Diplôme Supérieur d'Exécution (École Normale de Musique de Paris, distinction); MM and Artist Diploma, Indiana University; DMA (piano performance), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Christos Tsitsaros began his musical studies at the Greek Academy of Music in his native country, Cyprus. At the age of 13, he won first prize in the "Keti Papaioannou" National Piano Competition for young musicians of the Conservatory of Athens. Upon completing his secondary education, he moved to Poland, where he studied at the Musical Academy of Lózd and later at the Frédéric Chopin Academy of Warsaw. There, he was admitted in the class of the world-known Chopinologist Jan Ekier. In 1981, he won first prize at the Gina Bachauer Institution Competition in Athens, which enabled him to continue his musical journey in Paris. While in Paris, he apprenticed with renown pianist Aldo Ciccolin and graduated from the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, obtaining the Dimplôme Supérieur d' Exécution unanimously. In 1986, after being granted a scholarship from the A. G. Leventis Foundation, he moved the the United States, where he pursued further artistic development at the coveted Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. There, he had the chance to study with the legendary György Sebök, and received an Artist Diploma and a Masters in Music degree (1989.) Subsequently, he entered the School of Music of the University of Illinois where he attained a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance (1993.)
Dr. Tsitsaros is equally active as a composer, having won the composition competition at the 1992 National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, which launched an ongoing relationship with Hal Leonard Corporation. Several of his piano compositions have been selected by prestigious examination systems, including the National Federation of Music Clubs, the RCM examinations of the Royal Conservatory fo Music (Toronto), and the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition. Some of his more recent publications under Hal Leonard include Poetic Moments, Songs Without Words, Dances from Around the World, Sonatina Humoresque, and Lyric Ballads. His pedagogical research led him to conceive a technical system geared toward a safe and effective neuromuscular warm up. His Symmetrical Warm-Ups (Hal Leonard 2011), a set of short, transposable exercises, has received numerous accolades in well respected journals and has been showcased in workshops across the United States and abroad.
In 2001, he was artist-in-residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico; the same year, he gave his New York debut recital at Weill Carnegie Hall. He regularly appears in workshops and conferences as a performer and lecturer in Europe, the United States, Russia, and Canada. Some of those events include the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the Music Teachers National Association Conference, and the International Conference on European Music Education (St. Petersburg, Russia.) In May of 2013, he was the invited artist/clinician for the prestigious Korean Association of Piano Pedagogy Symposium in Seoul, South Korea. During his Korean visit, he lectured and gave masterclasses in major universities in the Seoul area.
Dr. Tsitsaros is also an editor and recording artist for the G. Schirmer Performance Edtions, specializing in the educational works of Joann Sebastian Bach. Four albums of his original compositions appear under the Centaur Record label (1998, 2007, 2011.) The latest of these recordings, featuring his "Cahier Tango", a series of twelve character tangos for piano, reflects his interest in the Argentinian tango. All albums have elicited enthusiastic reviews in various international music magazines.
More recently, he was honored as 2014 Distinguished Composer of the Year by the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) for his piano composition Three Preludes for Solo Piano: A Mythical Triptych (Hal Leonard, 2014.) Dr. Tsitsaros presented the winning composition at the 2015 MTNA National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Read "From Schumann to Tsitsaros Humoresque Encounters" in the Interlude blog by Juliette Liu.