MEMBER OF THE JURY
Michalis Economou is one of the most promising conductors and composers of his generation, a significant figure of the Greek musical scene. He is former Music Director of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Chief Conductor of the Athens Symphony Orchestra, regular Guest Conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Chairman of the Music Department at Athens Technical University. He has also signed an exclusive contract for the annual Placido Domingo's Operalia competition winner's gala in various countries. A regular conductor of all Greek orchestras he has also worked with many other symphony orchestras and ensembles in Europe, the United States and Asia. Some of the orchestras that he has conducted outside of his homeland Greece are the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian Radio Orchestra, the Ukrainian Radio Orchestra, the Bruno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gyor Philharmonic Orchestra, the MAV Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the Brasov Philharmonic Orchestra, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, the Sofia Festival Orchestra, the Batumi Festival Orchestra, as well as the Albanian National Opera and Radio Symphony Orchestras.
As a composer, he is winner of eleven national and international competitions, including the ALEA III International Composition Competition and the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Composition Competition. His works have been performed all over the world and he has been commissioned to compose music for Carnegie Hall and among other venues for the Athens Megaron Concert Hall.
Born in Greece in 1973, he studied musicology at Athens University as well as violin, theory, and composition at the National Conservatory of Athens. He received five scholarships when he moved to Boston in 1997, where he studied orchestral conducting and composition with Lukas Foss, Theodore Antoniou and David Hoose at Boston University. In 1999 he earned his "Master of Music" degree in Conducting and in 2001 he received his "Doctor of Musical Arts" in Composition. His conducting mentors also include the highly acclaimed international figures Jorma Panula and Gianluigi Gelmetti.
Maestro Economou won the Music Directorship at the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in 2011 for the maximum possible term (limited by local regulations) with the full support of the orchestra following a secret vote of the musicians. He has taken the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra to remarkable places since becoming Music Director. He conducted the orchestra in the United Nations General Assembly in New York, as well as at the 20th World Petroleum Congress. During his tenure, the orchestra presented more than a dozen of world premieres. Moreover, Maestro Economou conducted the Philharmonic's first performances in the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) Theatre. In all, he has conducted the orchestra in more than 40 different programmes of music. Alongside the public performances, he has recorded with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra Mahler's second symphony, Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, Khalife's Return Symphony and several other works.
Michalis Economou teaches orchestral conducting in Athens and has trained at least seventy young conductors since 2003. He is the founder and director of the annual National Conducting Masterclass with the Athens Symphony Orchestra that attracts at least one hundred young conductors per season. He is also the founder of two of the most important international conducting masterclasses today, one in Malta with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and one in Greece with the Athens Philharmonia Orchestra. Each one of these two masterclasses attracts over one hundred applicants per year from all over the world.
In May 2004 he was elected Chairman and Artistic Director of the Music Department at the National Technical University of Athens, a position that he holds to this day. He is also an active Artist of the recently founded organization EMMA for Peace (Euro Mediterranean Music Academy) under the honorary presidency of Riccardo Muti, founded by cultural entrepreneur Paolo Petrocelli.
Since 2012 Michalis Economou is represented internationally by IMG Artists.