Pianist | Vocal coach | Conductor
Michalis Boliakis was born in Athens and studied piano with Elena Mouzalas and Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue and Orchestration with Alkis Papadopoulos. Considered to be a piano prodigy, he was rewarded at the Greek National Piano Competition and the International Piano Competition Konzerteum, and was granted a scholarship by the Greek State and the Leventis Foundation to study abroad. In 2005 he moved to France, where he specialized in piano performance, collaborative piano and vocal coaching at the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with accomplished and charismatic teachers such as Bruno Rigutto, Anne Queffélec and Erika Guiomar. In 2007, the Academy of Athens honored his artistic involvement with the Prize Eleni Mykoniou. In 2012, at the end of his Master studies, the Conservatoire hired him as vocal coach and accompanist.
Since then, he has been involved in exciting and diverse professional projects. He participated in the Academy of Contemporary Music of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and won the title Lauréat HSBC for his contribution, which marked the beginning of a highly inspiring and fruitful collaboration with the Festival. Several world-renowned lyric institutions like Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opéra-Comique, Opéra de Lille, Philharmonie de Paris have employed him as repetiteur, vocal coach and performer, thus permitting him to collaborate with outstanding conductors such as Kasushi Ono, Gianandrea Noseda, Jonathan Darlington and Jérémie Rhorer.
Michalis met the stage director Jean Bellorini in 2012, for the show Cher Erik Satie, and was asked to become his faithful music companion in his theatrical productions thereafter. Through their collaboration, he has gained insight into the international theatrical repertoire, has questioned and broadened his own conception of the dramatic art and the process of embodying a theatrical character. This research has also enriched his musical skills, as he had to interpret, choose, rearrange, improvise and compose music in a great variety of styles (classical, rock, pop, jazz), use software for music production, teach and conduct classical choir music sung by Bellorini’s talented theatrical team. Their common works include Hanoch Levin’s Kroum in 2017, with the actors of the Alexandrinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Dostoyevsky’s Karamazov in 2016 at Festival d’Avignon and Brecht’s The good Person of Szechwan in 2013, for which he received the Prize for the Best Music for the Stage by the French Critic’s Syndicate.
Since 2014, Michalis has acted as executive producer of musical seasons of the Théâtre Gerard Philipe, National Dramatic Center of Saint-Denis. He has conceived, conducted and performed plenty of concerts praised by critics, with a great diversity of forms and repertoires, notably silent movie accompaniments or arrangements of orchestral music for an original ensemble. His music partners include instrumentalists Lise Charrin, Olivier Stankiewicz, Elsa Moatti, Hugo Sablic and the singers Chloé Briot, Andreea Soare, Harmonie Deschamps, Léa Trommenschlager.
As soloist, he has given numerous critically acclaimed performances in France and abroad, in collaboration with Festival d’Aix, Festival Piano en Saintonge, Festival de Nohant, Festival Chopin in Paris, Opéra National de Bordeaux, association Jeunes Talents, National Orchestra of Athens among others.He has performed major works by Bach, Haendel, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Janacek, Szymanowski, Ligeti, to mention but a few.
Since September 2018, Michalis has been resident of the Doctor of Musical Arts program of The Juilliard School in New York, with full scholarship.