Greek-born violinist Efi Christodoulou has been reviewed by The Strad as ‘a powerful violinist, demonstrating a high level of technical achievement’ (Wigmore Hall).
Efi Christodoulou studied at the Athens National Conservatory, graduating with honours and 1st prize. She was selected for 5 years to play in the European Union Youth Orchestra’s European Tours, which led her to a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music in London. She studied with Detlef Hahn, then with Yfrah Neaman and later with Eugene Sarbu. She has participated in masterclasses throughout Europe with Ruggiero Ricci, Aaron Rosand, Sylvia Rosenberg, Eric Friedman, Vladimir Spivakov, Mark Lubotsky, Hermann Krebbers and Roman Totenberg.
She has previously been awarded the British Graduates Society / British Council / Vakarelis Fellowship, the Greek State Foundation Award, the Ministry of Culture Scholarship, as well as awards by the Leventis and the Hellenic Foundation, the S. Niarchos and Mundo en Armonia. She was also awarded the Sir Jack and Lady Lyons Performance Scholarship and ‘Master of Arts in Performance’ from City University, London.
Efi has performed extensively in her native Greece and abroad, has been featured on the BBC World Service, ERT Radio-Television, has collaborated with the London Symphony Orchestra (section leaders’ scheme) and has broadcast for BBC Radio 2 at the Semi-finals of BBC Young Musician of the Year. She was the 2nd prize winner at the Anglo-Czech competition for her performances of works by Josef Suk. She was also a finalist at the Michelangelo Abbado International Violin Competition (Milan).
Efi gave the Scottish premiere of the William Schuman concerto at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has appeared at the Athens Megaron, St. John’s, Smith Square, Brussels’ European Parliament, Salle Cortot, Paris, and as a soloist with the Athens Symphony Orchestra, the Arcademia of Stuttgart, the Oxford Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony, the State Academic Orchestra of the Capella St. Petersburg and others. Efi’s extensive recital activity demonstrates a particular interest in contemporary compositions, having given premieres of works by David Matthews, Malcolm Arnold and the UK Premiere of the Concerto-Fantasia by Theodore Antoniou. Her second Wigmore Hall recital dedicated to American music featured the UK Premiere of works by Bernstein and Ned Rorem.
Efi was concertmaster at the Greek National Opera’s Educational Programmes, while at present is leader of the City of Athens Symphony. She gratefully acknowledges the kind donation of a Pierre Silvestre violin (Lyon 1848) by Matti & Nicholas Egon.
In 2013 Efi presented two World Premiere performances, of the Violin Concertos by Matthew Taylor in St. Petersburg and by Robert Still in London, which demonstrated ‘the highest standard of virtuosity with the use of a quite dazzling technique’ (Musical Opinion).
In 2011 Guild Records released her first CD which includes works by Debussy, Elgar and the Premiere of Sibelius’ Six Humoresques arranged by Karl Ekman, to general acclaim: ‘outstanding, intelligent and passionate… in this interesting and enterprising programme’ (Classical Source, Sunday Times).
Somm Recordings recently issued Efi’s second CD of the Dvorak, Glazunov Concertos and Sibelius’ Six Humoresques with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, under John Carewe. It was described by Sunday Times as ‘an attractive disc’ with ‘a grand Dvorak Concerto’ and by Gramophone as ‘full of natural exuberance’.
Her current engagements embrace a UK series of five concerts of the Ferruccio Busoni Violin Concerto, in celebration of Busoni’s 150th anniversary in 2016, from which her first performance was described as ‘rock solid, demonstrating intricate, finger tripping virtuosity throughout’ (Musical Opinion).