Ivory Duo are Greek pianists Panayotis Archontides and Natalie Tsaldarakis and they brought with them an adventurous programme of four-handed piano. [...]And with that Bang, the musical year is well underway in these parts.
- David Green, Music in Portsmouth 1/2023
The Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble, made up of Natalie Tsaldarakis and Panayotis Archontides, plays with confidence and wit; the engineering is first-rate; and the program notes are refreshingly full.
- Peter J. Rabinowitz, Issue 44:6, Fanfare Magazine. July/Aug 2021
A totally enchanting album of distinctive new music. Engaging, evocative and finely-structured pieces by Hugh Shrapnel and John Lewis are performed with elegance and panache by Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble.’
- Sarah Walker, BBC Radio 3 presenter 9/2020
The pianists met during their studies under Greek-American pianist Dimitri Toufexis and at the American College of Greece, where they later returned as Artist Teachers in Residence for nearly a decade.
Panayotis is a graduate of the NSW Conservatorium of Music (Sydney University, Sydney, Australia), Skalkottas Conservatoire (Athens, Greece), The American College of Music, and Trinity-Laban Conservatoire of Music. His career highlights include performing at the Sydney Opera House the Shostakovich Piano Concerto no.2 at age 16 following a competition win, for the Olympic Flame Induction ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympics alongside Feminarte Orchestra and tenor José Cura, performing Bernstein's Age of Anxiety under James Judd with the Trinity Symphony Orchestra, and receiving the coveted Silver Medal of the Woshipful Company of Musicians (2007).
Likewise, Natalie is a graduate of The American College of Greece, Polymnios Conservatoire (Patras, Greece), West Chester University of Pa. (US), Royal Holloway (London, UK), and currently on her last year as doctoral researcher at City, University of London. Her career highlights include her debut performance at the Ancient Greek Theatre of Patras aged 15, performances at Sibelius Academy (Finland), Melina Merkouri International Center (Athens, Greece), Athenaeum International Cultural Centre (Athens, Greece), and being invited to membership of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society (US, 1994). Natalie was a trustee of the Cornelius Cardew Concerts Trust (2016-2022).
The duo's collaborations include the circle of composers associated with Altera Musica in Athens, Greece, the Cornelius Cardew Concerts Trust and Morley College in the UK; their earlier collaborations with Lola Perrin some of which resulted in performances separately with trumpeter Simon Desbruslais and Nadia Lassersson, with whom they had a few further concerts as an ensemble for six and eight hands.
The duo's concerts include Athens Concert Hall, Southbank for the WOW Festival, Blackheath Halls, Steinway Hall, Fairfield Halls, St John's Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields. In 2017 Yale University used their home recording of their edited manuscript of African American composer Helen Eugenia Hagan in a commemorative video of the composer's life and work. In 2021 WQXR radio station in New York picked the same revival recording of the work for their Hear Me Out curated series. Other broadcasts include BBC Radio 3, Scala Radio, Greek national radio stations ERA-1, ERA-3 and on an array of radio stations across North America.
2023 found them back in the recording studio for Hugh Shrapnel's project with music for solo piano and for two pianos. They also premiered a work by composer Elena Pavlea at Athens Concert Hall (G.Marinos Hall, 19/5/2023) which attracted the Greek media attention. They will be organising a day-long festival of presentations and performances on the theme of silenced, forgotten, and repressed music at City, University of London (TBA, 2023-24). In late 2022, the duo began the 'House of Pianos' YouTube series with interviews of composers and pianists which is set to resume in the fall 2023. Currently, they are preparing recordings of new works for piano duo by Hugh Benham to be featured on the United Music Publishing website (see here)