Yiorgos Kaloudis is a cellist, Cretan lyra performer, improviser, composer, cello professor at the Athenaeum Conservatory, in Athens, and producer at the DNA Classical Label. He performs his recitals “Innovating Tradition” and the “J.S.BACH: Cello Suites on the Cretan Lyra, in concert halls, archaeological monuments, churches and museums around the world.

Born in Athens, Greece (1973) from a musical family, Yiorgos Kaloudis's first language of expression has always been music.

He started playing the Cretan lyra at a very early age, and continued the family tradition, being the fourth generation of native Cretan lyra players. His classical studies of the cello were completed, with Claire Demeulenaere, at the Athenaeum Conservatory (Athens) where he graduated with honours. Yiorgos was awarded a scholarship by the Fulbright Foundation, providing him with the opportunity to continue his studies in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Ted Greene in composition and improvisation.

He also collaborated with international orchestras including the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Lege Artis Chamber Choir in St. Petersburg, the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Thessaloniki.

While performing, Yiorgos combines his technique and different cello and lyra timbres with a sensitive use of live loop recording, which allows him to transport the audience in the Cretan landscape and create an atmospheric soundscape, with elements of classical, ambient, and world music.

His discography consists of 4 CDs, TRUTH, ON THE WIND, APTERA with his compositions, and J.S.BACH: Cello Suites on the Cretan Lyra, in a world premiere recording by the DNA Label Records.

J.S.BACH: Cello Suites on the Cretan lyra has been officially released also by the DNA Label Records in a world premiere recording. Here, he worked by maintaining the original tonalities of the work, in deep respect for the tone colour of the composer in attempting to avoid unnecessary changes in the music.

The unique achievement of this record is that for the very first time, a Greek traditional instrument interprets classical music. In addition to this, there is the particular lyra that he used to perform the music. By mean of his Cretan background and his technical knowledge of the cello, he created an innovative Cretan Lyra by adding to the traditional three-string instrument a fourth one, the low C of the cello, in order to be able to perform Bach’s composition. The result is stunning, as this lyra gives an impressive and unique character to the interpretation of the work of Bach, revealing the ancient relation to its great-grandson, the cello.

Working on this project has been a longstanding effort and has taken twelve years of study and research before achieving it. It is Yiorgos Kaloudis’s passion, the commitment, the distinct approach to music, and his ability to honour the traditional Cretan Lyra.


On July 2019, he presented the J.S.BACH: Cello Suites on the Cretan Lyra, at the Festival Diagonales d’ete 2019, ENSEMBLE ORGANUM - CIRMA, at the St.Peter Cathedral, Moissac/France, in collaboration with the Maestro Marcel Perez.

On June 2019, he presented the recital "Innovating Tradition", at the AD LUCEM Festival, at the St.Peter Cathedral in Riga, Latvia. 

On April 2019, he presented the recital "Innovating Tradition", at the UNESCO Auditorium in Paris. 

The composition "Orthi Petra (Necropolis)", for 4-string Cretan lyra and cello, from the new CD APTERA, will be surrounding the archaeological exhibition « Crete. Emerging cities: Aptera ― Eleutherna ― Knossos. Three ancient cities revived », at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. (December 2018 - April 2019).

On November of 2018, the Regional Union of Crete in collaboration with the Embassy of France in Greece, invited him to present the lecture of Y.Kaloudis with the title “Cretan Lyra in the Western European Music”, analysing the 12 years of study and research upon the J.S.BACH Cello Suites on the Cretan Lyra.

On June 2018, the Regional Union of Crete, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Rethymno and the Museum of Eleftherna, invited him to give a unique recital of the "Innovating Tradition" at the Necropolis “Orthi Petra” at Eleftherna, Rethymno. 

On March 2018, he presented the recital "Innovating Tradition", in Megaron Athens Underground Concert Hall. 

On February 2018, he presented the recital "Innovating Tradition", in Cyprus, at the archaeological Kastelliotissa Hall in Nicosia. 

On October 2017, he presented the recital "Innovating Tradition", in Cyprus, at the archaeological Royal Manor House in Paphos. 

On August 2017, the Regional Union of Crete and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Chania invited him to give the premiere recital of the "Innovating Tradition" at the reopening of the Ancient Theatre of Aptera, in Chania, after more than 2000 years of silence. 

On March 2017, he presented the J.S.BACH: Cello Suites on the Cretan Lyra, in Megaron Athens Concert Hall, in a World Premiere concert. 

On October 2016 participated at Paris "Nuit Blanche" Festival by playing extracts from the album J.S. Bach Cello Suites on the Cretan lyra. 

On 2015, the recital "Innovating Tradition", has been presented at the opening of the New Archaeological Museum of Dion, by the occasion of the Ancient Hydraulis inauguration.

On September 2015, he was awarded the Special Jury Prize for the Best Musical Composition and Interpretation at the IV International Puppet Festival in Almaty Kazakhstan.

Athletic career

Champion in Race Walking of the Panellinios Athletic Club, since 1985, with many national gold medals and national records in every category.

He was in the Greek National Team of Track and Field, competing in the 5km, 10km and 20km of Race Walking from 1988 till 1997, when he decided to quit the athletic world to follow his passion in music.

On 1990, at the International Race Walking Meeting in Czechoslovakia, he established the national record in the 20 km walk (youth category), which was beaten only after 22 years (2012). 

On 1992 he was the Gold winner at the Balkan Championships (junior) in Istanbul, and 12th position at the European Championships (junior) held in Thessaloniki, with the name Yeóryios Papagiannakis. 

In spite of that he is still today one of the top 20 performers in the history of Greek race walking list.

He studied at the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science TEFAA in Athens (1991-1995), specialised on Biokinetics of Sports Movement and Ergophysiology. 

Later in 2014, Yiorgos applied his personal experience as a champion of long distance Race Walking and his deep knowledge in Biokinetics, in his cello teaching methods. He is developing an approach on Biokinetics in Music, in order to correct the technique of musicians in every detail.