Royal Festival Hall

Dimitris Sgouros made his British debut on the 24th March 1983 at the Royal Festival Hall, performing Rachmaninoff's Third with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich.  In July, Sgouros returned to London, this time to the Barbican Hall, performing Beethoven's Third Concerto and the Symphonic Concerto by the Greek composer Manolis Kalomiris, with the LSO under Yannis Daras.  A successful solo debut in November 1983 at the Royal Festival Hall led to the signing of an exclusive contract with EMI.  A classicist as well as a romantic, Sgouros demonstrated his versatility and poise in Mozart's Piano Concerto No 20 with the LSO and Eduardo Mata in February 1984.  The following year, on 21st April 1985, he graced the platform of the Royal Festival Hall with Tchaikovsky's beloved 1st Piano Concerto and the London Philharmonic Orchestra led by Jesus Lopez-Cobos.

The Times (of London)
Saturday 19th March 1983



The Times (of London)

The Times (of London)

Thursday 24th March 1983 Friday 25th March 1983

Photo Caption:
Dimitris Sgouros, the Greek musical prodigy aged 13, who is to make his British debut at the Festival Hall tonight with the London Philharmonic, playing Rachmaninov's third piano concerto. When only 10 he became a professor of music at the Athens Conservatory.  


Review of Dimitris Sgouros' British debut from The Times (of London), Friday 25th March 1983

Youth triumphant
Festival Hall

Writing as someone who at the age of 13 was still struggling up the ladder of the Associated Board, I find myself nonplussed by the very idea of a boy of that age tackling one of the most vastly clattering warhorses in the piano concerto repertory, Rachmaninov's third. But last night Dimitris Sgouros did it, and not only did it, but triumphed, and not only triumphed, but triumphed quietly. That was the greatest surprise; his control over himself. His sheer technical ability could have been predicted, since Mstislav Rostropovich, conducting, would hardly have associated himself with the child had it been otherwise. But if one had expected a merely flashy, showy interpretation, the truth was remarkably different.

Mr Sgouros played with dignity and with purity, and in doing so he completely dispelled any embarrassment there might have been at the spectacle of a boy aping grown-up histrionics.

In this the choice of work turned out to be exceedingly helpful. Rachmaninov's, of all music, is the music of adolescence, and to hear it played by this adolescent was to hear it at home, sounding genuine and serene in all its melancholy, force and capriciousness, sounding for once thoroughly composed. It would therefore be an injustice to Mr Sgouros to say that he performed like a mature musician; that could never have been the case, and the attempt would have been disastrous. In any event, there are enough mature musicians around.

What Mr Sgouros has to offer is something much rarer: it is complete virtuoso competence in the artless accents of a child. It is, like a treble voice, something that is transient, but to hear it in music - as fearsomely difficult as this is a quite extraordinary experience.

The surprise of Mr Sgouros's quietness - little quietness at first - took some getting used to, as he too took a little while to settle. But then, suddenly, he found himself. The quietness was not reticence, but self-possession, as the first movement cadenza, big but also delicate, confident but also grounded in fragile innocence, confirmed the perfect rightness of this view of the work.

Indeed, it was not a view at all, but rather a total, exact inhabiting. The slow movement had its sprays of decoration all lustrous and naturally articulated, and if there was a little awkwardness in the most taxing passages of the finale, I have not heard adult hands do better, only cover more artfully.

More to the point was Mr Sgouros's retention throughout of a fine pearly tone and razor-sharp chording. He must surely have a brilliant future. And he looks as if he can cope with it.

Paul Griffiths


Original programme book

London Philharmonic Orchestra 50th Anniversary Season - British debut of Dimitris Sgouros in the Rachmaninov 3rd Piano Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich

Patron: His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent



Click for citation from The Musical Times   

Dimitris Sgouros soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No 20 with

the London Symphony Orchestra in an historic double billing with Emil Gilels

The London Symphony Orchestra

Patron: Her Majesty The Queen


The Times (of London)  
Saturday 23rd July 1983  


The Times (of London)
Monday 25th July 1983

 "Life at the top.... Sgouros returned in a long and exhausting programme of two concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra" 

 "Sgouros's facility is fantastic... His hands can encompass anything... In the Kalomiris (Symphonic Concerto), he sustained the most tremendous barrage of pounding octaves, flailing arpeggios and running scales..." 

  Dimitris Sgouros brought the house down at the Barbican in 1983, giving the British premiere of the notoriously difficult Symphonic Piano Concerto by Kalomiris (based on Greek folkloric themes), as well as a sublime account of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto.

Violin superstar NIGEL KENNEDY, when interviewed on the BBC television program "Omnibus" shortly after the concert, had nothing but praise for Dimitris Sgouros' interpretation of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto -

"I thought it was outstanding, not because he was young, but because he was a sincere musician, saying what he thought about Beethoven in a very instinctive way, which is the kind of music I like to listen to... so I would have thought if he was 25, it would have been an outstanding performance...."


>> Click here to watch the interview with Nigel Kennedy and excerpts from the concert <<


 July 1984   From left to right:
John Pattrick, Vice President of Angel Records L.A.; Erick Friedman ; Jean-Philippe Collard ; Dimitris Sgouros ;
Dr. Mark P. Malkovich, III, Director Newport Festival, Rhode Island ; Anthony Caronia, Angel Records New York
[special thanks to Mark Malkovich IV for this photograph, drawn from the personal collection of Dr Mark P. Malkovich III]

Gramophone (January 1984)



Dimitris Sgouros with Claudio Abbado

Sgouros concerts in Oxford University (where he pursued studies in post-graduate mathematics)

"This was a Mozartian reading: relaxed, urbane and conversational"


Graduation from Oxford University




Sgouros with Rostropovich and Cecile Ousset at the Harrogate International Festival - "International Celebrity Concerts"


Accompanying Yo-Yo Ma in London, in the presence of mutual friend Tony Shalit, a great patron and connoisseur of the arts


Taking a break during the filming of "Dimitris at 14"

From left to right: John Fraser (EMI producer) ; Anthony Shalit ; a member of film crew ; François Reichenbach (Oscar-winning director) presiding at head of table

Dimitris Sgouros performs Beethoven 3rd Piano Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (April 2009)

Routine programme, exceptional results

"The BBC Orchestra's precision is ideally matched with pianist Dimitris Sgouros' skilful delivery"

A review by Keith Moore (Columbia University)

[click on image to enlarge]


"In his Lisztian encore Sgouros was able to shine in a rhapsodic composition of enormous technical challenge. The work was designed to astonish and Sgouros did just that, easily transforming difficult finger work into aural opulence."


BBC Radio 3 broadcast (February 2011) - Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto with the BBC Symphony under Jiri Belohlavek


 In homage of the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt in 2011, EMI/Warner Classics proudly announces a new double-CD set entitled "Essential Liszt" with landmark recordings by Dimitris Sgouros and other featured Liszt exponents of the modern era


"Essential Liszt" - the much-anticipated new EMI/Warner Classics album (worldwide release July 2011)



Dimitris Sgouros featured in Gramophone Magazine (June 2012)

The Insider's Guide
Gramophone selects June's unmissable musical events
Top picks - Dimitris Sgouros, Pinchas Zukerman, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Maria Joao Pires, New York Philharmonic



 The Athens State Orchestra performs works by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Stravinsky with piano soloist Dimitris Sgouros under conductor Vassilis Christopoulos 



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