Born in a musical family in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the violinist Michalis Kouloumis developed a musical conception and sensitivity from his early years.
He studied European Classical Music, but soon his personal pursuits led him to the musical traditions of the Orient and especially that of Turkish and Greek music.
He graduated with “Distinction” from the Department of Greek Traditional Music of the Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens, being a disciple of Giorgos Marinakis.
At the same period, he completed his undergraduate studies at the Department of Physics, University of Athens, Greece. He participated in seminars and master-classes for Ottoman Art music under the artistic direction of Murat Aydemir, Kudsi Ergüner, Ömer Erdoğdular, Baki Kemancı and Ross Daly.
In 2013, he obtained his MA degree in Violin Performance (Ottoman Art music – Taksim) from Codarts, in Rotterdam. Michalis has been awarded the “10/10 Excellence in Performance”, prize given by the “Friends of Codarts Foundation”.
He performed and recorded with some of the most important representatives of the Mediterranean music scene: Kudsi Ergüner, Sokratis Sinopoulos, Ross Daly, Gabriel Yared, Nana Mouskouri, Efren Lopez, Chronis Aidonidis, Manos Achalinotopoulos, Zohar Fresco, Ciğdem Aslan, Kyriakos Kalaitzides, among others.
Furthermore, performance highlights include: Union Chapel London (UK), King’s Place London (UK), Sommerton Festival (GER), Brighton Fringe Festival (UK), Palace of Arts Budapest (HU), Katara festival (Qatar), WOMAD (UK), Houdetsi Music Festival Crete (GR), Mawazine Festival Rabat (MAR), Onassis Cultural Center Athens (GR), Sharq Taronalari Music Festival Samarqand (UZ), Bimhuis Amsterdam (NL), Alhambra Concert Hall Paris (FR).
In 2014, Michalis released his debut album “Soil” which comprises of music from Cyprus.
He is a member of “Lingua Franca Ensemble”, an international quartet which they perform their original compositions, influenced by the musical cultures located in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond. Their debut CD “Ephemera” was released in March 2017. “Displaced Dreams”, is Michalis’ upcoming album title. Being a child of Cypriot refugees, he drew inspiration from the story of his family and from the struggle refugees and immigrants go through from around the world. The album is expected to be released in 2019.
Michalis Kouloumis is a lecturer at Codarts University for the Arts in Rotterdam, specialized in Violin, Maqam Theory and Improvisation as developed in Ottoman Classical and Greek Traditional music.