Embracing his penchant for improvisation alongside his passion for the classical and contemporary repertoire, Greek American pianist John Kamfonas has given performances around the world, from New York to India, Paris to Beijing, which have been described as possessing "a grandeur that lifted the music into the sublime...and a delicacy that took one's breath away." (National Herald, New York) As one of few improvising classical pianists, Mr. Kamfonas performs music ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Debussy and Rachmaninoff interwoven with spontaneously conceived improvisations making each concert unique and unpredictable.
He gave his New York debut at Merkin Hall in 2012 and has performed in numerous summer festivals in recent years including the Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), Aspen Music Festival, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, and at the Greencastle Summer music festival (Indiana). Other recent solo concerts include performances at Steinway Hall (New York), Baruch Performing Arts Center (New York), Salle Cortot (Paris), La Fondation des Etats-Unis (Paris), Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris, and Columbia University Global Center in Paris as a guest artist of the Institute for Ideas and Imagination.
In 2012, Mr. Kamfonas conducted a residency in Bangalore India through the Bangalore School of Music where he performed a sold out solo concert at the Alliance Francaise auditorium, several house concerts around town, and taught a series of masterclasses. Several interactions with Indian classical musicians furthered his interest in cross cultural musical collaboration which led eventually to an invitation to collaborate alongside various members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble for a series of concerts at DePauw University during the summer of 2017 where he performed with Tabla master, Sandeep Das. In 2018, Mr. Kamfonas went on a two continent tour in the US and Europe with cellist Eric Edberg performing works by Alan Hovhaness, an American composer heavily influenced by eastern musical styles. The commercial release of a recording of this music is forthcoming.
As a devoted proponent of contemporary music, Mr. Kamfonas has performed and given world premieres of works by world renowned composers of today including George Tsontakis, Eric Ewazen, and Victor Kioulaphides whose piano trio was given its world premier in 2012 . Interested in the cross section of improvisation and contemporary composition, Mr. Kamfonas performed “Engrenages”, by Alexandros Markeas as the improvising soloist with the Versailles conservatory saxophone quartet in 2017.
Mr. Kamfonas currently resides in Paris where he has completed residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts and the Fondation des Etats-Unis, the site of a concert series he founded in 2015 called the “Rendez-Vous Musicaux” presenting resident American musicians in collaborations with guest musicians living in France since 2015. This was also the venue for a solo recital part of which was broadcast nationally on France’s TV channel TF1 in 2016. Mr. Kamfonas serves on the faculty of the American Conservatory of Paris and has given masterclasses and improvisation workshops in universities and schools throughout the US. He holds degrees from Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris; he is currently pursuing his PhD jointly at the Paris Conservatory and the Sorbonne University. His principal teachers include Jean-François Zygel, Phillip Kawin, Jean-David Coen, Marian Rybicki, and Jean Fassina.