Vassilis Christopoulos is one of Greece’s most renowned conductors, equally at home on the concert podium as in the opera pit.
He has conducted prestigious orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Mozarteumorchester, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Hessisches Staatsorchester Wiesbaden, the Bremer Philharmoniker, the Qatar Philharmonic, and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. Engagements in 2016-2017 include débuts with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra as well as reinvitations from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in France, and the Mozarteumorchester.
His wide opera repertoire ranges from Baroque to the 21st century. Earlier this year he conducted a much acclaimed Elektra by Richard Strauss at the Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden which led to an immediate reinvitation for Die Frau ohne Schatten in the autumn of 2016. His Greek première of Handel’s Serse in 2002 and the first performance of Giorgos Koumendakis’ The Murderess in 2014 were hailed by the audience, music critics, and arts editors as milestones in the history of the Greek National Opera.
As Artistic Director of the Athens State Orchestra from 2011 to 2014, he raised the standard of performance dramatically. Reviews became consistently enthusiastic, praising him as “great reformer”; ticket sales doubled despite the harsh financial crisis. Under his direction, the Orchestra supported young soloists and composers, commissioning and premièring 14 new compositions in three years; performed in virtually every corner of Greece including many remote islands; introduced a wide-ranging social and educational program; and won major national and European design awards for its new image.
From 2005 to 2015 he was Chief Conductor of the Southwest German Philharmonic Orchestra of Constance, again responsible for significant and unanimously recognized improvement in performance: under his artistic leadership, the number of subscribers exceeded the mark of 2.500 for the first time in the orchestra's history (from a small town population of app. 85.000); the Orchestra acquired new permanent posts, and toured with great success at renowned festivals and concert halls in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Greece, France, Spain, China, Japan, as well as throughout Germany.
Born in Munich in 1975, he studied oboe and music theory at the Athens Conservatory and orchestral conducting at the “Hochschule für Musik” in Munich with Prof. Hermann Michael. From 1993 to 1995 he was an oboist with the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In 1999 he was named “Young Musician of the Year” by the Greek Music and Drama Critics’ Association. In 2000 he won the 1st Bad Homburg Conducting Competition in Germany and was a prize-winner of the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in Athens.
His discography includes the first recording of Concertos by Nikos Skalkottas with the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra which was released on BIS in 2008. His CD “Mozart Arias” featuring French Soprano Géraldine Casey and the Southwest German Philharmonic was awarded a golden Orpheus by the Académie internationale du disque lyrique in Paris for the best Mozart recording in 2009.
In 2013, Vassilis Christopoulos was awarded Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French Republic.
He is fluent in Greek, French, German, English, Italian and has basic knowledge of Russian, Spanish, and Japanese.