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Yiorgos Vassilandonakis

CountryUnited States of America
OccupationComposer, Conductor, Teacher
CategoriesContemporary, Vocal

Driven by a strong dramatic and formal sense, Yiorgos Vassilandonakis’ music is emotionally engaging and cerebral at the same time. Venturing into chamber, vocal, orchestral, opera, film, electronic & multimedia genres, his works reveal a mastery of timbre, sonority and temporal space, and a deep interest in sound itself as a physical entity.
"...A fascinating collection of sounds, inventive performance techniques, some of which [are] first-time events..." (San Francisco Chronicle), " intimate, soft poetry that consumed the audience..." (Repeat Performances), "...lingering sonorities and delicacies..." (San Francisco Classical Voice), Vassilandonakis’ music is frequently programmed on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been commissioned and performed, among others, by the New York New Music Ensemble, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, ALEA III, the Del Sol String Quartet, Ensemble Cairn, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Ensemble In Extensio, the Athens Camerata and the Hellenic Contemporary Ensemble. It has been supported by grants from Meet-the-Composer, the American Music Center and the French Ministry of Culture, and featured in the Aspen, Ernest Bloch, Domaine Forget, Wellesley and Patras International Festivals. Awards include the Aaron Copland Award, the George Lass Prix de Paris, First Prize in the Mediterranean Music Center 3rd International Composition Competition, the Alfred Hertz Fellowship for Graduate Studies, the Henry Mancini Award and the Eisner & Nicola di Lorenzo Prizes. His one-act opera Dance with Me was commissioned and staged by the National Opera of Greece in 2008.
Yiorgos holds advanced degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where his principal composition teachers were Edmund Campion, Richard Felciano, John Thow, Jorge Liderman and Cindy Cox. As the recipient of the George Ladd Prix de Paris, he spent two years in Paris, studying advanced composition, orchestration and electronic music with Philippe Leroux, at the École Nationale de Musique et de Danse, Erik Satie. He also studied composition with Paul Reale and Ian Krouse, and Film Music with the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, Paul Chihara & Don Ray. His conducting teachers were David Milnes and Jeffrey Schindler.
During the 90's, he pursued a successful career as a film composer and arranger in the Hollywood indie movie scene, with credits as a composer, conductor, and producer of scores for theater, independent films, television documentaries and commercials, as well as a theme park ride at Universal Studios, Hollywood.
Dr. Vassilandonakis has taught Composition and Music Theory at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Virginia, as well as electronic music at the Centre de Création Musicale, Iannis Xenakis, in Paris, before joining the faculty at the College of Charleston in 2010, where he is also the curator and music director of the contemporary music series Magnetic South in partnership with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
He has penned essays and interviews published in the Computer Music Journal (MIT Press), and the College Reference Dictionary Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century (Salem Press), and has held composing residencies at Yaddo and at Cité Internationale Des Arts.

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