Vassilis Christopoulos is without a doubt one of Greece’s most inspiring conductors, equally at home on the concert podium as in the opera pit. His interpretations are characterized by their structural coherence, stylistic clarity, and emotional depth.
As Artistic Director of the Athens State Orchestra from May 2011 to May 2014, he raised the standard of performance dramatically. Reviews became consistently enthusiastic, praising him as “great reformer”; ticket sales doubled despite the harsh financial crisis. Under his direction, the Orchestra supported young soloists and composers, commissioning and premièring 14 new compositions in three years; performed in virtually every corner of Greece including many remote islands; introduced a wide-ranging social and educational program; and won major national and European design awards for its new image.
He has been Chief Conductor of the Southwest German Philharmonic Orchestra of Constance since 2005, again responsible for significant and unanimously recognized improvement in performance: under his artistic leadership, the number of subscribers exceeded the mark of 2.500 for the first time in the orchestra's history (from a small town population of app. 85.000); the Orchestra acquired new permanent posts, and toured with great success at renowned festivals and concert halls in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Greece, France, Spain, China, Japan, as well as throughout Germany.
Vassilis Christopoulos has conducted prestigious orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Qatar Philharmonic, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been a regular guest conductor of the Greek National Opera since 1999, and has led opera performances in France, the Czech Republic, and Germany (Deutsche Oper am Rhein). Engagements in 2014-2015 include débuts with the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and the Nuremberg State Philharmonic.
He was born in Munich in 1975. He studied oboe and music theory at the Athens Conservatory and orchestra conducting at the “Hochschule für Musik” in Munich with Prof. Hermann Michael. From 1993 to 1995 he was an oboist with the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In 1999 he was named “Young Musician of the Year” by the Greek Music and Drama Critics’ Association. In 2000 he won the 1st Bad Homburg Conducting Competition in Germany and was a prize-winner of the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in Athens.
His discography includes the first recording of Concertos by Nikos Skalkottas with the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra which was released on BIS in 2008. His CD “Mozart Arias” featuring French Soprano Géraldine Casey and the Southwest German Philharmonic was awarded a golden Orpheus by the Académie internationale du disque lyrique in Paris for the best Mozart recording in 2009.
In 2013, Vassilis Christopoulos was awarded Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French Republic.