Master Classes

Liza Zoe

  Evangelos Assimakopoulos

      Evangelos & Liza

The superb concerts of Evangelos Assimakopoulos and his wife Liza Zoe in Europe, United States and Canada, have made them one of the most highly regarded duo guitarists in the world today.

Not only have the two Greek musicians been acclaimed by many newspapers of repute, including the New York times, Daily Telegraph, Paris Matin, Chicago Sun, El Sol de Mexico and Los Angeles Times, but they also earned the esteem of the great Andrés Segovia himself, who wrote of them: “Since Fate cruelly deprived us of Presti-Lagoya, I no longer had the pleasure of listening to any similar duo. But lately, when the talented Greek guitarists Evangelos and Liza played for me, I felt complete satisfaction and enjoyment.  I cordially wish Evangelos and Liza to conquer the high esteem of the public as they have conquered mine!” 

They both began their studies of the guitar in 1953 at the National Conservatory of Athens under Dimitris Fampas. After receiving first prizes “with excellence” upon graduating, they shared the first two prizes in the International Competition in Naples, Italy. For four consecutive periods they were awarded scholarships to study with the Presti-Lagoya duo in France and with Andrés Segovia in Spain. Shortly after, they became professors at the National Conservatory in Athens.

Since their arrival on the international scene in 1967, Evangelos and Liza have carried out extensive tours all over the world and given hundreds of recitals at some of the most famous concert halls, including  Carnegie Hall,  Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, le Théâtre de la Ville, the Lincoln Center and the Herodion. They have also performed for many radio and television stations (the BBC, Paris RTVF, Brussels, Madrid, Cologne, Berlin etc.) and taken part in major festivals in, among other places, New York, Boston, Antwerp, Rome, Amsterdam, Mexico and Athens. They usually appear as duo soloists with well known symphony orchestras such as those of Montreal, Michigan, Cincinnati and Birmingham, as well as teaching seminars and holding Master-classes at universities and academies overseas including The Juilliard School, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, UCLA, Stony Brook University and Mannes College of Music.

Both Greek and foreign composers have written pieces especially for Evangelos and Liza; at the same time the two musicians have enriched a rather meagre guitar duo repertoire with transcriptions and arrangements for their own. They have produced several records and CDs of works for one or two guitars that are available on the EMI Classics label everywhere. 

Also in their creative offer is evaluated the International Guitar Festival of Patras, one of the longest-lived institutions in the world, an institution that has been all these years a source of inspiration, encouragement and training for thousands of students of the instrument.

Finally, in their more than 60 years of teaching, both Lisa Zoi and Evangelos Asimakopoulos have created a school of distinguished guitarists who excel in Greece and abroad.

The breadth of their repertoire, their technical skill and rich interpretations, have earned an enthusiastic reception wherever they have performed, resulting to their wholehearted acceptance by the public as one of the “most exciting husband-and-wife virtuoso duos of today’s musicdom.”  

 Johan Fostier

“The sound is the mirror of the soul” 

Important figure of contemporary classical guitarists, Johan Fostier’s sound and interpretative art never goes unremarked! He performs throughout the world as a soloist and chamber musician (Take Four Guitar Quartet, Almaviva Duo, Estrellitas Duo) and in the most famous concertos for guitar; his tours took him throughout Russia, the United States, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Romania, Moldavia, Morocco, Estonia, Albania, Afghanistan... 

His playing stands out thanks to a powerful and generous musical discourse, served firstly by a body-instrument relationship always seeking for increasing harmony and freedom and secondly by a committed, lyrical and infinitely colourful approach in which a deep love for singing prevails. Besides, he enjoys accompanying sopranos and other mezzos, whereas his singing education makes him join the Wappa Tonic vocal quintet. 

His sovereign technique, deeply connected to music, enabled him to win several prestigious international competitions (among which the Guitar Foundation of America in 2001, Mottola, De Bonis, Tromp Muziek, …). 

A university- educated linguist, interested in words, he has also collaborated with several comedians, singers and directors, which diversified and enriched his perception of the stage. 

Carried and transfigured by his studies in Brussels (conductor Guy van Waas), Paris (Maestro Alberto Ponce, Ecole Normale) and in Switzerland (Joaquim Freire, Susane Mebes, his stars in guitar!), he perfected his art in the masterclasses of Nigel North and Eduardo Isaac. 

He teaches in Bachelor and Master programs in Tilburg (Fontys Hogeschool voor Kunsten AMPA) and is invited throughout the world to give masterclasses. 

JF sums up his artistic approach in 3 points: 

1. To be 

2. To give 

3. There's no third… 

Marcin Dylla

It is a given that the value of an artist is essentially determined by the impact it has on the audience it addresses.

The fact of Marcin Dylla being recalled to our country once again confirms this rule, since indeed the Polish virtuoso is considered nowadays as one of the leading figures in the guitar world.

Born in Horszów, Poland in 1976, Marcin Dylla took his first music lessons at the Conservatory of his hometown and went on to the Katowice Music Academy with Adi Wanda Palacz to later complete his studies in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands with Oscar Ghiglia, Sonja Prunnbauer and Carlo Marchione respectively.

Described by the Washington Post as "the most talented guitarist on the planet", Marcin Dylla has taken part in numerous international competitions winning 19 First Prizes culminating in the GFA in Los Angeles in 2007, an award that gave him the opportunity to next year to perform in more than 50 recitals in the USA, Mexico and Canada, record CDs and DVDs with well-known labels and sign contracts for extensive tours around the world.

Nowadays Marcin Dylla, in addition to his continuous appearances in every corner of the world, takes part in international Festivals, plays with symphony orchestras while also teaching in numerous Master Classes around the world.

The Patras Festival once again welcomes with great appreciation the renowned artist who for another year offered to play recitals, teach in Master Classes and participate in competitions, within the framework of the 31st edition of the institution.