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). She has been living in the Netherlands since 1988 and teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
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 music is praised for its melodic character, warm sound and emotional quality. To date her oeuvre consists of more than 100 works for diverse instrumentation and instruments from different cultures (qaunun, ney, kemençe, hurdy gurdy, vielle, viola da gamba), from solo to orchestral works, choral music, dance, theatre, opera and multisensory projects.
She has developed into one of the defining composers of Dutch musical life, collaborating with, among others, Pierre Audi, Paul Koek, Jordi Savall, Kees Boeke, Frances-Marie Uitti and ensembles including the Netherlands Bach Society, Ensemble Tetraktys, Neue Vocalisten Stuttgart, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, Ergon Ensemble and Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Overwhelming successes include her opera ‘Mariken in the Garden of Delights’ (nomination Matthijs Vermeulen Prize 2017), ‘St. Luke Passion‘, song cycle ‘Face of Love’ for singer Nena Venetsanou, oratorio ‘Oidipous‘ (nomination Matthijs Vermeulen Prize 2014), ‘Narcissus‘ (a play for music and scent), ‘Maria’ for the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the chamber operas ‘Dark’ (about Joan of Arc, libretto Edzard Mik), ‘Vita Nova‘ (based on Dante’s book of the same title) and the string quartet ‘Triptychon’ for the DoelenKwartet.
Calliope Tsoupaki’s music is published by DONEMUS and is performed at contemporary music festivals (Holland Festival, Focus Festival NY, November Music, Gaudeamus), in major concert halls including Carnegie Hall and the Alice Tully Hall in New York, Megaron in Athens, Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam and is available on CD.
Her opera ‘Fortress Europe‘ (Opera Trionfo, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble & Nederlands Student Chamber Choir) is about one of the most important issues of our time: the refugee crisis. With an unprecedented number of scheduled performances, this work received rave reviews. The world premiere took place on March 20, 2017 during the Opera Forward Festival 2017 in Amsterdam.
In 2015, her opera ‘Mariken in the Garden of Delights’ (OPERA2DAY & Asko|Schönberg Ensemble) based on a late medieval Dutch text, also had numerous performances in the Netherlands and immediately met great acclaim.
– Commissions for the Holland Festival, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2008
– Member of the jury International Gaudeamus Music Week, 2015, 2006
– Composer in residence Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam, 2001
– Composer in residence IEMA Centre Contemporary Music Athens, 1998
– Nomination NPS Cultural Prize, 1997
– Sappho’s tears nomination International Rostrum of Composers (UNESCO), 1996.