Calliope Tsoupaki makes music that has a mood of timelessness. Her objective is expressing the essence as simply and clearly as possible. In her compositions she uses elements of early and contemporary music as well as the music of Greece and the Middle East. Combing these aspects, she skillfully creates a completely personal style.
Calliope Tsoupaki was born on May 27, 1963, in Piraeus (Greece).
Calliope Tsoupaki was educated at the Hellinicon Conservatory in Athens and took composition lessons with Yannis Ioanithis. Besides that, she took summer courses with Iannis Xenakis, Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez, and participated in the Internationale Ferienkurse in Darmstadt in 1984 and 1986.
In the Netherlands, Tsoupaki continued her studies in composition with Louis Andriessen and in electronic music with Gilius van Bergeijk at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
In 2006 and 2015 Calliope was a member of the jury International Gaudeamus Music Week. Since 2007, she is teaching composition at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
In the Netherlands she developed into one of the defining composers of Dutch musical life. Her music is praised for its melodic character, warm sound and emotional quality.
Calliope Tsoupaki makes music that has a mood of timelessness. Her objective is expressing the essence as simply and clearly as possible. In her compositions she uses elements of early and contemporary music as well as the music of Greece and the Middle East. Combining these aspects, she skillfully creates a completely personal style. Her oeuvre consists of more than 70 works for various instrumentations, from solo to orchestral works, dance, theater, opera and multimedia projects.
Calliope Tsoupaki’s music is performed at contemporary music festivals, in major concert halls worldwide and is also available on CD.
In 1998, Calliope was composer-in-residence of IEMA Centre Contemporary Music Athens and in 2001 of the Sweelinck Conservatory Amsterdam. She wrote several commissions for the Holland Festival in 2015, 2014, 2010 and 2008.
Overwhelming successes include her ‘St. Luke Passion‘, the Greek Love Songs for singer Nena Venetsanou, the oratorio ‘Oidipous‘, ‘Maria‘ for the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the chamber operas ‘Dark‘ (about Joan of Arc, libretto Edzard Mik), ‘Vita Nova‘ (based on Dante’s book with the same title) and the string quartet Triptychon for the DoelenKwartet.
Her opera ‘Mariken in the Garden of Delights’ (OPERA2DAY & Asko|Schönberg Ensemble), based on a late medieval Dutch text, premiered in October 2015 in the Netherlands with an unprecedented number of scheduled performances and raving reviews.
Her composition ‘Sappho’s Tears‘ (1990) received an honorable mention at the International Rostrum of Composers, organized by the International Music Council under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris. In 1997, Tsoupaki was nominated for the NPS Cultural Prize. Furthermore, The oratorio ‘Oidipous’ was nominated for the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize 2014