Spotlight on conductor – Spiros Rantos

Spiros Rantos with his wife, Brachi Tilles

Spiros Rantos, violinist and conductor, was born in Corfu, Greece, grew up in Athens and pursued his musical studies in Vienna, Austria, where he met his wife and musical partner, Israeli born pianist Brachi Tilles.Spiros has won the International Violin competitions of Colmar, France and Forte dei Marmi, Italy and commissioned and promoted over 400 performances around the world as a soloist, chamber music player and conductor. He has recorded over 55 records for many labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi, Adelcord and Grevillea Records. He has been a frequent guest performer for National broadcast companies in Europe, Asia and Australia. Spiros came to Australia in 1976 as a member of the Vienna based group Ensemble 1. He is the founder, artistic director and conductor of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and has taught at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Southern Queensland & University of Melbourne.

The Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra has the pleasure of performing under the expert baton of Spiros Rantos for their upcoming concert, “Monumental Masterpiece” at the Tweed Civic Centre, Sunday 17th November 2013. Spiros Rantos, who is of Greek origin, has a reputation internationally for his brilliant violin playing and conducting. One can’t help but be under his spell with the pure emotion he evokes from his orchestra. The charismatic Spiros is also well known for his storytelling and a great sense of humour.

We spoke to Spiros and asked him a few questions about his amazing career.

  1. Why did you choose to play the violin?“The decision was with my parents and uncle who was a famous cellist in Greece. When I started at age five I really didn’t have much say, but by the time I was fifteen I started performing in my teachers’ orchestra in Athens, and having many “professional” engagements. At eighteen I held the position of first violinist at the Opera in Linz, Austra, and the next year I moved to Vienna.”
  2. What style of music inspires you the most?“I try to keep an open mind as every genre of music and every part of music history has its own justification and place in our minds and souls. I am, though, mostly fond of the classics – Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. I have a great admiration for Dvorak and really love Prokofieff, Debussy and Ravel.”
  3. Who is your favourite conductor?“There have been so many amazing conductors through history that is very difficult for me to pinpoint one. Each one has brought their understanding and feeling of the music they present and one can’t help but be under their spell during performances. Apart from the great ones like Solti, Boehm and Toscanini, there are two close to my heart: Sergio Celibidache and Mariss Janson.”
  4. Tell us what the coming year holds for you.“In the next few months I will be performing with Brachi Tilles on Piano, the Mozart Concerti for the Moreton Bay Orchestra, recitals in Noosa and Bribie Island, masterclasses and recitals in Victoria and conducting a concert with the Toowoomba Concert Orchestra. We also hope to finish our recordings this year and release to CDs by the end of 2013.”