Marios Papadopoulos is the founder, music director and driving force behind Oxford Philomusica, Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford. Born in Cyprus, he comes from the non-musical family of an accountant, began piano at 5 and got as far as Grade 8 at the age of 12 before the island’s teaching reserve expired, and the family moved to England (when he was 8 years old). He was privately tutored and in 1972 he was the Young Musician of the Year, an accolade that comes with a sheaf of bookings, that he first played at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. His career took him elsewhere, including to the City University for his doctorate, and 1972 was also the year that Michael Tippett first booked Papadopoulos for the Bath Festival, to play Tippet’s Fantasia on a theme by Handel.
When reviewing Marios Papadopoulos' piano recital debut in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1975, the London Times critic Bryce Morrison wrote “In embryonic form, Papadopoulos has all the attributes of one of the world’s greatest players”. Judging by the critical acclaim his recitals and recordings have received ever since, Papadopoulos’ position amongst the great pianists of today is now widely recognised. Since his London debut, his career as pianist and conductor has been world-wide. He has appeared as soloist with, and has conducted many of the world’s great orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, London Mozart Players and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has worked with a host of eminent musicians including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicola Benedetti, Hélène Grimaud, Nigel Kennedy, Stephen Kovacevich, Lang Lang, John Lill, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Menahem Pressler, Maxim Vengerov and Julian Lloyd Webber.
In 1998, Marios Papadopoulos e founded Oxford Philomusica, the Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford since 2002, of which he is Music Director. As part of the world-wide celebrations for the 250th anniversary of W.A. Mozart’s birth in 2006, he directed from the keyboard the complete cycle of all the W.A. Mozart Concertos in seven concerts with Oxford Philomusica at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. In a three-week Beethoven Festival in 2008, he conducted the complete cycle of all the L.v. Beethoven Symphonies and directed from the keyboard the five piano concertos in six concerts to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Oxford Philomusica. The Oxford Philomusica Beethoven Festival was repeated again to celebrate the Oxford Philomusica's 15th anniversary in the 2013-2014 concert season.
Marios Papadopoulos' recordings of the L.v. Beethoven Sonatas have been set on a level with Artur Schnabel, Alfred Brendel, Daniel Barenboim, and Wilhelm Kempff (Daily Telegraph and Classic FM Magazine Critics' Choice). Apart from the complete L.v. Beethoven Piano Sonatas which he is currently recording, his prolific output as a recording artist includes performances of Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the Hyperion label, works by W.A. Mozart for a Readers’ Digest album, works by Moussorgsky - including Pictures at an Exhibition - piano works by César Franck and the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Dmitri Shostakovich. Most of his recordings are now available on the newly-launched Oxford Philomusica record label.
Marios Papadopoulos holds a doctorate in music from City University and is both a member of the Oxford University Faculty of Music and Fellow by Special Election of Keble College Oxford. He became an Honorary Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 2010 and was awarded Oxford City’s Certificate of Honour in 2013. Papadopoulos was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to music in Oxford.