Born into a family of musicians, Greek violist Krystalia Gaitanou started playing the violin under the tutelage of Dimitri Semsis. At the age of 16 she switched over to viola, studying with Natassa Anana at the Musical Horizons Conservatory in Athens. Upon her graduation she received a viola diploma and a first prize, while at the same time she was honored with a gold medal for excellence (a superior distinction awarded for the first time to a violist). She earned the “Alexandra Trianti” Scholarship from the Athens Megaron Concert Hall and pursued further studies in Paris with Vincent Aucante in CNR of Rueil-Malmaison and Isabelle Lequien in CNR of Boulogne. She also holds a bachelors degree in musicology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Ms. Gaitanou has been awarded the Special Distinction of the Pan-Hellenic Competition for orchestral instruments as well as the “Musical Prize” of the Athens College. As a recipient of the Alexander Onassis Foundation Scholarship and the Greek State Foundation Scholarship, as well as the Helen F. Whitaker Fund String Initiative Scholarship, Ms. Gatanou earned the master’s degree and the professional studies certificate in the orchestral performance program at Manhattan School of Music in the studio of Karen Dreyfus.
As an orchestra player, she has appeared in some of the world’s leading concert halls and has collaborated with such orchestras as the Tanglewood Music Center orchestra, European Youth Orchestra, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Mediterranean Youth Orchestra, State Orchestra of Athens, Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Colors, Orpheus Institute Chamber Sinfonia and the Kurt Masur MSM Seminar Orchestra, among others. She has also attended international festivals and master classes given by Yuri Bashmet in Accademia Chigiana in Italy, Hartmut Rohde in Pablo Casals Festival in France, Wilfried Strehle in Salzburg’s International Summer Academy “Mozarteum”, and with Michael Ouzounian and Steven Ansell in New York and Boston. She has performed extensively as a chamber musician and has been a founding member of the “Consonance” string quartet. Ms. Gaitanou was selected to participate as a fellow in the Tanglewood Music Center 2009, the Athens Festival, and has been a regular guest in the Santo Domingo Music Festival.