Born in a
musical family in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the violinist Michalis
Kouloumis (Official page)developed a strong musical conception and sensitivity from his early
years. He studied European Classical Music, but soon his personal pursuits led
him to the musical traditions of the Orient and especially that of Turkish and
Greek music. He graduated
with “Distinction” from the Department of Greek Traditional Music of the
Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens, being a disciple of Giorgos Marinakis.
At the same period, he completed his undergraduate studies at the Department of
Physics, University of Athens, Greece. He
participated in seminars and master-classes for Ottoman Art music under the
artistic direction of Murat Aydemir, Kudsi Ergüner, Ömer Erdoğdular, Baki
Kemancı and Ross Daly.
In 2013, he
obtained his MA degree in Violin Performance (Ottoman Art music – Taksim) from
Codarts, in Rotterdam. Michalis has been
awarded the “10/10 Excellence in Performance”, prize given by the “Friends of
and recorded with some of the most important representatives of the
Mediterranean music scene: Kudsi Ergüner, Sokratis Sinopoulos, Ross Daly,
Gabriel Yared, Nana Mouskouri, Efren Lopez, Chronis Aidonidis, Manos
Achalinotopoulos, Zohar Fresco, Ciğdem Aslan, Kyriakos Kalaitzides, among others. Furthermore,
performance highlights include: Union Chapel London (UK), King’s Place London
(UK), Sommerton Festival (GER), Brighton Fringe Festival (UK), Palace of Arts
Budapest (HU), Katara festival (Qatar), WOMAD (UK), Houdetsi Music Festival
Crete (GR), Mawazine Festival Rabat (MAR), Onassis Cultural Center Athens (GR),
Sharq Taronalari Music Festival Samarqand (UZ), Bimhuis Amsterdam (NL),
Alhambra Concert Hall Paris (FR).
Michalis released his debut album “Soil” which comprises of music from Cyprus. He is a
member of “Lingua Franca Ensemble”, an international quartet which they perform
their original compositions, influenced by the musical cultures located in the
Eastern Mediterranean and beyond. Their debut CD “Ephemera” was released in
Dreams”, is Michalis’ upcoming album title. Being a child of Cypriot refugees,
he drew inspiration from the story of his family and from the struggle refugees
and immigrants go through from around the world. The album is expected to be
released in 2019.
Kouloumis is a lecturer at Codarts University for the Arts in Rotterdam,
specialized in Violin, Maqam Theory and Improvisation as developed in Ottoman
Classical and Greek Traditional music.