The Cypriot pianist, conductor and composer, Marios Papadopoulos, threw his hands at the piano at the age of 7, and began his career as a musician as early as that. The piano was meant to be for his older sister, yet, soon enough his love for music unfolded and he began taking private piano lessons setting off for the musical journey of his life. The piano became his main instrument although being a self-taught player of the whistle, duduk, harmonica and the Turkish, ethnic woodwind instrument of ney as well. Marios was at first, drawn into music by his father, who earned a degree in Byzantine music and sang church anthems from the age of 15. From as far as he remembers himself, Marios used to listen to his father practising at home and followed him to the Sunday mass exercising, ameliorating and acquainting his ear to the Byzantine sounds. In search of enriching his knowledge in the wider field of music, Marios began taking harmony, theory and fugue and counterpoint lessons along with the piano lessons. He began, in this way, constructing his career as a musician slowly and steadily investing on solid foundations for the future. Marios seemed to be an exceptional child in music, “a natural talent”, as his teachers used to say and he moved on to higher grades, not corresponding to his early age, excelling in the piano and theory exams each year. His interest in music became more and more obvious when he entered high school, where he was given the opportunity to participate in the school orchestra, playing the piano, as well as participating in other choirs in his free time in the afternoons. What is more, at the age of 16, he composed music for a school performance. And this was his very first touch with film music.
Upon finishing high school, Marios Papadopoulos had to serve in the army for two years, a period during which he had not lost contact with his musical orientation. He rather found his inspiration during this difficult time of his life to compose music and write the lyrics for an upcoming singer of his country, contracting with Universal Records Company in Greece (2004). The song became a success reaching the TOP 5 on the charts in a well-known radio channel of his country. Marios extended his influence in the music industry even further, by entering the field of composing music for advertisements on the radio at this time of his life. After finishing the army, he continued to develop as a musician by studying musicology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, where he ultimately acquired his skills as a musician but also where he enhanced his knowledge over the study of music through the passage of centuries.
Marios Papadopoulos’ enthusiasm and passion for music have driven him into a Master degree in Composition of Music for Film and Television at the University of Bristol in the UK. He was selected to be one of the six students accepted by the University for this Master and had the chance to meet experts in this field such us William Goodchild, Francis Shaw and Liz Purnell and be taught by them. In Bristol, he found his way to success as he composed the music for the new Aqua Vita showreel that stood out and was therefore, selected by the independent production company of Aqua Vita productions for use on the showreel and played on the company’s website.
Despite starting his music career as a songwriter, Marios Papadopoulos has advanced his skills as a producer and arranger of pieces. His greatest advantage is his ability to slide between different genres and styles of music composing them with relative ease, exhibiting multiple faces in his compositions. Marios, specialises in composing film music as well as music for documentaries with action, drama and adventure music as well as music for trailers and soundtracks constituting his main areas of occupation and interest. Being an excellent user of technology, Marios composes his music in his own professional studio, manipulating it in every possible way to get the desired result.
As a composer, his music is enriched with ethnic elements which characterise it and give it strength, passion and identity among the other thousand composers of the 21st century. Perfectionism and passion, combined with a taste of determination and the dynamics of his music sum up Marios Papadopoulos, the musician and the composer.
When reviewing Marios Papadopoulos’ piano recital debut in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1975, the London Times critic Bryce Morrison wrote “In embryonic form, Papadopoulos has all the attributes of one of the world’s greatest players”. Judging by the critical acclaim his recitals and recordings have received ever since, Papadopoulos’ position amongst the great pianists of today is now widely recognised. His recordings of the L.v. Beethoven Sonatas have been set on a level with Artur Schnabel, Alfred Brendel, Daniel Barenboim, and Wilhelm Kempff (Daily Telegraph and Classic FM Magazine Critics' Choice).
Since his London debut, Marios Papadopoulos’ career as pianist and conductor has been world-wide. He has appeared as soloist with, and has conducted many of the world’s great orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, London Mozart Players and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1998, he founded Oxford Philomusica, the Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford, of which he is Music Director. As part of the world-wide celebrations for the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth in 2006, he directed from the keyboard the complete cycle of all the Mozart Concertos in seven concerts with Oxford Philomusica at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. In a three-week Beethoven Festival in 2008, he conducted the complete cycle of all the L.v. Beethoven Symphonies and directed from the keyboard the five piano concertos in six concerts to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Oxford Philomusica.
Apart from the complete L.v. Beethoven Piano Sonatas which Marios Papadopoulos is currently recording, his prolific output as a recording artist includes performances of Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the Hyperion label, works by Mozart for a Readers’ Digest album, works by Moussorgsky - including Pictures at an Exhibition - piano works by César Franck and the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Dmitri Shostakovich. Most of his recordings are now available on the newly-launched Oxford Philomusica record label.
Marios Papadopoulos holds a doctorate in music from City University and he is a Fellow by Special Election of Keble College Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.