Past Event

Columbia Sounds: Speaking Pianist

September 26, 2018
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Columbia Global Centers l Paris, 4 rue de Chevreuse, 75006

The Columbia Sounds concert on September 26 will be presented by pianist John Kamfonas, who will perform a program of Chopin preludes (op. 28), the Piano suite op. 96 by Alan Hovhaness, the Ionian suite by Manos Hadjidakis, and the Bach/Busoni: Chaconne, along with original improvisations.

Stéphane Ginsburgh has postponed his appearance due to illness.


Embracing his penchant for improvisation alongside his passion for the classical and contemporary repertoire, Greek-American pianist John Kamfonas has given performances around the world, from New York to India, Paris to Beijing, which have been described as possessing "a grandeur that lifted the music into the sublime...and a delicacy that took one's breath away." (National Herald, New York) As one of few improvising classical pianists, Mr. Kamfonas performs music ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Debussy and Barber interweaved among spontaneously conceived improvisations. He gave his New York debut at Merkin Hall in 2012 and has performed in numerous summer festivals including the Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), Aspen Music Festival, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, and the Greencastle Summer music festival (Indiana). Other solo concerts include performances at Steinway Hall (New York), Baruch Performing Arts Center (New York), and most recently at Salle Cortot (Paris) in 2017. As a devoted proponent of contemporary music, Mr. Kamfonas has performed and worked with world renowned composers of today including George Tsontakis, Eric Ewazen, Victor Kioulaphides, and Alexandros Markeas among others. He also collaborated alongside various members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble for a series of concerts at DePauw University during the summer of 2017. Mr. Kamfonas currently resides in Paris as a resident musician and Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar at the Fondation des Etats-Unis, the site of a recent solo recital part of which was broadcast nationally on France’s TV channel TF1 in 2016. He holds degrees from Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris having studied under Phillip Kawin, Jean-David Coen, Marian Rybicki, and Jean Fassina.

Cosponsors: Fritz Center Reiner for Contemporary Music; Columbia Global Centers | Paris; Department of Music, Columbia University; Columbia University Club of France; Columbia Undergraduate Programs in Paris; and Qubit.