I was born in Aegaleo. I come from a musical family my spiritual teacher was my father Thodoros Polykandriotis.
I used to only play the guitar for me and my friends. I had never held a bouzouki. On some occasions, I played the guitar alongside professionals like the teenage band JUNIORS in the “Chrysi Arachni” club in Aegaleo.
I began my artistic career in Katakolo of Pyrgos, Ileia, with Yiannis Katsimichas’ band. Clarinet player and composer Dimitris Tzaras was also there. During winter, I appeared at the folk music club (school) “Kefalas” in Kokkinia, alongside Apostolos Kaldaras, Sevas Hanoum, Gerasimos Klouvatos, Michalis Menidiatis, Fouli Dimitriou, Takis Soukas and many others.
I worked with Panos Gavalas, Ria Kourti, Stratos Dionysiou and Anna Mpella in Jimmy o Hontros’ club in Acharnon Street. I played next to Stelios Zafeiriou, who taught me much and introduced me to discography.
I started composing and my first songs were performed by Nikos Gioulakis, Anthoula Alifragi and others, In 1967 I had my first hit, “Zilevo zilevo” with Panos Gavalas and Ria Kourti.
I was included in 90% of Greek discography, having great collaborations and original recordings such as: “Mikra Asia kai Vyzantinos Esperinos” (Asia Minor and Byzantine Vesper) by A. Kaldaras, “To zeimbekiko tis Evdokias” (Evdokia’s zeimbekiko), “Ta Tragoudia tis Charoulas” (Charoula’s songs), “Ta Tragoudia Mas” (Our songs), “Kalimera Ilie” (Good Morning Sun) by M. Loizos, “Mikres Politeies” (Small States), “Otan Anthizoun Paschalies” (When Lilacs Bloom) by S. Kougioumtzis, “O Dromos” (The Street), “Loukianou Nekrikoi Dialogoi” (Lucian’s Dialogi Mortuorum), “Gorgones kai magkes” (Mermaids and Guys), by Mimis Plessas, “Skliros Aprilis tou ’45” (Cruel April of ’45) and “Athanasia” (Immortality) by M. Hadjidakis, “Stavros tou Notou” (Southern Cross) by T. Mikroutsikos, “Rezerva” (Spare tire) and “Trapezakia exo” (Coffe Tables outdoors) including the famous “Makry Zeimbakiko toy Nikou” (Nikos’ Long Zeimbekiko) by D. Savvopoulos, “Anatoli” (East) kai “Mpalantes” (Ballads) by M. Theodorakis, “Kentro Dierchomenon” (Hub of Passers-by) by N. Mamagakis, “Thessalikos Kyklos” (Thessalic Cycle) by Y. Markopoulos, “To Paron” (The present – instrumental) by A. Panou and many more. During all those years and up until today, I have never stopped writing my songs, which have been performed by Parios, Voskopoulos, Str. Dionysiou, Kazantzidis, Marinella, Mitropanos, Diamanti, Stanisi, Glykeria, Christiana, Poulopoulos, Klonaridis, Adamantidis, Ploutarchos and many others.
in Rome and Naples, in the RCA studios accompanied by the RCA Orchestra, I recorded two albums with songs by Theodorakis, Hatzidakis, Xarhakos. In the same year me and Marinella went to London to perform with the BBC symphonic orchestra. I also performed together with “Atheneans”, accompanying Marinella and Nana Mouschouri on a television show.
I was invited by Hadjidakis to present “Cruel April of ’45” under his direction, a milestone for Greek discography.
I worked exclusively with Yiannis Parios, in discography, on stage in night clubs like Neraida, Deilina, Fantasia, Diogenis, Zygos, Stork and in concerts both in Greece and abroad. Together, we wrote more than 70 hit songs, like “Ta pires ola”, “Kai lege lege”, “Ta mazepsa ta pragmata”, “Ta vasana mou”, “Teleiosame loipon”, “Ante stin ygeia tis”, “Parapono mou”, etc.
I went to Paris and met Jacques Plait, Joe Dassin’s manager and together we recorded “Garifalo st’ afti” in Studio CBE (95 de la rue Championnet).
I participated in concerts in the USA, Canada, Australia in venues like Madison Square Garden Center, Opera House, Palladium Theatre, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Avery Fisher Hall Lincoln Center, Pasadena Civic Auditorium California.
I began my appearances as a composer and solo artist both in clubs and in concerts.
I visited the «ΗUNGAROCONCERT» in Budapest and met with manager Ferenc Cenazi and for the first time, presented my idea for the bouzouki’s coexistence with symphonic string instruments.
the Hungarians showed their interest in my bouzouki and invited me to the Duna Palota theater in Budapest for their national holiday to perform two of my songs and Brahms’ Dance No 1, together with the renowned Grand Gypsy Concert Orchestra, composed of 100 musicians.
Tour in North Canada, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.
I took part in Vancouver’s 15th International Folk Festival, competing against 147 bands from all around the world and taking the 3rd place in the final standings
during a press conference held in Titania Hotel, I presented the school of Folk Musical Tradition “Thanasis Polykandriotis” along with my father, Theodoros Polykandriotis, Viky Moscholiou and Lefteris Papadopoulos on the discussion board. Lefteris Papadopoulos characteristically said: “…I would like to see Chalkiades (the Chakias family) and others imitate the Polykandriotis family’s example, not for their sake, but for the sake of our land”. Since then, I have worked with the P. Nakas, N. Skalkotas conservatories, Art Conservatory of G. Fakanas, D. Tournavitis Conservatory N. Pentelis, the Musical Center of Piraeus, the Municipal Concervatories of Ioannina, Igoumenitsa, Acharnai, Lamia and Kranidi, Grava school, Moschato and Galatsi highscools, Vartholomio general high school, music schools of Kavala, Rhodes, Siatista and others.
I have collaborated with the Conservatories of F. Nakas, N. Skalkotas, G. Fakana Art Conservatory, D. Tournavitis Conservatory N. Penteli, Standard Music Center of Piraeus, the Municipal Conservatories of Ioannina, Igoumenitsa, Acharnon of Lamia and Kranidi, , the Lyceums of Moschato and Galatsi, the general Lyceum of Bartholomew, the music schools of Kavala, Rhodes, Siatista and others.
I performed my own compositions in the Athens Concert Hall’s “Hall of Friends of Music” for the first time, accompanied by the 65 gypsy violins of the famous HUNGARIAN GYPSY ORCHESTRA. It was then that I recorded my album THANASSIS POLYKANDRIOTIS HUNGARIAN GYPSY CONCERT ORCHESTRA containing my compositions and pieces from the concert in the Athens Concert Hall.
I took part in the ROM SOM – GYPSY WORLD FESTIVAL held in Budapest with world-renowned artists such as Szakcsi Lakatos Bela, Gypsy Kings, Stéphane Grappelli and others. In the same year in Budapest I recorded 11 of the 21 Brahms dances with the famous FAILONI ORCHESTRA of the HUNGARIAN STATE OPERA CD BRAHMS & BOUZOUKI.
I created the first Bouzouki Ensemble, which I “baptized” as “OI EPOMENOI” (The next ones).
together with the Budapest Opera Symphonic Orchestra, the STATE OPERA SYMPHONIC, we presented my composition “Concert for Bouzouki and Orchestra No 1” and 10 Dances by Brahms in the Odeon of Herod Atticus.
Concert in Dimitria, Thessaloniki with the Budapest Opera Symphonic Orchestra, the ” STATE OPERA SYMPHONIC”, where I presented “Concert for Bouzouki and Orchestra No 1” in the first part and in the second part 4 (1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th) of Brahms’ 21 Dances as well as 4 of my own compositions: “Teleiosame loipon”, “Ta pires ola”, “Ki eleges”, “Stou feggariou tin agalia”.
Concert in Lisbon. “Journeying to Greece with the bouzouki” in Anfiteatro da Doca, with 7 bouzoukia and a folk orchestra.
my first book-method, titled “It is easy to learn the bouzouki” was published by Philippos Nakas Publications.
Two concerts. The first one was in Hannover ΕΧΡΟ 2000, in the Beat Box theater with FAILONI CHAMPER ORCHESTRA OF THE HUNGARIAN STATE OPERA. In the first part we performed “Concert for Bouzouki and Orchestra No 1” and four of Brahms’ 21 Dances, in the second part, Maria Polykandrioti sang two traditional Hungarian pieces and some of my songs.
in the ARENA theater, I perform for a Greek night with Maria Farantouri, the bouzouki Musical Ensemble “Oi Epomenoi”, a folk orchestra, Petros Gaitanos and Maria Polykandrioti.
I taught Musical Dexterity and Musical Ensembles in the Folk and Traditional Music Department in the Technology of Music school of the Technological Educational Institution of Epirus in Arta.
in Tirana and together with the Tirana Radio Television symphonic orchestra, we recorded the album “San allote alla simera” (Like in another time, but today) including compositions by Sougioul, Attik, Morakis, Gounaris, Chiotis, under conductor Andreas Pylarinos and orchestrated by Clement Markou.
March 25th I gave a concert in the Opera of Tirana with the Tirana Radio Television symphonic orchestra, in celebration of our National Day under conductor Andreas Pylarinos.
I founded the Mediterranean Center for the Research of Culture “OI EPOMENOI” and the musical ensemble comprised of 40 bouzoukia. Our first appearances were on May 6th, 7th and 11th 2004 in a tribute to M. Hadjidakis, performing Skliros Aprilis tou ’45 (Cruel April of ’45) and our greatest moment was our honorary participation in the opening ceremony of the Athens 2008 Olympic Games.
I have held the position of Lecturer in the Preschool Education Department of the West Macedonia University as a specialist scientist. Since 2005 I have been a member of the Ministry of Culture’s workgroup aimed the appreciation and inclusion of all traditional and folk instruments in the educational process.
on the “World Day of Music”, I was examined and awarded my diploma of “Special Harmony” with full marks given by all examiners.
I was a part of the Greek Radio Television musical ensembles as a resident “bouzoukistas”, and successfully held folk music seminars for middle schools and high schools in ERT (Greek Radio Television).
I performed on stage in the Athens Music Hall with the 30- bouzouki Musical Ensemble “Oi Epomenoi”, Glykeria, Manolis Karpathios on the kanonaki and Dimitris Typaldos’ Children’s choir. The concert, which was organized by the Society of Friends of the “Ag. Anargyroi” Oncology Hospital, was recorded and is available on CD.
in the Skampa International Theatre in Elbasan Albania, I performed a concert with a small symphonic orchestra of youths, presenting my own compositions as well as traditional Albanian songs, under conductor Sulejman Balza.
on 2 pm, Greece time, in the Olympic Games of Beijing, Eleni Andriola competed in rhythmic gymnastics, accompanied by my piece “Stou feggariou tin agalia”.
I held another great performance together with 27 bouzoukia in the Shanghai Concert Hall, under the aegis of the Greek Tourism Organization in celebration of the Greek kiosk establishment in Shanghai.
I was awarded the Annual International Ethnic Music Award «Maestro International», which is annually awarded to Balkan soloists, together with Mircea Ardeleanu from Romania (cembalo) and Ljubisa Pavkovic from Serbia (accordion).
in Ianos, I presented “Folk Harmony”, the first book to try and fill a large gap in Greek musical bibliography concerning the harmonization of folk modes. The book was approved by the Ministry of Education as appropriate for school libraries. P. Nakas publications also publishes the books “Thanassis Polykandriotis – It’s easy to learn the bouzouki” (republication accompanied by CD), “Thanassis Polykandriotis for bouzouki with tablature”, “Thanassis Polykandriotis for piano, keyboard, guitar” and “Concert for bouzouki No 1”.
I was a guest performer at Dulce Pontes’ concert in the Athens Music Hall alongside Paco Pena.
in the Odeon of Herod Atticus there was a collaboration of Greek rempetiko with 15 bouzoukia, Portuguese Fados with Dulce Pontes and Spanish flamenco with Paco Pena. A meeting of three different Mediterranean cultures.
I have been holding rehearsals with the bouzouki Musical Ensemble “Oi Epomenoi” in the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, which are open to the public. In October I held a concert with 27 bouzoukia and a folk orchestra in honor of Michael Cacoyannis. During the first part, we performed songs from “Cruel April of ’45” and in the second part, Cacoyannis’ songs.
in Badminton theater, I presented “Thanassis Polykandriotis and 30 bouzoukia play and sing Yiorgos Zampetas and Akis Panou”, accompanied by 30 bouzoukia and a 7- musician folk orchestra.
the of Cyprus’ Ministry of Education and Culture invited me to the Pancyprian Gymnasium of Nicosia in order to hold five seminars about folk music. Sixty pupils of different musical instruments performed in a concert under my guidance.
and on my initiative, the first two-day convention about the bouzouki took place in the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation with bouzouki and photography exhibitions, awards, speeches and a concert of ten songs by Mikis Theodorakis and excerpts from the Cruel April of ’45 by Manos Hadjidakis in the presence of Mikis Theodorakis. The preparation of the dossier for including the bouzouki in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage was discussed at the two-day convention.
I gave a concert in the National Theater of Cuba, as a guest of the Cypriot Embassy. On stage, we collaborated with the renown guitarist Pancho Amat and his musicians.
in the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, I followed up with the second convention about the bouzouki, with a bouzouki exhibition, speeches and a concert as a tribute to Manolis Chiotis. At the convention, the President of the Athens Conservatory Nikos Tsouchlos, announced the implementation of the bouzouki in the country’s foremost musical institution ‘s junior year curriculum.