Iakovos Kolanian

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Born in Greece in 1960 to an Armenian father and a Greek mother, Kolanian, influenced by the musical currents of the time (pop, rock, as well as classical) at the age of 13, started his musical journey that eventually led him to the National Conservatory of Athens. There, he studied classical guitar and graduated in 1985 with top awards and a special honor for exceptional performance.

Throughout the years he has toured in Europe, Asia and Latin America. He performed as a soloist with the Athens State Orchestra, Thessalonica State Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra of Greek Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), The Camerata Orchestra of Athens, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as with numerous ensembles of chamber music.

He has been regularly featured in television and radio programs such as BBC, ORF, Radio France, ERT, RIK. One of these collaborations, in 1991, resulted in the recording and release of a CD of Loris Tjeknavorian's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra with the composer himself as the conductor in a production of Austrian Television (ORF).

In addition to his career as a soloist and recording artist, Kolanian has been the head of the Classical Guitar Department at the Contemporary Athens Conservatory since 1992, and is an honorary professor at the Armenian Academy in Yerevan.

Shoror: Armenian Folk Music for Guitar was produced by Kevork Imirzian and is on sale at e-tailers such as http://www.cdbaby.com/kolanian and http://www.amazon.com. Apple's iTunes will also be carrying Shoror for digital download in 2005.

Pomegranate Music Founder and CEO Raffi Meneshian noted, "Being able to present Armenian folk music though the medium of guitar is a unique project for any record label. To have one of Europe's best classical guitarists be the proponent of this material is even more special. We are thrilled to be starting our North American tour in two of America's most historic and important Armenian communities, Fresno, and San Francisco."

In December of 2004, the influential All Music Guide critic Rick Anderson gave Shoror: Armenian Folk Music for Guitar a four-star review and stated, "…what Kolanian has created here is an admirably lyrical, complex, and insightful fusion of folk and classical music, the kind of thing that rarely works well at all. In this case it works beautifully, mainly because of the combination of Kolanian's deep feeling for this music and his equally deep mastery of both his instrument and the principles of classical guitar style. Note in particular the delicately woven counterpoint he creates in his arrangement of 'Yaman Yar,' and the gently dancing grace he brings to 'Zankezouri.' Very highly recommended."