Making a name for herself across multiple engagements in Opera and Concert, showing a vivid temperament and a true love of making music on stage, Zoi Tsokanou is the first Woman in history to lead a major Greek Orchestra. Since 2017/2018 she is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, leading 120 musicians in a new area of repertoire, public profile, accessibility, educational and community engagement, reaching an outstanding point in audience development by increasing the concert visitors by 50%.
In the concert season 2022/2023 she will have her Debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London by conducting Gorecki’s Symphony nr. 3 choreographed by Crystal Pite. She will lead performances at the Grand Theatre de Geneve with the contemporary opera Electric Dreams by M. Shlomowitz, and others with Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Biel, Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra, Szczecin Philharmonic, City of Athens Symphony Orchestra.
Highlights of the 2021/2022 Season include appearances in Thessaloniki and Athens with Gil Shaham, Thomas Hampson, Juliana Avdeeva, Daniel Lozakovich, Alena Baeva, Maximilian Hornung, Ramon Vargas, a series of concerts with the National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Athens Concert Hall, Debut with the Bergische Symphonikern, Szczecin Philharmonic and Cyprus Symphony Orchestra.
Recent engagements include concerts with Karajan Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker and Artist in Residence Marlis Petersen, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale de Lille, Düsseldorfer Symphonikern, Sofia Philharmonic, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Radio and Television Orchestra Madrid RTVE, Philharmonisches Orchester Biel, Georgisches Kammerorchester Ingolstadt as all major Greek orchestras: Athens State Orchestra, Radio Orchestra, Greek National Opera. She participated in famous festivals such as Lucerne Festival, Athens Festival, Schumann Festival Düsseldorf, Domstufen Festival.
2014-2017 she served as permanent conductor at the Theater Erfurt conducting a wide Opera and Concert Repertoire. For two years she held the position of Associate Conductor at the oldest Czech Orchestra, the Westbohemian Symphony, and 2011-2014 she was Music Director of Arosa Music Theater at the Arosa Festival, Switzerland.
In Spring 2018 she conducted Spontini’s rarely performed Opera Agnes von Hohenstaufen at Theater Erfurt creating an international sensation. At the Greek National Opera she leaded renomated Opera productions such as Barrie Kosky’s Magic Flute, Katie Mitchell’s Lucia die Lammermoor and Elijah Moshinsky’s Simon Boccanegra.
Her Opera Repertoire includes a.o. Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, Macbeth, Otello, Tosca, Cavalleria Rusticana, Glucks Orfeo ed Euridice, Die Verkaufte Braut, Gounods Faust, Zandonai’s Giulietta e Romeo, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, die Lustige Witwe, Die Fledermaus, West Side Story, working together with Opera Theaters in Erfurt, Bremen, Regensburg, Hagen, Athens, Thessaloniki.
One of her remarkable moments is her assistantship with Bernard Haitink, her important mentor, together with Tonhalle orchestra Zurich. She was invited several times from Lucerne Festival to participate at the conducting Master Class with Bernard Haitink as well from Tonhalle Orchestra and David Zinman. She won several prizes in International Conducting Competitions.
Zoi Tsokanou was born in Thessaloniki, she held from her hometown piano and musicology degree and studied in Zurich piano with Konstantin Scherbakov and Conducting by Johannes Schlaefli. Her family grew recently and she lives with her son, daughter and husband in Zurich and Thessaloniki.