A prize winner in many international guitar competitions, including the 1st prize at the prestigious “Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition”, Michalis Kontaxakis is considered to be one of the leading classical guitarists of his generation.
He graduated from Costas Cotsiolis’ class at the Municipal Conservatoire of Piraeus. He also studied at the Robert Schumann University in Düsseldorf under the guidance of Joaquín Clerch.
He has performed at the international guitar festivals of Volos (Greece), Naxos (Greece), Veria(Greece), Guitar Art Festival-Belgrade(Serbia), Düsseldorf (Germany), Gevelsberg (Germany), Sinaia (Romania), Bucharest (Romania), Las Palmas (Spain), Sernanselle (Portugal), the Guitarmania Festival (Lisbon-Portugal) and at concert halls such as the Centro Cultural de Belem (CCB) in Lisbon, Megaron-the Athens Concert Hall, Thessaloniki Megaron, Teatro piccolo (Milano-Italy), Auditori i Palau de Congressos de Castelló (Spain), Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus and many others.
As a soloist he has performed with the AUKSO Orchestra (Poland), the Arad Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania), the Filarmonia das Beiras (Portugal), the Vallés Symphony Orchestra (Spain), the Collegium Instrumentale de Valencia (Spain), the Bucharest Radio Orchestra and the Athens State Orchestra.
He has premiered numerous guitar works, many of them dedicated to him, such as: “Estudio de ligados” by Joaquín Clerch , “Choros no 2” and “Strovilos” by Efi Markoulaki, “Hadjidakis Suite” by Leonidas Kanaris, “States of mind” by Dinos Constantinides and “Nocturne for Michalis” by Michalis Andronikou. In 2006 he recorded a CD for NAXOS with works by M.M. Ponce, F. Martin, E. Krenek, Tarrega, A. Khachaturian and the world premiere of “Preludios de primavera” by J. Clerch. In 2008 he recorded the premiere of the work “Midsummer night’s dream” by Periklis Koukos.
In 2004 he formed the Kontaxakis-Ivanovich Duo with the noted Croatian guitarist Dejan Ivanovich and since then they have often performed music for two guitars at concert halls around Europe receiving excellent reviews. Their first CD was published in 2010 by KSGExaudio including works by J.S.Bach, F.Sor, M.Castelnuovo-Tedesco and J.Rodrigo.