservatory of Greece, 2013). She has consistently and extensively studied vocal pedagogy and registration for eastern repertoires and has teamed up with physical performer Irini Athanassiou to lead workshops, master classes and courses on Physical Voice. Since 2005 she has been tutoring and giving courses on theory, technique and repertoire for Greek folk guitar, lavta and yaili tanbur. She is also a teacher and tutor of Eastern music theory, with a focus on broader repertoire of eastern Mediterranean regions. In discography, she collaborated with both established and emerging artists contributing lavta, guitar and vocals; Apsilies by Eugenios Voulgaris, Dimitris Mystakidis and Apostolos Tsardakas in 2008, Voreino / lyrics and composition by Lakis Orfanidis in 2009, Pantahou Apon / lyrics and composition by Nikolas Evantinos in 2010, Kapetanie / lyrics and composition by Constantinos Plousios in 2011, J. Kriste Master of Disguise The Age of Now / by LefterisMoumtzis in 2012. She featured in documentaries about rembetiko songs and contemporary expression in 2011 (11 voices) and 2012 (in debito). Since 2009, she has formed and presented a number of active groups collaborating with remarkable emerging Greek musicians and received widely favourable reviews both in Greece and abroad; (Giouf trio, Happy duo, Ap’ allou duo, Karpos trio, Terpnon ensemble, Garlic duo) with a focus on the role of guitar and lavta in music ‘idioms’ from Greece and the broader Mediterranean.

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