Thanos Mitsalas is steadily gaining recognition as one of the leading guitarists of his generation. His rich musicianship as well as his tireless quest for artistic perfectionism have already credited him with the highest praise from the critics, while his intense musical intuition, flawless technique and personal style are captivating the audiences worldwide. Through his devotion and extensive study and performance of the idiomatic music of Sergio Assad, Thanos is regarded by the great Brazilian master as a top interpreter of his works, “Thanos ranks today among the top performers in the whole world!”. Classical Guitar Magazine referred to him as “a formidable guitarist!”; American Record Guide praised, “Mitsalas’s playing is excellent…His technical command and sense of invention and expression are impressive!”; MusicWeb International Magazine wrote about his solo Assad CD release, “Everywhere one senses a vitality of personal commitment and disciplined freedom in his interpretations. Thanos is an impressive soloist!”, while Minor 7th Magazine mentioned, “Mitsalas marries all of the elements of great classical guitar playing: enormous and evocative tonal range, world-class command of the instrument, and a unique and defining musical voice”.
Thanos Mitsalas embarked on his international career at a very early age, as the youngest ever winner in the history of competitions such as Volos International Guitar Festival & Competition in Greece (at the age of 15), Silesian Guitar Autumn in Poland, and Carrefour Mondial de la guitar in Martinique, South America (at the age of 18). Since then, he has performed in a number of important venues, including the Lincoln Center and Merkin Hall in New York, Hancock Auditorium in Los Angeles, Queen’s Grand Theatre in Zhengzhou / China, the Athens Megaron of Music, amongst others, and he has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, North & South America.
Mitsalas graduated with the greatest honors from New Conservatory of Thessaloniki-Greece (class of Costas Cotsiolis), Hochscule fur Music in Koln/Aachen-Germany (class of Thomas Muller Pering) and from the prestigious Juilliard School-NY, where he studied on a full scholarship at Sharon Isbin’s class, evaluated as one of the most brilliant talents of the school.
A versatile guitarist, Mitsalas performs both as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles and has performed with orchestras conducted by such renowned conductors as Leo Brouwer, Josif Conta, Theodoros Antoniou, Jan Wincenty Hawel, Emir Saul among others. Besides Sergio Assad, a number of important contemporary composers have dedicated works to Thanos Mitsalas, including Gerard Drozd and Simone Iannarelli, and he has performed several premieres of guitar compositions by major composers of our time such as Leo Brouwer, Carlo Domeniconi, Joaquín Clerch, and Roland Dyens. Thanos has repeatedly recorded for numerous Greek and international radio and TV networks.
Alongside his performing activities, Thanos Mitsalas teaches the guitar at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki and the Conservatory of Northern Greece, and he is a guest professor at many international music festivals, music schools-universities or summer music academies. For ten years he was the Artistic Director at the Municipal Conservatory of his birth-town Naoussa (Greece). He has been the professor of a number of distinguished students, who have successfully pursued careers in the international artistic and educational field.
Mitsalas’ extensive discography (with works by Assad, Bach, Barrios, d’ Angelo, Tarrega, Llobet amongst others), which is exclusively released by the American label ClearNote (OH), has earned him raving reviews by the international press. Thanos is a D’Addario Artist/Ambassador. He uses EJ46FF Pro-Arte (Dyna/Carbon) strings on his 1999 Thomas Humphrey Guitar (Millenniun Model/Spruce-top).