nicolas costantinou


“The third of five concerts in the Third International Chamber Festival hosted by the Ledra Music Soloists was a memorable evening of art songs of Mozart, Shostakovich and Schumann. All three soloists, pianist Nicolas Costantinou, soprano Margarita Elia and baritone Kyros Patsalides are accomplished musicians and artists of whom Cyprus can be proud. … Margarita Elia, began the evening with Mozart. She and Nicolas Costantinou are clearly comfortable and familiar with each other reflected in the convivial teamwork of their performance. Their phrasing had line, Margarita’s diction was eloquent and their dynamics wide ranging. Despite the piano being on full stick, the balance was superb with Nicolas never over-powering the voice. …”

Saskia Constantinou
Cyprus Mail – April 4, 2006

“… Nicolas Costantinou was the pianist in the Mozart Piano Trio in C major, KV 548. He has an empathy with Mozart’s music, with clear, sparkling runs and finger-work but also achieved a beautiful cantabile sound in the second movement. It was just a pity that the piano was out of tune in the middle registers. There seemed to be some stylistic differences between Nikos Pittas and the Peter Somodari, especially with regard to some of the bowing with some scrambled playing and ensemble difficulties in the final movement. Peter Somodari is an excellent cellist, and very talented but his tapping right foot throughout the concert was very disconcerting and disturbing.

It is difficult to listen to Shostakovich without placing him historically or politically as so much of his music was written as an overt response to what was going on around him and to do justice to his music, one must consider these elements.

The piano Trio No. 2 in e minor, Op. 67 of Shostakovich is heavyweight, both in length and musical content. … The work begins quietly, with premonitions of doom, which foreshadow the dance of death in the second movement. Somodari educed haunting harmonics with Menelaou following with a suitable bleak violin sound and Costantinou capturing the ominous low registers of the piano. The trio depicted the mood and rather stark feeling. The second movement was very brisk, although some of the virtuosity was lost because of technical difficulties in the violin, resulting in a compromise of tone quality. The short scherzo is followed by heave, crashing chords from the piano, which were perfectly executed by Costantinou, powerful and jarring. Again, Peter Somodari shone in the Largo, with an exquisite tone and phenomenal left hand technique. …”

Saskia Constantinou
Cyprus Mail – March 31, 2006

“… The concert continued with Shostakovich’s Sonata for cello and piano Op. 40 played by brilliant Hungarian cellist Peter Somodari and Nicolas Costantinou. … From the first note, one could hear the rare talent of Peter Somodari, who has already made a name for himself in Europe both as a soloist and orchestral musician. He has a vast technical assurance and musical insight with an extraordinarily rich warm tone. His vibrato added warmth and resonance to this performance, which had perfect intonation. He clearly internalizes his music and hears each note before it should be played. His bow technique, considered by many musicians to be the main vehicle for expressive and interpretative playing, and his understanding of varying speeds of the bow created an excitement in his playing. This is a most experienced chamber musician with stylistic playing and deft handling of mood changes and fine moments of repose. Nicolas Costantinou was not an accompanist in this sonata, but rather an equal partner with a demanding score played with feeling and technical prowess. …”

Saskia Constantinou
Cyprus Mail – March 26, 2006

“The Programme presented by the Cypriot pianist Nicolas Costantinou at the Wigmore Hall on 11 January … demonstrated the qualities of this artist quite clearly. He began with Bach’s C minor Partita BWV 826, a notably clean and involving reading, which was followed by Debussy’s Second Book of Images, in which the music’s inherent Impressionism was well to the fore, particularly during the concluding Poissons d’or.”

Robert Matthew-Walker
Musical Opinion - April-May 2005

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 – 12 February 2004:
“…Costantinou expressed both significant intellectual and musical maturity in his interpretation. At the same time, the Cypriot soloist focused more on the concerto’s musical phrasing rather than typically over-stressing its rhythmic aspect. Yet with his warm, multi-dimensional sound, Costantinou managed to bring out not only the lyrical aspects of the work but also the dramatic contrasts that characterize the Prokofiev work. ...”

Argyro Aggelides
Simerini - March 17, 2004

"...Nicolas has performed the Song of freedom by Nicolas Economou with nationalistic pathos, ecstasy, and a slight romantic nostalgia of times changing.  Costantinou with this piece has proved himself to be an artist of deep emotions, who is capable of interpreting music with his whole being and soul.  Costantinou's expressive qualities can really sparkle when given the right material."

Hanna Laulajainen
KalevaAugust, 4 2003

"... Nicolas has performed the Song of freedom by Nicolas Economou with nationalistic pathos, ecstasy, and a slight romantic nostalgia of times changing. Costantinou with this piece has proved himself to be an artist of deep emotions, who is capable of interpreting music with his whole being and soul. Costantinou's expressive qualities can really sparkle when given the right material."
Hanna Laulajainen
KalevaAugust, 4 2003

“Listening, almost accidentally, to Nicolas Costantinou’s performances I must confess that I found myself confronted with colossal interpretations, especially of the Sonatas Op. 110 by Beethoven, and Schubert’s extended G major D. 894. I was furthermore astounded at Costantinou’s approach to Brahms’s Ballades Op. 10, which was full of depth and confidence. Costantinou’s faultless interpretation of the works of S. Rachmaninoff expresses the composer’s inner sensibility, and justifies his place among the great composers of western music where he rightfully belongs. Nicolas Costantinou pianistic approach is equally satisfying; solemn, sweet and at the same time intense, elements, which did not always merge harmonically in Glenn Gould’s playing.

Nicolas’s interest in drama and theater allows him to convey the “dramaturgy” of a work through sound, an aspect I believe to be of great importance. The internal “plot” of a composition (when present) demands the co-existence of an actor-interpreter and a music-performer. I say this as a composer who always expects and wishes an interpretation that is based on the fundamental secrets trapped among the “gaps” between the notes of each composition. Secrets which Costantinou manages to illustrate with great dexterity, consequently delivering them to our musically demanding and curious ears.”
Dimitri Nicolau - Composer
Italy - January 2, 2002

22 April 1998 (Athens):
“… His program extremely demanding in every aspect, musical, technical and deep understanding of the spirit and personality of each composer, Nicolas Costantinou proved the seriousness with which he approaches art, the balance and self control in his performances.
Mozart’s sonata in D major, KV 576 with its high demands for crystal clear touch on the instrument and the restitution of Mozart’s sensitive lyricism in the second movement especially, was as well interpreted as the four ballads Op. 10 by Brahms, which if the different voices with the necessary sound color, even in the whispered sound in the different registers do not come out bas-relieved, become heavy; Costantinou was faultless.

The interpretation of the eighth sonata of Prokofiev was impressive as well, a highly demanding work. Nicolas Costantinou showed his musical understanding and the composers intellect through the sound fluctuations and the phrasing particularities, which if not performed with content they transform the work into a stunning sound-prattling lacking of interest. …”
George Arvanitakis
Fileleftheros – May 5, 1998
The three sonatas for violin and piano by Brahms
“… We should thank and praise these two young lads who in front of a full house offered two hours of sacred musical ceremony to their audience, which applauded them for their faultless playing, absolute synchronization and the sweetness of the sound of the instruments they used. The young artists, managed with great sensitivity and seriousness managed to interpret the meaning and the spirit of the music of Brahms. …”

Friend of Music

Fileleftheros –December 9, 1997
Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15
“…Cyprus is very fortunate that it has young gifted pianists as Nicolas Costantinou who have the talent to play this difficult work and give us so much pleasure. … Costantinou gave a very powerful high-tensioned performance of the work. …”

Jack Slater

The Cyprus weekly – October 31, 1997
“… Nicolas Costantinou interpreted his program with a personal style, mature musicality and a good command of technique. Listening to his playing I dare say he will develop into a noteworthy pianist, representing Cyprus abroad.”

Ursula Savopoullos

Fileleftheros –  June 6, 1989