Matthaios Tsahourides (Instrumentalist, 2005)

Matthaios Tsahourides

Fellow in 2005 for Instrumentalist

Matthaios Tsahouridis was born in Veria, Greece. Growing up in the environment of a splendid and fertile musical tradition, already at the age of 9 he had made his mark as a perceptive performer and a sensitive interpreter. His amazing dexterity in playing the traditional instruments have been widely praised, culminating to his winning the First Prize in a Pan-Hellenic Music Competition, organized by the Greek Ministry of Education at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron Mousikis) in May 1996. In June 1997 he was awarded a scholarship by the Holy Diocese of Veria in order to continue his music studies in London. By the year 2001, Matthaios had successfully completed his Bachelor Degree in Music Studies and his Masters in Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths University of London. In 2003 he was awarded a scholarship by the ‘Michael Marks Charitable Trust’ for his doctoral research in the field of Performance Practice. Since December 2007, Matthaios holds a PhD in Performance Practice titled ‘The Pontic Lyra in Contemporary Greece’, one of the first PhD theses in the UK referring to the performance practice of non-western traditional musical instruments and the first PhD worldwide (written in English) about the Pontic lyra, its origin, music, repertory, performance techniques and musical possibilities.
He has performed the Pontic lyra at WOMAD Music Festival in Reading (England 2001 and 2005), WOMEX World Music Expo in Rotterdam (Holland 2001), Roskilder Rock festival (Denmark 2002), Teatro Massimo for UNESCO (Palermo Opera House, Italy 2002), Royal Albert Hall (charity concert for the Children of Afghanistan, London 2002) and at the Royal Festival Hall at London’s Southbank Arts Centre. In August 2004, he performed the main music theme of the BBC television for the coverage of the Olympic Games of Athens 2004 with the opera band Amici and Prague Symphony Orchestra. In the same year, Matthaios collaborated with Ostad Ardeshir Kamkar on the Persian kamancheh in Tehran. In May 2005 he performed at Herodus Atticus Theatre in Acropolis, Athens, accompanied by ERT Contemporary Symphony Orchestra for the opening ceremony of the Athens Festival.
In 2006, Matthaios was the co-artistic director for the opening ceremony of the International Byzantine Congress of London with Lady Marina Marks as Chairman and HRH Prince Charles as Patron. In March 2007 he performed at the Porchester Hall (Bayswater, London) with Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam). In March 2008, he performed the Pontic lyra as a solo artist at the Royal Albert Hall while in July 2008 he performed at the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. In October 2008 he was a soloist with the ERT Symphony Orchestra of Contemporary Music at Thessaloniki’s Song Festival Context with Classical Greek music composer Mimis Plessas and his brother Konstantinos on vocals. In November 2008 he performed with Swiss singer Yasmin Tamara well-known Hollywood Melodies accompanied by Ukraine Symphony Orchestra at Victoria Hall, Geneva. His appearance as a solo artist at the Art Palace Centre of Suleimaniye in Iraq in February 2009 makes him the first Greek musician to visit and perform in Iraq after the war. Since 2010 and until today, Matthaios together with his brother Konstantinos created the music project “Psyche & Soma (Body and Soul)” and worldwide performances include major cultural venues in many countries.
Matthaios has shown a great interest in the stringed family of musical instruments; he plays instruments such as the violin, laghouto (Greek lute), Turkish oud, bouzouki, guitar, Persian kamancheh, Lorestan kamancheh (Iran), Afghan rubab, as well as the Afghan and the Uzbek ghichak.