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Michalis Katachanas 
Violist • Improviser • Composer • Educator
"The Third Duty is a wild unbridled statement from the multitalented Michalis Katachanas. 
A history of surprise. A mixture of the earth and the surreal" 
Ran Blake
short CV

Michalis Katachanas was born in Piraeus in 1979. He is a violist improviser supporting different musical genres - Jazz, Contemporary, Traditional Greek , Classical - composer and educator. At the age of eight he took his first classical violin lessons from Kostas Kavakos. He graduated from the Experimental Music Highschool of Pallini. He  holds a Bachelor degree in Music from the Ionian University (GR) under the supervision of Dimos Dimitriadis and a Masters degree in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory in Boston (USA), after receiving a scholarship from the Fulbright Foundation. He has been a student of  Charlie Banakos and Ran Blake.

As a professional musician, he has collaborated with various composers and musicians, among others, Jackie Leven, Antony Coleman, Joe Morris, Nikos Xydakis, Nikos Papdogiorgos, Theodor Mirisclavos, Mimis Plessas and as a composer, he has created Michalis Katachanas Quartet which is inspired by the sound of modern European jazz in combination with  the Mediterranean and Balkans music . He also composes and plays music for the theater. He has participated in numerous concerts and festivals and presented his work in diverse venues worldwide.

He has recorded two personal albums: Murderess and The Third Duty and participated as a sideman in many recordings in Greece and abroad.

Since 2014, he is a faculty teacher at the Jazz Department of the Athens Conservatoire. He has also worked as a music teacher in public elementary schools in Athens, shaping his own pedagogical method of conducting a modern children’s chorus and improvising by producing on the spot impressive soundscapes, using sounds from nature and everyday life. In 2018 she collaborated with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre and the Greek National Opera, in the framework of the public educational programmes of the Stavros Niarchos Park. Since 2022 he has been orhestrating the repertoire of the "Orchestra Violione" in Greek traditional music and rebetiko of the gramophone period, under the direction of Giannis Zarias, Assistant Professor of Violin at the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia.

detailed CV

Academic Studies


09/2008 - 05/2010 

MA in Contemporary Improvisation | Grade: Excellent (9.7/10) 

New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, U.S.A

Post graduation project: a concert with original compositions 


Primary Lessons with:

   •  Charlie Banakos | Bebop Language, Ear Training

  • Ran Blake | Contemporary Improvisation, Ear Training

  • Antony Coleman | Contemporary Improvisation  

  • Tanya Kalmanovich | Jazz Viola

  • Martha Katz | Classical Viola 

  •  Hankus Netsky | Ear Training 

  •  Frank Calberg | Jazz Composition 


10/1998 - 02/2007 

BA in Music Studies | Grade:  8.23/10

Ionian University Corfu, Greece

Graduation project: a concert with original compositions entitled “The Viola in Jazz: Composition and Performance”


09/1990 - 06/1996  Music High school of Palinni





Gerodelis Foundation


New England Conservatory Merit Award 


New England Conservatory


New England Conservatory


Fulbright Foundation in Greece




New England Conservatory hosting Paul Desmond


New England Conservatory hosting Dave Holland  


IASJ Annual International Meeting,  Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A 


Summer Jazz Academy, Ionian University | Michail Hagigeorgiou, Stephan Galad


Summer Jazz Academy, Ionian University | Katchie Kartright, Michail Hagigeorgiou

Ionian University hosting Gunter Zomer


Artistic Experience


During his undergraduate studies he was a member of various ensembles performing music of many different genres: Baroque, Chamber music, Contemporary music of the 20th century, Greek Traditional music, Jazz and Free Improvisation. He was a member of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Ionian University | conductor: Miltos Logiadis, the Ionian Jazz ensemble 2 under the supervision of professor Dimos Dimitriadis, and the Free Improvisation Ensemble. During his postgraduate studies he performed in many concerts either participating in projects of his schoolmates or collaborating with Ran Blake, Jerry Bergonzi, Allan Chase, Antony Coleman, Joe Morris, David Harris, Christian Wolf and others. After his graduate studies and since his return to Athens he has founded 2 Jazz quartets under his name playing original compositions, one quartet under the name “Freκadela”, experimenting throughout the boundaries of Greek Music, the Frog String Quartet performing Jazz and Balkan music.    


Professional Experience


Michail Katachanas has been working as a professional musician since he was 17 years old, playing Greek Traditional, Balkan, Classical, Jazz , Contemporary and Improvised music.


He has collaborated as a soloist with: Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Martha Fritzila, Nikos Xidakis, Jackie Leven, Joe Morris, Antony Coleman, Maurice El Medioni, and others and  has participated in numerous concerts in Greece and abroad (USA, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Austria, Morocco, Turkey, Chile).  

In 2012 Michalis Katachanas founded his own Quartet, performing original compositions and combining different musical genres: Jazz, Mediterranean and Greek Traditional, Avant-Garde.



2020 Jazz Chronicles |  SNFCC 

2019 Django Fest  | Frog String Quartet  | Technopolis Athens 


Django Fest | Frog String Trio & Friends | Technopolis Athens 

Aqua Jazz Athens - Athens & Epidaurus Festival 


Jazz Night at Sea Festival-Lipasmata 

Elaionas Festival |  Frog String Quartet  

2015 Greek Jazz Panorama/New Generation 2, Onassis Foundation 


Syros Jazz Festival 

Jazz Festival Gialino Up Stage 

Radio Nights @ Sto Kokkino 

2013 Acoustic Jazz Festival, Athens 

2012 World Jazz Music Festival, Athens 

2011 Jazz Now, Thessaloniki Concert Hall 

Since 2010 he is living and working in Athens performing and recording constantly as a leader or a sideman for a variety of projects and genres, composing and playing  also music for theater shows and Movies


Recordings as a sideman


Angelos Triantafyllou / The Birds / Onassis Foundation 

Manouche Drome / Short Stories / FM Records 

Michael Paouris / Bandability / BLB Records


Michalis Brouzos / The Last Lust / CD Baby 

Alexandros Kapsokavadis / To pikro / Gavrilidis Publication  


Yanna Vasileiou / Yialinos Kosmos / Yanna Vasileiou 

Nikos Papadogiorgos / Crossroads / Agon Productions 

Costinho / Vicinity / Triple Bath 

Vaggelis Paraskevaidis / Indoles / Ikaros Records 

Eteronimisi / Panic Records 


Nikos Papadogiorgos / 8 Songs / Agon Productions 

Dimitris Klonis / 101 / Violin Productions 

Theodor Mirisclavos / PTOSIS / Polytropon Records 

Leonidas Balafas / Likno / Antart Productions 

Alkman / Stin Poli Aniko / Mikros Heros 


Apostolis Armagos, Xenia Dorotheatou / Aposchesis / Redefine Productions 2014

Thanassis Papakonstantinou / Invitation to Cyanide Dinner /  Blues and Soul Records  

Jazz Matazz / Krissoi and Pin-up Girls / Jazz Matazz 

Michalis Hatzis /Mystic Efratis / Piano Plus Festival 


Fide Koksal / Buyu / EMI


Jackie Leven / Elegy for Johnny Cash / Cooking Vinyl 


Personal Recordings

His first  personal record with original compositions/recompositions of old Greek Rebetiko music transformed in modern Jazz music, was released in October 2014.  In May 2019 the original soundtrack of the Theater performance “Guerre des paysages”, was released. The second personal record “The Third Duty” with new original compositions was released in 2020.


Michalis Katachanas / The Third Duty / Violin Productions


Michalis Katachanas-Vassilis Tzavaras / Guerre Des Payssages / KET


Michalis Katachanas / Murderess / Redefine Productions




The Birds / Screenwriter: Aristophanes / Director: Nikos Karathanos 

2020 Teatro Municipal de Las Condes, Santiago, Chile

2019 Onassis Stegi, Athens, Greece 

2018 New York, St. Ann’s Warehouse


It was One and it was No One / Screenwriter: Christos Agelakou / Director: Sophia Palatza / Composer: Michalis Katachanas 

2019 Theater Simeio, Athens, Greece 


Guerre Des Paysages / Screenwriter: Dimitris Alexakis / Director: Irene Bonaud / Composers: Michalis Katachanas & Vassilis Tzavaras

2019 Theater de la Commune, Paris, France

2018 Comedie de Reims, Reims, France

2018 - 2017 TV Control Center | KET, Athens, Greece 


A Nail on the Wall  / Screenwriter: Lefteris Katachanas / Director: Christos Sterioglou / Composer: Michalis Katachanas

2013 Neos Kosmos Theatre, Athens, Greece


Trisevgeni  / Screenwriter: Kostis Palamas / Director: Lydia Koniordou / Composer: Takis Farazis  / Principal musician: Michalis Katachanas

2011 National Theater of Athens, Greece



2020 Who will be eaten Director: Elpiniki Voutsa / Original Music: Michalis Katachanas

2017 Silent witness Director: Dimitris Koutsiabasakos

2016 Frozen ambrosia Director: Konstantin Papanikolaou

2012 Unfair world Director: Filippos Tsitos


Orchestra participations


Athens Camerata, (conductor George Petrou)  Megaron-The Athens Concert Hall 


Athens Philharmonic Orchestra, (conductor Giannis Hadjiloizou) Carnegie Hall, New York, Octomber 

Athens Philharmonic Orchestra, (conductor Giannis Hadjiloizou) Megaron-The Athens Concert Hall, April 


Hellenic Open University Symphonic Orchestra, (conductor Giannis Hadjiloizou) Patra


Hellenic Open University Symphonic Orchestra, (conductor George Galanis) Patra 


Educational Experience


Since 2014, he has been a faculty teacher at the Jazz Department of the Athens Conservatoire. He has also worked as a music teacher in public elementary schools in Athens, shaping his own pedagogical method of conducting a modern children’s chorus and improvising by producing on the spot impressive soundscapes, using sounds from nature and everyday life. In 2018, he collaborated  with Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and the Greek National Opera, conducting his modern choir to schools that visited the Stavros Niarchos Park. 


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