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ZOE ZENIODI

by Dionysis Malouhos

Young though she may be, with studies at some very well-respected institutions (a Doctorate in Musical Arts, Artist Diploma in Conducting, as well as Master and Bachelor Degrees in Piano) she already has some exceptional professional performances under her belt in various, different musical genres. Zoe Zeniodi has achieved much in a short time in both Europe and the USA!

As a piano soloist she has given successful concerts at major festivals and performance halls around the world (like the Purcell Room and at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, the Montpelier Festival in France, the Internationale Theater in Frankfurt, the Lisinski Concert Hall in Croatia, the Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls, and the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation’s very own Onassis Cultural Centre, and the Greek National Opera, to name a few), though her preferences aren’t limited only to solo appearances, since she also regularly performs chamber music and develops thematic partnerships with singers.

In the role of conductor she has appeared with renowned orchestras like the Cleveland Symphonic, the Brno Philharmonic, the Stockholm Sinfonietta, the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Spain, the New Philharmonic from Florida, USA, the Municipality of Thessaloniki’s Symphonic Orchestra, as well as the NERIT National Symphonic Orchestra. On 14 December 2014 we had the chance to see her perform on TV with the latter, conducting a very interesting programme of works by American composers as part of the successful ‘Musical Geography’ series broadcast by NERIT television every Sunday afternoon.

On the podium Zoe Zeniodi appears certain of herself, precise in her movements. Her inspiring energy is breathtaking. She sets the style and pace of the performance with a clarity, creative intensity and sense of nobility rarely found. She asks for cooperation from the orchestra members and builds strong partnerships, as is common practice with the US orchestras that Zeniodi frequently collaborates with, namely the Alhambra Orchestra (where she is artistic director and lead conductor), the Broward Symphonic Orchestra (where she’s music director) or the Florida Grand Opera where she is also conductor. She has also collaborated with contemporary music ensembles such as the ARTéfacts Ensemble, whom she has conducted at performances in Greece.

As a conductor she has also appeared on a considerable number of recordings, featuring in 3 productions from the renowned Albany Records along with the Brno Philharmonic in 2014 and the well-known Frost University Symphonic Orchestra. Zoe Zeniodi’s name has also been associated with performances of works by major composers from the contemporary US scene such as Thomas Sleeper (her mentor and an important conductor in his own right, who entrusted her the works Xenia and Translucence) and Frank Ticheli (Zoe Zeniodi recorded his work An American Dream, which is also the subject matter of her PhD thesis. It’s an orchestral song cycle of seven songs lasting around 40 minutes, one of the longest in terms of duration, and most complex in structure, in the history of American music).

Whether talking about her recordings or performances as a pianist or conductor, music critics rave about Zoe Zeniodi, referring to her as a musician “you can confidently expect to see climbing up the ladder very shortly” (The Classical Review 2.9.2011) or talking about “fearless [performances by a] musically sensitive piano soloist. Whether playing at lightning speed or softly creating impressionistic effects,” (South Florida Classical Review, 25.3.2013).

In short, Zoe Zeniodi is enthusiastic; an artist with creative insight, a capable guide and associate, with a solid academic background, and actively involved in the modern world of music. She is here to stay and holds much promise for great things in the future.

For more information see her personal website.