Teaching Staff

TIMPANI & PERCUSSION

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Dimitris Desyllas
Timpani & Percussion

Dimitris Desyllas was born in Corfu .His first encounter with percussion came at the age of eight at the Philharmonic Society of Corfu . He continued his studies at the Athens Conservatoire with professor Nikos Koratzinos where he graduated in June of 1992. Very soon he met and studied with Sylvio Gualda . As a scholar of Alexandros Onassis foundation , Megaron the Athens Concert Hall and the State University of New York (soloist of the year 1995) he studied with Raymond Des Roches , Rolland Kohlof in New York and with Rainer Seegers in Berlin.

As a soloist he has appeared in prestigious Concert Halls from New York, Chicago and Boston to London, Helsinki and Beijing, in recitals or with ensembles and Symphony Orchestras such as Wiener Symphoniker at Bregenz Festival in the summer of 2016.

His repertory vasts in a wide range from transcriptions of J.S.Bach to the complete solo works of Ianis Xenakis (including the world premier of “Persephassa” for six percussionists performed by one – for the project HEXAGON made by Desyllas – world premier at Helsinki Festival 2001) and from J. Corigliano’s “Conjurer” to the new compositions of Guillermo Galindo for new instruments, made from objects that immigrants from all over the world left at the camps.

Dimitris Desyllas has appeared in collaboration with significant artists of our time such as Martha Argerich (member of the “Martha Argerich and Friends” project), Misha Maiski, Robert Wilson, lannis Xenakis,Theodor Currentzis, Gary Burton, Sir Neville Mariner, George Couroupos, Thanos Mikroutsikos, Theodor Antoniou, George Petrou and others. He has recorded for Bis (world premiere of Nikos Skalkotas “characteristic piece ” for solo xylophone and orchestra), Blue Note (with jazz virtuoso Gary Burton), EMI classics, Albany Records, Bavarian Radio, Mezzo, Radiotelevision Svizzera Italiana, the Greek Radio and Television – for Deutche Grammophon and Decca as it concerns the orchestra recordings.

In 2004, in order to develop the percussion culture in Greece , he founded TYPANA percussion ensemble, an ensemble that consists of his students. With TYPANA he has presented a big number of major compositions including Steve Reich’s “drumming”, Iannis Xenakis’ “Pleiades” and “Okho”, Yoshihisa Taira “hierophonie 5”, Toru Takemitsu’s “rain tree” among many others. His students have been awarded with significant international awards such as the “Jugend Musiziert” competition 2015 in Germany. He used to hold the position of solo tympanist at the National Symphony of the Greek Radio and the Orchestra “The Colours” of Manos Hatzidakis. Since 1992 he holds the position of the solo tympanist and percussionist at the Kamerata – Armonia Atenaea Orchestra. Since August of 2019 he holds the position of the solo timpanist at the Orchestra MusicAeterna with which he has already toured at the most prestigious Symphony Halls in the world. His holistic view of music has led him to compose for contemporary dance as well as documentary films and chamber music. He has been awarded with prestigious awards for his soloistic and composing activity from Hellenic Association of Critics for Music and Theater and the Greek Ministry of Culture.

In 2012, Megaron – the Athens Concert Hall – and the Greek Ministry of Culture honored Mr Desyllas by asking him to perform Iannis Xenakis famous multi percussion solo “PSAPPHA“ as the first sound after 2500 years at the ancient Theater of Dionysus below Athens Acropolis. In 2013 Dimitris Desyllas founded the Kyklos ensemble, a chamber ensemble which has already gained great acclaim from audience and critics presenting a various series of chamber music works from Hans Zender’s “Wintereisse” and Paul Hindemith’s Kammermusik to Igor Stravinsky’s “the Soldier’s Tale” among others.

Dimitris Desyllas is the professor of timpani and percussion at the Athens Conservatoire. He gives lectures and master classes worldwide.