Michalis Cholevas


Michalis_Cholevas_Codarts_Rotterdam_World_Music_Michalis Cholevas is a Greek multi-instrumentalist musician playing Ney, Saz, Yayli Tanbur and its descendant, the Tarhu.

His path started in Athens, Greece where he studied Byzantine, Jazz and Eastern Mediterranean music traditions.

Michalis was lucky to study with great masters such as Kudsi ErgünerÖmer Erdoğdular, Erdal Erzincan, Dhruba Ghosh and Erkan Oğur. He has collaborated with several artists including Kudsi Ergüner, Ahmad Al Khatib, Rima Khcheich,  Angelo Badalamenti, Apollo Musagette Quartet, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, the George Kontrafouris Jazz trio, Louisiana Red and Arifa.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Sciences which was followed by Master studies in advanced Theoretical Physics. He graduated from the Master program of Codarts in 2009 under the Dutch HSP excellence scholarship and he is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Since 2011, he is teaching  various modules at Codarts, ranging from main subject lessons on Ney,  Şelpe and Yayli Tanbur to Makam Theory, improvisation and the coaching of Master students.


Arifa – London Jazz Festival,  Soloist for Angelo Bandalamenti at the World Soundtrack Awards, World Tour with the Kudsi Erguner Ensemble


Why do you believe students should come to Codarts?

Codarts offers a unique, international and multidisciplinary environment. The opportunity to meet and co-create with young artists from various artistic fields creates an enjoyable learning process and accelerates the integration of the students into the professional world of arts.

What are you going to teach them?

Most of the lessons I am involved with belong to the family of modal music traditions. Students will have the chance to expand their improvisational and compositional language by integrating melodic and rhythmical elements of non-Western Classical melodic genres, such as that of the Ottoman makam and Balkan folk traditions.

How are you going to teach them?

Most of the lessons are practice based. All the theoretical elements emerge from the tasks of music analysis and are discussed and performed in practice in the classroom. Hence, students have the chance to focus in areas of own interest, regulate their own learning pace and benefit from each other’s development.


Soul of devotees special award, Lingua Franca Ensemble, Sharq Taronalari International Festival, Uzbekistan 2015