Michalis Kouloumis

About

Michalis_Kouloumis_Codarts_Rotterdam_World_Music_Turkish_Music_ViolinBorn in a musical family in the island of Cyprus, the violinist Michalis Kouloumis developed a strong musical conception and sensitivity from his early years. Today he is one of the most important world music violinists (specialized in Greek traditional music, Cyprus traditional music and Ottoman classical music). Michalis Kouloumis is widely appreciated for his improvisational skills in “taksims” and the use of special techniques, such as diplochordo and overtones in his playing. He currently lives in London.

Current projects and collaborations
Michalis Kouloumis has released his debut album “SOIL” (2014), a unique aesthetic approach to Cypriot traditional music with soulful improvisations (taksims) and colourful soundscapes.

He is a member of the “Lingua Franca Ensemble”, along with Michalis Cholevas on tarhu, Giannis Koutis on oud, guitar and voice and Ruven Ruppik on various percussions. The ensemble creates and performs music influenced from the modal music cultures of Eastern Mediterranean and beyond and they are soon about to release their debut album “Ephemera”. He is currently performing with his “Michalis Kouloumis Trio”, a project which comprises traditional music from Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and the Balkans, blended with their own material, improvisations and plenty of experimentation. Michalis Kouloumis appears in duet concerts with the multi-instrumentalist Efren Lopez as well as a solo artist with the project “Displaced Dreams”.

Michalis Kouloumis has collaborated and performed with some of the foremost representatives of the World Music scene: Nana Mouskouri, Gabriel Yared, Kudsi Ergüner, Sokratis Sinopoulos, Keyvan Chemirani, Zohar Fresco, Manos Achalinotopoulos, En Chordais ensemble, Chronis Aidonides, Karapatakis-Takoushis quartet and many others.

EDUCATION

  • Masters Degree on Violin Performance in World music (Ottoman classical music, Taksim) from Rotterdam Conservatoire (Codarts).
  • Greek Traditional Music Degree with “Distinction” from the Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens, being a student of Yiorgos Marinakis.
  • Participated in workshops and masterclasses for Ottoman classical music with Kudsi Ergüner, Murat Aydemir, Baki Kemancı, Ömer Erdoğdular and Ross Daly.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.

TEACHING
Michalis Kouloumis is a guest professor on violin and modal improvisation at Codarts Rotterdam since 2013. He also gives workshops and masterclasses around Europe on domains such as: Modal music (Maqam), Violin extended techniques, Modal Improvisation (Taksim), Violin in the Middle Eastern Music, Violin in Greek Traditional Music and Ottoman Classical music.

Motivation

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE STUDENTS SHOULD COME TO CODARTS?

Codarts Rotterdam is really the only university in Europe which gives the opportunity to students to study Jazz, Turkish/Ottoman, Sufi, Indian Classical, Flamenco, Tango and Western-European Classical from great artists, performers and teachers. All under the same roof!

WHAT WILL YOU TEACH THEM?

I will teach them Greek Traditional, Turkish Traditional and Ottoman Classical music as well as Modal Improvisation (Taksim). Additionally, modal theory (makams), ensembles and rhythm are fundamental elements of my teaching.

HOW WILL YOU DO THIS?

I am teaching both in individuals and in groups of students. My main strategy is that I focus on the specific needs of every student, so for every one I choose an approach that suit him/her.

Awards

2013 - "10/10" Excellence in Performance, prize given by the "Friends of Codarts Foundation".