Danae Kara (Greek: Δανάη Καρά; born on 27 July 1953) is a Greek classical concert pianist,[1] recording artist, and educator, best known for her interpretations of 20th century Greek modernist composers.[2][3][4][5]

Danae Kara
Δανάη Καρά
Portrait of Danae Kara (2014) – photo by Alexandros Dimitropoulos
Portrait of Danae Kara (2014)
Born (1953-07-27) 27 July 1953 (age 68)
Istanbul, Turkey
EducationIstanbul Municipal Conservatory
Athens Conservatoire
Juilliard School
Alma materJuilliard School
Known forPiano concerts
StyleClassical music
AwardsRecording Award
2000 The Union of Greek Theater & Music Critics
Hellenic Music Award
2003 National Council of Music/member of UNESCO

Early lifeEdit

Greek pianist Danae Kara is a superb advocate in these first-recorded performances.

— Mark Lehman, The Absolute Sound[6]

Danae Kara was born on 27 July 1953 in Istanbul, Turkey.[7] She began music lessons at the age of five, in 1958, at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory with Ferdi Statzer (né Friedrich von Statzer, pupil of Emil von Sauer and Friedrich Wührer).[2] Having immigrated to Greece in 1966, she continued at the Athens Conservatory with the pianist Maria Cherogeorge-Sigara (Greek: Μαρία Χαιρογιώργου-Σιγάρα, pupil of Alfredo Casella and Marguerite Long) and composer Konstantinos Kydoniatis (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Κυδωνιάτης) for theory,[8] earning both her "Piano Soloist’s Diploma" and "Advanced Theory Diploma" with the distinction of "First Prize" and "Gold Medal of Iph. & A. Syggrou" in 1972.[2]

As a scholarship student, she graduated from the Juilliard School of Music (New York City) in 1978,[9][10] New York with the Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Music (1978).[2] It was at Juilliard where her artistic identity was honed by her principal teacher, Jacob Lateiner,[11] and by composer David Diamond as well. In addition to receiving the Isabelle Vengerova legacy from Lateiner, she has been coached by Ivan Moravec, and Nina Svetlanova, student of Heinrich Neuhaus.[2]

Music careerEdit

Since her recital debut at the age of sixteen (1969) in Athens, Greece, she has given performances worldwide in major venues in European cities, in Latin America, throughout Russia and the former Soviet Republics.[11][12][13]

Kara has toured extensively during the years 1979 to 2009 performing as a soloist and recitalist in festivals and concert halls with numerous orchestras such as the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Athens State Orchestra,[14] the BBC Philharmonic, the Bangkok Symphony, the Budapest Camerata, the Cervantino Festival Orchestra, the Hellenic Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Festival Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre national de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon, the Moscow Virtuosi, the Sofia Philharmonic, the Salzburg-Mozarteum Orchestra, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, among many others.[9]

Among the conductors with whom she has collaborated were Giancarlo Andretta, Matthias Bamert, Hans Graf, John Georgiadis, Philippe Entremont, Miltiadis Karydis, Jakob Kowalski, Alexander Lazarev, Friedemann Layer, Christian Mandeal, Alexander Myrat, Robertas Servenikas, and Vladimir Spivakov.[2]

She has had live concert broadcasts on both radio and television by the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, Radio & Television Baku, Radio Educación, UNAM Radio, Radio France, France Musique, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, WGBH Boston, WQXR-FM, "Glastonbury Radio" and BBC Radio 3.[7]

As a chamber musician she has collaborated with mezzo-soprano Markella Hatziano, bass Christophoros Stamboglis, violinist Hideko Udagawa, and the string quartets "Voces", "Auer" and "Kroger".[2][15]

As Artist-in-residence, she taught at the American College of Greece from 1987 to 2012.

Her discography with Naxos Records, Universal/Decca Records, Agorá Musica, Philips/PolyGram, Millenium Archives, EMI Classics and Lyra Records was met by the international press[16][17][18] with great critical attention and acclaim.[19][20][21] More specifically, she won accolades[7] for her unusual premieres of diverse styles such as the recordings of Mendelssohn's "Three Piano Concerti",[22][23] Sicilianos's "Piano Concerto",[24][25][26] Nikos Skalkottas's "Piano Concerti",[27] Cimarosa's "62 Sonatas", Brahms's "Opus 116, Seven Fantasias, for piano", "Op. 117, Three Intermezzi, for piano", Op. 118, Six Pieces, for piano & Op. 119, Four Pieces, for piano,[28][29] Dimitri Mitropoulos's "Piano Works",[30][31] Manos Hatzidakis's "Piano Works"[32] and other of her albums. She was the recipient of the "Recording Award 2000", by "The Union of Greek Theater & Music Critics".[7]

For her enduring commitment and determination in giving premières of works outside the standard repertory, such as the monumental "Third Piano Concerto" by Nikos Skalkottas in 2003[9] in Paris, France, Danae Kara received the "Hellenic Music Award" of the "National Council of Music/member of UNESCO".[11]


Danae Kara at Columbia Studios in 1982.
  • Kyriakos Sfetsas "In the stream of the Sun"
    (1982 LP by EMI-Columbia, 1995 CD by Finea Sound)
  • Danae Kara "Plays Greek Composers – Kalomiris / Skalkottas / Hadjidakis / Konstantinidis / Theodorakis"
    (1983 LP by Philips/PolyGram, 2000 CD by Universal)
  • Danae Kara "Plays Manuel De Falla & Mikis Theodorakis"
    (1985 LP by Philips/PolyGram, 2000 CD by Universal)
  • Manolis Kalomiris "Evening Legends"
    (1987 LP by Concert Athens, 1989 CD by Lyra)
  • Danae Kara "Piano Gems"
    (1992 CD by Lyra)
  • Christoforos Stamboglis & Danae Kara "Compsizioni Da Camera"
    (1996 CD by Lyra)
  • Manos Hadjidakis "The Piano Works"
    (1996 CD by Agora Musica, 2008 CD Reissue by Naxos Records)
  • Dimitris Mitropoulos "Piano Works & World Première"
    (1997 CD by Agora Musica, 2013 Digital Form Reissue by Naxos Records)
  • Domenico Cimarosa "The Piano Sonatas"
    (1997 Double CD by Agora Musica)
  • Yorgos Sisilianos "Concerto for piano and Orchestra"
    La Camerata, Orchestra of the Friends of Music, Athens Concert Hall Orchestra in Residence, Alexandros Myrat, cond.
    (1998 CD by Agora Musica)
  • Felix Mendelssohn "The Three Piano Concertos"
    La Camerata, Orchestra of the Friends of Music, Athens Concert Hall Orchestra in Residence, Alexandros Myrat, cond.
    (1998 CD by Agora Musica)
  • Johannes Brahms "The Last Piano Works – op. 116, 117, 118 & 119"
    (2000 CD by Agora Musica)
  • Thanos Mikroutsikos "Dance and Memories, a selection of piano works"
    (2001 CD by Agora Musica)
  • Nikos Skalkottas "Piano Concertino in C, Piano Concerto No. 3"
    Orchestre National de Montpellier, Friedemann Layer, cond.
    (2004 CD by Universal/Decca)


See alsoEdit


  • Pianist, scholar, "Connoisseur: Essays in Honor of Jacob Lateiner" (Festschrift Series) Publisher: Pendragon Press, ISBN 978-1-5764-7001-5
  • Kenji Kondo, "Unknown Eastern European Classical Music", 2011, ISBN 978-4-7872-7306-2
  • Musical America Worldwide Directory (1983–1986)
  • 2004 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc, Britannica Book of the year, Encyclopædia Britannica, ISBN 960-8322-07-3


  1. ^ Νέα δισκογραφία με την πιανίστα Δανάη Καρά. kathimerini.gr (in Greek). Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Η Δανάη Καρά ερμηνεύει τις σονάτες για πιάνο του Μπετόβεν στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής Αθηνών. culturenow.gr (in Greek). February 27, 2013. Archived from the original on April 27, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  3. ^ Η Δανάη Καρά στον Κύκλο "Οι σονάτες για πιάνο του Μπετόβεν". clickatlife.gr (in Greek). Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  4. ^ Mark Lehman. "Press Quotes". No. July/August 2005. USA. American Record Guide. …Pianist Danae Kara has also championed Skalkottas and was one of the first to record his music on CD…Danae Kara brings zest and vitality to the Concertino, while finding an ideal balance of intensity and forward drive in the difficult and dense Third concerto…
  5. ^ Scott Morrison (January 3, 2009). "Press Quotes". Middlebury VT, USA. Amazon.com. This is unpretentious music whose effect, on me at least, was one of hypnotic calm leavened with occasional flashes of humor and toe-tapping. Greek pianist Danae Kara, a Juilliard trained musician who has made a specialty of the music of such Greek composers as Skalkottas, Kalomiris, Theodorakis and the great conductor/composer Dimitri Mitropoulos, bewitches with her subtle phrasing and rhythmic aptness. She is given lifelike sound on this disc, part of Naxos' 'Greek Classics' series. It was originally recorded and released in 1996 on Agorà Musica.
  6. ^ Mark Lehman. "Danae Kara". No. August/September 2005. USA. The Absolute Sound. Greek pianist Danae Kara is a superb advocate in these first-recorded performances.
  7. ^ a b c d "Concert Pianist Danae Kara". Musicians Gallery. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  8. ^ Δανάη Καρά. Μεγάλη Μουσική Βιβλιοθήκη της Ελλάδας (in Greek). Archived from the original on August 12, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c "Danae Kara". Naxos – The World's Leading Classical Music Group. Archived from the original on April 9, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  10. ^ "Natalie Tsaldarakis, concert pianist". The Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble. Archived from the original on April 17, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c "Danae Kara". Classics Online. Archived from the original on April 9, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  12. ^ Kaiti Romanou (February 15, 1980). "Press Quotes". Athens, Greece. Kathimerini. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2014. ...her interpretation of Mephisto Waltz was a real spiritual waterfall a powerful generator of ideas, images, meditative thoughts. her introspective nature and amazing virtuosity contribute to a highly exciting performance... the audience was deeply moved...
  13. ^ Volkmar Parschalk (May 8, 1979). "Press Quotes". Tyrol, Austria. Tiroler Tageszeitung. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2014. ...with an arresting originality... a flamboyant technique caused that frenzy of applause.
  14. ^ "¡Espana! Cycle (V)". Athens State Orchestra. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  15. ^ "Το Κουαρτέτο Kroger συναντά την πιανίστα Δανάη Καρά στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής Αθηνών". XrimaOnline.gr (in Greek). October 24, 2013. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  16. ^ Hans G. Schürmann (November 14, 1984). "Press Quotes". Bonn, Germany. General-Anzeiger. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2014. Since the late Gina Bachauer there has been no other greek virtuoso on the international scene. With Danae Kara this has changed.
  17. ^ "Press Quotes". Bonn, Germany: Heinz-Dieter Terschüren. Bonner Rundschau. November 14, 1984. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2014. She has a dashing virtuosity, of manly character which is sprung from endless power reserves...equipped with a glittering arsenal of pianism she recreates the compositions she interprets... ...the public responded with the warmest ovation.
  18. ^ Ferline Studi (November 26, 1981). "Press Quotes". Lausanne, Switzerland. Nouvelle Revue de Lausanne. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2014. ...An authentic pianistic talent of a rare communicative power... high virtuosity flying to dizzy heights rewarding one with glorious sonorities... she speaks straight to the heart...
  19. ^ Juan Arturo Brennan (July 25, 1981). "Press Quotes". Mexico City, Mexico. Unomásuno. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2014. ...Kara has demonstrated a rare and original musical personality giving the most unusual and powerful interpretations...
  20. ^ Richard Whitehouse. "Press Quotes". No. March 2005. London, UK. The Gramophone. …in Skalkottas most ambitious work Kara’s forward impetus gives it greater overall cogency and her more flowing tempo for the Andante sostenuto makes it formally and expressively all of a piece.
  21. ^ Jack Sullivan. "Press Quotes". No. January/February 1997. USA. American Record Guide. ...Danae Kara, billed here as “the first Greek virtuoso to step into the concert word since Gina Bachauer”, plays the hell out of this stuff, with plenty of rubato in the faster pieces and delicate understatements in the slower ones. For fanciers of unusual piano music, this disc is a must.
  22. ^ Γιάννης Σβώλος. "Press Quotes" (in Greek). No. May 1998. Athens, Greece. ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΟΤΥΠΙΑ. ...Οι ερμηνείες της Δανάης Καρά στα 3 κοντσέρτα του Mendelssohn αγγίζουν τα όρια της μεγαλοφυϊας: Το γνώριμο, στιβαρό της άγγιγμα στο πιάνο συνδιάζεται εδώ με κρυστάλλινη άρθρωση, ακρίβεια και συναρπαστικές ταχύτητες που αφαιρούν κάθε υποψία βάρους από τη μουσική, χαρίζοντας στην ακρόαση μία μεθυστική αίσθηση σφρίγους και δύναμης...
  23. ^ Peter Cossé. "Press Quotes" (in German). No. September 1998. Germany. Klassik Heute. ...Die rustikale, gleichwohl feurige Serkin-Einspielung (CBS) und die Sommernachts-träumerische Variante mit András Schiff (Decca) haben in verschliedenen interpretatorischen Gewichtungen einiges vorgelegt. Umso erstaurlicher mutet es an, wenn ...hier protegiert, die diese beiden Mendelssohn-Kostbarkeiten mit sicherem Griff, mit sicherem Gespür für Tempo, Tonfall und Atmosphäre, anzufassen verstehen. Hier spielt eine junge Pianistin sachkundig Klavier, verleiht den scnellen Ecksätzen beherrschte Fahrt und den triumphalen wie seitidigen Themen genügend Kolorit, um mit einem agilen.
  24. ^ Richard Whitehouse. "Press Quotes". No. June 1998. London, UK. The Gramophone. ...Yorgos Sicilianos's Piano Concerto has an engaging astringency. Worth acquiring.
  25. ^ Christoph Schlüren. "Press Quotes" (in German). No. November 1998. Germany. Klassik Heute. ...Auch hier (Sicilianos's Piano Concerto): hinreißende Darbietungen des Orchesters und der wendigen Pianistin, klanglich solide dokumentiert.
  26. ^ Giuseppe Rossi. "Press Quotes" (in Italian). No. December 1998. Italy. Classica CD. ...e la pianista Kara, prima interprete del Concerto di Sicilianos. mostra di saperne dominarne con disinvoltura le asperità tecniche.
  27. ^ Charles Hopkins. "Press Quotes". No. November 2004. London, UK. International Record Review. …Kara’s rhythmic buoyancy …vividly projects the contrasts… arresting in the bravura gestures …clarity and exuberance characterize the performance…
  28. ^ Richard Whitehouse. "Press Quotes". No. November 2001. London, UK. The Gramophone. …Danae Kara strikes me as preferable in the two ‘Reverias’ –Skalkottas- (VI and VII, included in her –Mitropoulos recital on Agora Musica) where she finds greater rhythmic clarity…
  29. ^ Francesco Lo Cascio. "Press Quotes". No. November 2000. Italy. Musica. ... This recording (Brahms Last Piano Works) is destined to remain as a reference point at least till the day when Pollini decides to propose his own interpretation...
  30. ^ "Publications: Recordings (Kompositions)". Dimitris Mitropoulos. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  31. ^ Akira Takahisa. "Press Quotes". No. June 1997. Japan. The Record Geijutsu: The Editor's Choice. ...Danae Kara has been brought to our attention by her previous CD recordings...this time she displays an entirely new facet of her talent through this crystal clear rendition of Mitropoulos’s highly complex piano music...
  32. ^ Emili Blasco. "Press Quotes". No. December 2009. Madrid, Spain. SCHERZO magazine. Virtuosic performances with fluency, precision, eloquence, communicating emotions ranging from the intimate moments to sonorous explosions, always with sensibility and a singing tone quality….Excellent performances of an unknown but certainly intriguing music.

External linksEdit