Michalis Paraskakis Composer
Paraskakis' music is teeming with what the composer calls “aesthetic of flaw”, the incorporation of flaw and mistake as a structural element. Blurred harmonies, smudged sonorities and occasional “error” moments, play with the perception of the “beautiful” and the “ugly”, the right and wrong. Characterized by complex landscape textures, rapid cloud structures or thin, transparent melodies, he has composed music for a variety of mediums (ensemble, chamber, solo, film, theatre, music theatre, opera). His first opera Strella (2023 - commissioned by the Greek National Opera) a version of Oedipus with a trans woman, was hailed for its personal contemporary idiom, its immediacy and its clever use of different genres (jazz, cabaret, belcanto, musical).
Born in Athens he studied and worked in graphic designer, while playing the accordion and piano. After lessons with composer Costas Varotsis, he shifted entirely to music and moved to the Netherlands to study composition at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. His teachers were Yannis Kyriakides, Martijn Padding, Cornelis de Bondt and Diderik Wagenaar. He also studied classical singing with Manon Heynes and medieval and renaissance singing with Rebecca Stewart.
He has taken composition masterclasses with Franck Bedrossian, Christian Wolff, Klaus Lang, Mark Andre, Dimitri Papageorgiou and Orestis Toufektsis.
In 2017, after winning the impuls Composition Competition, his work “Kāma” premiered in impuls Festival 2017, with Klangforum Wien and Enno Poppe. He has collaborated with musicians such as ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble, Ensemble dissonArt, Klangforum Wien & PPCM, Nieuw Ensemble, Momenta Quartet, Slagwerk Den Haag, Ensemble KLANG, Bas Wiegers, Thanasis Deligiannis, Katerina Konstantourou, Theodore Antoniou, Yorgos Ziavras and many more. His music has been presented in venues and festivals like Muziekgebouw aan ‘t Ij Amsterdam [NL], MATA Festival New York [US], Athens & Epidaurus Festival [GR], Onassis Stegi [GR], Greek National Opera [GR], REACTOR Vienna [AU], Korzo Theatre [NL] etc.
As a singer/performer, he focuses on challenging and demanding singing and music-theatre works, including “Kassandra” by Iannis Xenakis and “Anaparastasis I” by Jani Christou, Recitations by George Aperghis, Maknongan by Giacinto Scelsi. as well as modal polyphony of the Medieval and Renaissance era. He has performed together with the ASKO/Schönberg Ensemble, ASKO Kammerkoor, the Ballata Ensemble, the Athens State Orchestra and the Greek National Choir.
In 2017 he founded and is the artistic director of the new music ensemble TETTTIX, already having an important presence in the music scene of Athens where it is based.
His interest for music-theatre started with performing J. Christou’s works and with participating in Karyn Benquet’s choreography “Ensuing” in Nederlands Dans Theater. Since then he has collaborated with music-theatre groups like RAFI and Oper(o) in the Greek National Opera, and co-created the music-theatre-dance work “Dépaysement” performed in 2019 at Stegi Onassis.
From 2019 his is a PhD candidate on music-theatre, under the guidance of Dimitri Papageorgiou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and Franck Bedrossian (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz).