Matthaios Tsahouridis is one of the finest exponents of the Pontic lyra. Born in Veria, Greece, he grew up in an environment of a splendid and fertile musical tradition. Even at the age of 9, he had made his mark as a perceptive performer and a sensitive interpreter. Although he plays a number of instruments, the Pontic lyra is the instrument which expresses his deep felt devotion and respect for the music he loves and serves.

His original temperament and his amazing dexterity in playing traditional instruments has been widely praised, culminating to him winning First Prize in a Pan-Hellenic Music Competition organized by the Greek Ministry of Education at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron Mousikis) in 1996. In 1997, he was awarded a scholarship by His Eminence Mr Panteleimon and Iera Mitropolis Verias, to continue his music studies in London.

By the year 2001, Tsahouridis had completed his Bachelor Degree in Music Studies and his Masters in Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths College, London. In 2003 he was awarded a scholarship by the ‘Michael Marks Charitable Trust' for his Doctoral research in the field of Performance Practice. In December 2007 he attained a PhD in Performance Practice from Goldsmiths University (titled: ‘The Pontic lyra in contemporary Greece'), the first PhD in the U.K. referring to the performance of non-western music cultures.

In January 2005, Matthaios won the Arts Foundation Fellowship Award of Britain as the best UK based instrumentalist working in a non-western musical tradition. He has also performed the Pontic lyra at WOMAD music festival in Reading (England 2001 and 2005), WOMEX music festival in Rotterdam (Holland 2001), Roskilder Rock festival (Denmark 2002), in Teatro Massimo for UNESCO (Palermo Opera House, Italy 2002), at the Royal Albert Hall (in a Charity concert for the children of Afghanistan, London 2002) and at the Purcell Room in London's Southbank Arts Centre.

He performed the Pontic lyra for BBC Radio 3, as well as many other BBC radio programs. In August 2004 he performed the main music theme of the BBC for the Olympic Games of Athens with the opera band Amici and Prague Symphony Orchestra. He has also collaborated with Ostad Ardeshir Kamkar on the Persian kamancheh in Tehran (August 2004). In May 2005, he performed at Herodus Atticus Theatre in Acropolis, Athens, accompanied by ERT Contemporary Music Orchestra in the opening ceremony of the Athens Festival and in June 2005 he performed the Oratorio ‘Kosmas o Aitolos' (by Mimis Plessas) in Veria, Greece.

In 2006, Matthaios was the co-artistic director of the opening ceremony for the International Byzantine Congress of London with Lady Marina Marks as Chairman and Prince Charles as patron. In March 2007 he performed at the London Porchester Hall (Bayswater) with Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam).

Tsahouridis has shown a great interest in the stringed family of musical instruments; he plays instruments such as the violin, laghouto (Greek lute), oud, the Greek bouzouki, guitar, the Persian kamancheh, the Afghan rubab, as well as the Afghan and the Uzbek ghichaks. Having participated in many music concerts and recordings, he has managed to put forward a personal statement over the musical tradition he embraces and to which he has devoted his life.

CD - From Pontos to Persia: Matthaios  Tsahouridis

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