As I travel the world I have the privilege to play at some spectacular venues that I once could only have dreamed of. Among them, the volcanic island of Santorini has to be at the top of my list. This stunning Greek island, part of a group of islands known as the Cyclades, is one of the most romantic spots on earth, renowned for its magnificent sunsets.
The island, shaped like an irregular, plump-bottomed crescent moon, wraps around a giant nearly circular bay or caldera formed by a volcano collapsing into itself more than 3600 years ago wiping out the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.
It’s hard to believe that ships sailing into the caldera are entering what was once the top of an ancient volcano.
Fira, the island’s capital, is perched on a cliff 260 meters above the sea dotted with approximately 220 islands which are actually the peaks of ancient submerged mountains.
Fira is the picture postcard that defines Greek island life with it’s gleaming white, orange and blue sun-kissed houses climbing 1000 feet up the multi-coloured striated cliffs embracing the bay.
And it is here in the beautiful Villa Bordeaux at sunset that I was invited to perform a unique repertoire of both my own compositions and a variety of popular song renditions at two private events following my trip to Turkey this autumn.
Villa Bordeaux is a beautifully appointed boutique hotel overlooking the bay so perfectly suited to my love of performing in natural settings.
The piano was a custom-built, hand made piano rebuilt in 2015 by Panos Ioannidis exclusively for Villa Bordeaux. The piano featured several unique technical features not found in any other piano – such as the frame, double gilded with 24 karat gold and the body veneered with rosewood root.
The restored piano was designed to incorporate the warmth of a 19th century piano with the more powerful 21st century sound. It was the perfect instrument for the inspirational setting and for my music.
I am truly blessed to be granted these wonderful opportunities that allow me to play on often rare pianos all over the world and share with all of you.