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Stelios Petrakis was born in 1975 and grew up in Sitia, Crete. In 1983 he joined the Sitia School of Music, learning to play the lyra under teachers Giannis Dandolos (1983), Ross Daly (1984) and Eleni Drettaki (1985-1993), under the directorship of Kostas Moundakis. He completed his “official” lyra studies in 1993.
From 1993 onwards, based in Athens under the guidance of Ross Daly, he continued to study the lyra and also became interested in related musical traditions (Anatolian folk music, classical secular and religious music of Istanbul, traditional Greek music) and instruments (saz, Politiko and Cretan laouto, bulgari, Politiki lyra).
From summer 2000 onwards, he attended, also at the Labyrinth a series of seminars on musical instruments and traditions of the East by top teachers (Talip Ozkan, Necati Çelik, Georgi Petrov, Kala Ramnath, etc.) In 2009 he attended a seminar in Paris with the world-class Indian violinist Dr L. Subramaniam.
Stelios Petrakis has worked on concerts and recordings with major musicians in the areas of “World Music” (Ross Daly, L’Ham de Foc, Bijan and Keyvan Chemirani, Sylvain Barou, Ojos de Brujo, Patrick Vaillant, Kristi Stassinopoulou, Oneira); Traditional Music (Giorgis Xylouris, Vassilis Stavrakakis, Zacharias Spyridakis, Michalis and Mitsos Stavrakakis, Giorgos Makris, Domna Samiou, Christos Tsamoulis); Greek musicians and composers (Christos Leondis, Stamatis Spanoudakis, Achilleas Persidis); and with the great Spanish singer Manolo García.
For the past seven years, Stelios Petrakis has founded the Cretan Quartet, a group that travels cretan music and dance at the most important festivals Worldwide (India, Malaysia, USA , Marocco, Switzerland, France, Belgium). He has also an instrumental trio with the Valencian Multiinstrumentalist Efren Lopez and the Franco-Iranian percussionist Bijan Chemirani.
He has also participated in recordings by other musicians and groups including Ross Daly, Stamatis Spanoudakis, Bijan and Keyvan Chemirani, Christos Leontis, Manolo García, Kristi Stassinopoulou, Palyrria, Sylvain Barou and Oneira.
Stelios Petrakis has a luthierie workshop in Heraklion, where he makes musical instruments including various types of lyra, laouto, saz, etc.
He has a degree in Law from the Faculty of Law, School of Law, Athens University. He speaks English and (to a lesser degree) French and Turkish.
Major venues at which Stelios Petrakis has performed:
With his own ensembles / projects:
Carnegie Hall 2018 NYC, USA
Theatre de la Ville (des Abesses) Paris France 2016
Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Athens (Summer Nostos Festival 2018)
Festival “Le son Continu” 2018 France
“Jazz sous les Pommiers” Festival France 2018
Moods Club Zurich, Switzerland 2018
Udaipur World Music Festival 2018 India
Rudolstadt 2017, Germany
Festival des Musiques Sacrees 2017 Fes, Marocco
Ode Gand, Ghent, Belgium 2016
Rainforest World Music festival, Malaysia 2016
World Sacred Spirit Festival, Rajastan, India 2016
Balkan Trafik! 2016 Bruxelles, Belgium
GlobalFest NYC 2016
Wommex 2013 Cardiff , UK
King’s Place – London 2011
Jerusalem oud Festival 2011
Lenzburgiade – Switzerland 2010
Strictly Mundial Marseille. 2003
Barcelona Forum 2004
Garaj Istanbul – 2009
As a soloist in various ensembles (Stamatis Spanoudakis, Ross Daly, Manolo García, Keyvan Chemirani, etc.):
Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens (with Stamatis Spanoudakis, Christos Leontis and Ross Daly)
Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls (with Ross Daly)
Royal Albert Hall, London (with Stamatis Spanoudakis)
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (with Ross Daly)
Théâtre de la Ville, Paris (with Ross Daly)
Rock in Rio Festival, Madrid (with Manolo García)
“Oi dikoi mou filoi” (Seistron – 2002)
“Akri tou Dounia”, (L’empreinte digitale – 2003)
“Κismet”, (Seistron – 2003)
“Kismet”, (Buda Musique – 2003)
“Orion”, (Seistron – 2006)
“Orion”, (Buda Musique 2008)
“Si je salue les montagnes”, (Accords Croisés 2009)
“Mavra Froudia”, (Melodiko Karavi 2011)
“Mavra Froudia” , (Musiepoca 2011)
“Avgi” – Live in Heraklion Walls (Buda Musique 2016)
“L’ Art de la Lyra” (Ocora 2016)
“Taos” (Buda Musique) 2017