Concert Pianist - Researcher
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Maria Stratigou was born in Athens. She began her piano studies at the age of seven with Sofia Mouratoglou, later with Christos Papageorgiou, and then at the Conservatory of Athens with Aliki Vatikioti-Farrant. She graduated in June 2007 winning the first prize of the Conservatory. She continued her postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (former RSAMD) with Jonathan Plowright (PGDip in Performance with Distinction) and Fali Pavri (MMus in Performance), being a scholar of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. In 2010, she finished the PGDip Advanced Accompaniment Course with Distinction under the guidance of Fali Pavri. Maria is currently a final-year PhD (Performance) student at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) under the supervision of Prof Barbara Kelly, Dr David Jones and Dr Simon Clarke, with scholarships from the NWCDTP and the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.
In addition to the above she has studied Harmony, she has a Diploma of excellence in Counterpoint and a Diploma of excellence in Fugue, both with Distinction, while studying with the famous Greek Composer and Professor Periklis Koukos at the Athens Conservatory. She also has a Diploma of excellence in Byzantine Music. She has undertaken singing lessons with the Greek Tenor Stamatis Beris and the soprano Fotini Kostopoulos.
Maria has given Lecture-Recitals and paper presentations at eight international conferences during her doctoral studies. In February 2020 she organised the conference ‘Musical Women in Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century’ at the RNCM. In December 2018 Maria was awarded the 1st Student Prize for her paper and presentation ‘Performing Louise Farrenc's Etudes for piano’ at the Conference ‘Into the Unknown’ at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
In 2013 she was honoured by the Academy of Athens with the ‘Eleni Tim. Mykoniou’ Prize for Piano. She was awarded the first prize for her interpretation in Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D minor at the Jock Holden Memorial Mozart Prize Competition at the RSAMD (November 2008), and was highly commended at the Governors’ Recital Prize in 2010. She has won first prizes in various Panhellenic piano competitions (X.O.N. - 2012, Panhellenic Competition for Young Pianists - Andros 2007, ‘Filon’ - 2004). She was also chosen to represent her country in the 1st European Union Piano Competition. She won many internal prizes at the Athens Conservatory both in piano and chamber music and has taken part in masterclasses with Bernard Ringeissen, Yonty Solomon, Steven Osborne and Martino Tirimo amongst others. She has also studied with the distinguished Greek pianist Alexandra Papastefanou.
Maria was chosen twice among the piano department students of the RSAMD to perform with the RSAMD Symphony Orchestra at the RSAMD Concerto Concert, she has cooperated with Orchestra Filarmonica di Stato ‘Mihail Jora’ di Bacau and maestro Ovidiu Balan, and has performed in different venues in UK, Italy, Czech Republic and Greece.
Contemporary composers have trusted Maria to perform world premieres of their pieces (G. N. Gianopoulos Op.15 Five pieces for solo piano/Op.17 Nocturne for solo piano, E. Vaios ‘3’, D. Minakakis ‘Metamorphoses’ for solo piano).