B i o g r a p h y
Panayotis Archontides & Natalie Tsaldarakis are the Greek pianists behind the highly successful husband-and-wife Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble. Their engaging and highly communicative approach to performance for piano four-hands and for two pianos "reveals extraordinary interpretative powers carried with conviction and authority" (Athens News).
In 1994 Natalie was invited to membership by the American National Music Honour Society Pi Kappa Lambda for excellence in performance. In 2007, Panayotis, then Music Scholar at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, received the coveted Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians again for excellence in performance.
Both pianists have been the recipients of numerous awards and prizes, including first and second place winners in piano competitions in the US, Greece, and Australia (MTNA Wurlitzer Collegiate Competition, West Chester State University Concerto Competition, the Pottstown Philadelphia Orchestra Concerto Competition, NSW Conservatory Concerto and 2-piano competitions, Deree College Faculty Development Award, WCU Graduate Development Award etc.). Natalie was also selected to compete at the Vienna-Beethoven International Competition and the Gina Bachauer International Competition, experiences which inform her delivery of a range of educational outreach activities, along with her current PhD research on Gordon Green and the 'Manchester School of Pianism' at City, University of London under professor Ian Pace.
Since 2005 the pianists have been based in London, UK. Between 1995 and until 2005, the pianists were artist teachers in residence at the American College of Greece as well as piano professors of the National Conservatory of Greece.
The duo has concertised extensively at various venues and festivals in the UK and abroad. In March 2013, the duo had its debut performance at Southbank (Women of the World Festival). Other distinguished venues include St John’s Smith Square, Oxford University, St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Steinway Hall (London), Glasgow City Halls Sibelius Academy, Athens Concert Hall, Fairfield Halls, Winchester Cathedral. The pianists have benefitted from collaborations with composers and conductors of national and international significance such as James Judd (Age of Anxiety, Trinity Laban SO, Blackheath Halls 2007, P. Archontides, soloist), prof. George Hadjinikos, Mikis Theodorakis.
The Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble has recorded for the National Greek Radio (ERA-1, ERA-3), and has appeared on Greek television, and UK’s Resonance FM 104.4.
Their CD "Romantic Dance Music for Piano Duet" was requested by the Archive for Greek Music and Musicians (Lilian Voudouris Library, Athens Concert Hall) and hailed as an important musical event of international standing by the Greeek specialist press.