Albert Kunze, Soundboard Magazine Vol.43 No.3, September 2017
"Exciting repertoire and playing from Greek guitarist. It is always intriguing to hear someone new playing fresh material, and all the better if, from the first notes of the recording, you feel you are in for a real treat. Dimitris Kotronakis (b. 1973) is a lauded guitarist, with a diploma and doctorate to his name, and also the muscular surety of a great technique and the ability to make the guitar sing...Toryanse is an excellent recording, bursting with exciting repertoire that should help to maintain a buoyant interest in the guitar"
Tim Panting, Classical Guitar Magazine, Summer 2017
"Greek guitarist Kotronakis’ latest is an an excellent and very diverse collection of pieces by a fine international cast of modern composers - Atanas Orkouzounov (Bulgaria, though his title track is filled with Japanese inflections), Stĕpán Rak (Czech Republic; his two pieces are Russian-influenced); Carlo Domeniconi (Italy), Thanassis Moraitis (Greece), Gerard Drozd (Poland); Sérgio Assad (Brazil); and the ubiquitous Astor Piazzolla (Argentina). Every piece Kotronakis has chosen goes someplace interesting, and he is equally comfortable with balladic presentations such as Drozd’s beautiful Bach-influenced Adagio, Op. 44 or Domeniconi’s A Step to Paradise, the Piazzolla tango Zita, or demanding multi-textured works like Toryanse Tales and Assad’s epic Fantasia Carioca. Outstanding all the way around!"
Classical Guitar Magazine Website, February 8th, 2017
"Fascinating performance! This is a collection of works that is exotic even by the standards of the international guitar. It opens with Atanas Ourkouzounov’s ‘Toryanse Tales’, based on a Japanese legend that involves the first seven years of a child’s life, and a children’s song that is often played at street crossings. The composer manages to evoke Japan without cliches, and several interesting effects are demanded. Kontronakis is fully up to the challenges. Stepan Rak is Czech, but his works here evoke Russia—’Kaygorod’ is a morose waltzwith an appropriately Russian sounding melody, and Balalaika is a 9-minute tour de force that demands, among other things, a rapid tremolo with the last finger of the right hand—the one finger guitarists don’t normally use. Again, Kontronakis plays with admirable conviction and control, with electrifying results...this is a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable release."
Kenneth Keaton, American Record Guide, January/February 2017
"In his concert, Dimitris Kotronakis impressed the audience, not only with his proverbial technical ability, but with his substantial penetration into the musical works too. His presence very highly raised the artistic standards"
Giorgos Mastrogiannopoulos, Kitharologio, April 2016
"The virtuosic Greek guitarist displayed a large range of repertoire that few guitarist command with such natural nuances and artistic phrasing. Kotronakis has exposed the next generation of players to a technique truly one of a kind... It is obvious why Kotronakis is in such high demand by his audiences"
Chris Dunn, facetofaceguitar.com, May 2013
"Our soloist proved to be an extraordinarily talented young man with a friendly personality and excellent stage presence... The beautiful music, the tremendous artistry, and the personal charm of our artist made for a memorable evening."
Josiah Tazelaar, board member of Pro Musica Detroit, May 2013
"Our beloved Camerata-Orchestra of Friends of Music takes part under the baton of Alexandros Myrat (disciplined, faithful to the sense of the manuscript), along with [...] guitarist Dimitris Kotronakis (his unparalleled performance gave prominence to the piece as a match to famous pieces of the international repertoire)"
Thomas Tamvakos, "Jazz & Tzaz" magazine, March 2012
"The Amsterdam Concerto, for guitar and string orchestra, is delightful and very atmospheric, while soloist Dimitris Kotronakis gives an excellent interpretation"
Nicos Vatopoulos, "Kathimerini" newspaper, February 2012
"Dimitris Kotronakis made his debut performance in Oregon on November 11th, 2011 at 8 PM as part of the Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series at Marylhurst University's Wiegand Hall. The evening began with his own arrangement of J.S. Bach's Ciaccona from the Partita for solo violin in D minor. Even though this piece is extremely difficult and would scare most guitarists away from choosing it as their opening piece, he pulled it off beautifully making the piece look easy. The scale passages rolled off his fingers with ease and were at a much faster tempo than you will usually hear in guitar transcriptions of this piece. His sense of phrasing was enjoyable to listen to and really brought the audience closer to the music. Next he played Capricios No. 1, No. 20, No. 16, and No. 24 by Nicolo Paganini. This is where it got ridiculous. It was an unbelievable display of unparalleled speed and virtuosity. Dimitris has developed unusual, special techniques which allow him to play certain things much faster than the average guitarist. Specifically, it is his ability to play a guitar string with both sided of his fingernails that sets him apart. First he plays the string with a normal free stroke but then he also plays the string with the back of the nail as he extends his finger. It definitely works for him and the audience seemed unanimously impressed. He told me he is currently working on a Doctorate degree in musicology in Athens where he is writing his thesis on Greek composers. This might explain why there was a lot of depth to his playing and why he was able to effectively communicate diverse musical styles such as works by Thanassis Moraitis and Stepan Rak. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening with a truly great musician. Technique definitely did not stand in the way of his ability to transport the listener to a deeper level of the music. I would recommend Dimitris Kotronakis to any concert series promoter."
William Jenks, president of the Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series, January 2012
"Dimitris Kotronakis demonstrated just how awesome this instrument can be. From the opening transcription of the Bach Chaconne in D minor, to the closing work, Raphael Fays', Dans Yeux of Michelle and Romantic Voyage, this artist wowed devotees with technique that can only be described as Paganiniesque... In the two pieces by the Greek composer Thanassis Moraitis, Dimitris played with the soul of his country and the sensitivity of a true artists. Pyrotechnic passages were balanced by subtle, tender, heart-touching interpretations of lyrical phrases that stopped this listener to attend... We look forward to having Mr. Kotronakis back to the Marlow Series soon."
Deborah Drayer, board member of the John E. Marlow Guitar Series , November 2011
"Kotronakis immediately establishes himself as a player of boundless technique and stylistic range. He sounds like a one-man Quintet of the Hot Club of Paris. It is very impressive playing... It is a daring player who takes on music of Paco de Lucia, but Kotronakis pulls it off... Kotronakis can really fly around the guitar. An impressive disc, well recorded."
Albert Kunze, Soundboard, Vol XXXVII, No 2
"It must be emphasised that Kotronakis emerges throughout as a skilled and assured player."
Paul Fowles, Classical Guitar Magazine, September 2011
"Dimitris Kotronakis demonstrates his ability for beautiful phrasing regardless of the difficulty and tempo of the music. This album is certain to appeal to lovers of guitar music old and young."
Alex Cortes, guitar-theory-in-depth.com, August 2011
"[Kotronakis] is deserving of international attention... with his rock-solid technique and musicality."
Raymond S. Tuttle, Classical Net, February 2011
"The music on Echomythia captures a wide range of musical styles and moods, and when mixed with Kotronakis' superb technique, raw power, and subtle elegance, makes this a very exciting classical guitar album. It's hard to believe that it's just Kotronakis playing these pieces because they sound so full and busy, as if there were a group of guitarists playing. Kotronakis performance is dazzling as he pulls off incredibly fast scale passages, and at times, while keeping the accompaniment going. Echomythia is a superb guitar album that features some of the most diverse and exciting music available for the classical guitar. Kotronakis performs with perhaps one of the most virtuosic techniques in modern times, and a deep passion that make him, and this album, a stand out in the classical guitar world".
Brad Conroy, Guitar International, April 2010
"With each round of applause and without letting go of his guitar, Dimitris Kotronakis thanked the people of Saltillo to whom he displayed charisma, brilliance and a repertoire that lifted the potential of the guitar to new heights... SUPERB PERFORMANCE...The first piece stood out by the sheer range of sounds that Kotronakis was able to draw from his instrument, taking the sonic possibilities of the guitar to the extreme. A piece with a high level of complexity was, in the hands of Kotronakis, superbly executed. For both pieces Kotronakis shone, achieving melodic structures by playing with just one hand across the frets of the guitar..."
Alfonso Nava, Zocalo / Saltillo, Coahuila Mexico, Thursday July 16th, 2009
"Dimitris Kotronakis is a young classical guitarist from Greece, and I'm sure we will all be hearing a lot more about him, the world over, soon. The first thing you will notice about his playing is his "insane" virtuosity. Yet, his is not the virtuosity of the immature player who wants to "play fast" no matter what. That is NOT virtuosity. Through the crystal clear textures that Dimitris Kotronakis delivers, at any tempo, one can feel a musical maturity and depth of understanding that few -young or old- achieve. Dimitris Kotronakis has transcended the inherent difficulties of smooth interpretation on the classical guitar, building a unique repertoire he delivers with unique zest."
Alex Cortes, guitar-theory-in-depth.com, July 2009
"Get ready to be awed and dazzled by the nimble fingers of Dimitris Kotronakis and his anthology of brilliant classical guitar works with flavors of Latin/Jazz on his disc, Echomythia. Kotronakis is an exquisite guitarist who plays with emotive and intense precision. The trills, turns, and bends he so eloquently plays gives rise to the versatility of this artist as he plays with various tempos and powerful dynamics. Plainte and Marta shows off the softer side of this music as Kotronakis performs with emotional and heartfelt ability. Tuhu (homage a Villa-lobos)" is razor sharp and is steeped with Brazilian flair. The Flight of the Bumblebee, a song known for its vigorous spirit, is truly amazing as Kotronakis runs full throttle across the fret board. Fans of classical guitar embedded with the essence of Latin/Jazz will not be disappointed when hearing the entertaining and delightful songs of Echomythia.
Diane and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team, May 2009
"...From the very first track, it is obvious that Kotronakis has a tremendous technique. His playing is clean, and his rhythms are ultra-crisp...He is too talented not to become known the world over, though, and one of the major labels should sign him up immediately...
I was delighted by the variety and the quality of the music on this CD, and more than delighted by the way in which it was performed by Kotronakis. This CD is worth making a little extra effort to acquire."
Raymond Tuttle, classical.net, September 2008
"...the speed at which Kotronakis can 'knock out' some of this music is quite breathtaking. Beginning with jazz works Kotronakis demonstrates well his capabilities (and understanding of this form) in passages of high velocity sitting alongside brief excursions into slow sensitivity and by the time the classic Reinhardt Nuages has been put to bed the idea emerges that here is a performer of extraordinary technique of musicianship. If further proof were needed to reveal the graceful side of this player, it comes with the first and third of the set of works by the Brazilian guitarist Marco Pereira - lovely compositions, exquisitely performed...The remaining items are exceedingly well presented and especial mention ought to be given to the Paco de Lucia classic La Cueva del Gato, which if one didn't know to the contrary, you would be forgiven for thinking that this was the great man himself playing. Altogether this is a startlingly exciting recording which captures the amazing artistry of a very distinct player."
Steve Marsh, Classical Guitar Magazine, August 2008
"For these creations, Kotronakis derives with intelligence, from his full gun rack, the incomparable technique, the flowing, without boastfulness speed, the ripe, evident and tone-related contrasts in interpretation, like a distillation of a good old wine. In addition, the quality of the recording, thanks to the studio of Musical Acoustic Technology of Athens University, rivals that of the leading studios, like the Capitol Studio of California. If you combine all the above with the deep, sweet and particularly personal sound of the interpreter result of many years of study then you should not omit this recording."
Nafsika Chatzichristou, Classical Music Review Magazine, Summer 2008
"A talented interpreter, musicologist, and teacher, an artist with a restive temperament, the guitar-player Dimitris Kotronakis, already appreciated by the classic guitar audience, uses his recent musical album to decisively claim the right of a distinguishable presence before the broader audience. This is his fourth album, titled Echomythia, with compositions, representatives of the broader musical spectrum: jazz, Latin and Brazilian music. The first samples of an enthusiastic reception have already vindicated his goal..."
Liana Malandrenioti, Difono magazine, (www.difono.gr), July-August 2008
"...The selector, and interpreter of the 19 tracks of the collection, is the Musician (with a capital M, of course), Dimitris Kotronakis, a musicologist and repeatedly award-winning guitarist one could characterize him unexceptionable, sufficient, and infallible, to astonishing, unique, and exquisite. He is somewhere among all these. Where exactly is of no interest. The final result is so appreciable that any intention to criticize comes second, urging one to derive enjoyment from the sound first What else is there to say? That, save for beautiful musical moments, D. Kotronakis proposes specific ideas for the guitars future, as a communication instrument. He is probably right about all of them. Listen to him..."
Kornilios Diamandopoulos, Jazz & Tzaz magazine, May 2008
"...He is one of the youngest members of Greek guitarists family, which has welcomed him as one of the best guitarists of his generation Consequently, and given the artists interpretation skills, his album titled Echomythia attracts our attention as a complete collection of guitar compositions. The selection of the tracks is exceptionally well done the tracks that are quite distinct from each other keep the interest unflagging..."
Liana Malandrenioti, Difono magazine, (www.difono.gr), May 2008
"...His technical facility, as well as his ability to give shape to the sound, conveying all its tone-related dynamics, is considered as one of the albums strong points. Moreover, the selection of the tracks, constituting the album, is considered sufficiently imaginative and welcome. Skating on thin ice, among the different trends of the modern repertory, and closing his album with a demonstration composition (The Flight of the Bumble Bee by Rimsky - Korsakov, adapted by Kotronakis), the albums arrangement reminds us of a concert, with the necessary encore. Therefore, the audience feels at no point tired, but is constantly experiencing new sound surprises..."
Alexandros Charchiolakis, classicalmusic.gr, April 2008
"...These different music styles are interpreted in a very special way by Dimitris Kotronakis, who attaches some sort of relation to them and, at the same time, stamps them with his own personal performance..."
Heleni Skarkou, Polytonon magazine (magazine of the Greek Composers Union), March-April 2008
"Since neither a technical sufficiency, nor a classical guitar pallet adulteration issue is raised, the interest is stirred up by the selection of different compositions that miraculously enough delicate, but persistent phrasal interventions constitute compatible."
Argiris Zilos, Athinorama magazine, February 2008
"...Among the CDs which accomplish their mission, i.e. to keep "good company" with their listeners, is the one by the distinguished virtuoso Dimitris Kotronakis. Full of very interesting and delightfull new suggestions for the guitar repertoire..."
Costas Grigoreas, TAR magazine, December 2007
"...Dimitris Kotronakis showed the most fluent (and fast) technique I have ever seen..."
John W. Duarte, Classical Guitar Magazine, August 1998
"...Dimitris Kotronakis is one of the greatest virtuosos of his generation worldwide. This I write without any exaggeration..."
Costas Cotsiolis, classical guitar soloist, June 1997
|© Dimitris Kotronakis 2008|