Christos Yiallouros

christos yiallouros

Hélène La Rue Scholarship

Joining us from: Cyprus

DPhil in Music (2022)

I am a doctoral music student from Cyprus. Before coming to Oxford, I did my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London. As a classical pianist, I have been a prize winner of various piano competitions and recipient of prestigious awards. I have performed with orchestras, small ensembles and singers in solo and chamber music recitals. I am passionate about exploring and performing less-known repertoire, as well as new music, collaborating with living composers. During the last few years, I have premiered more than eight new works for piano solo and small ensembles, and I have worked with animation artists from the University of Arts London, developing projects which were presented in the London Piano Festival 2022.

My research is about defining the ontological identity of notational transcriptions and posthumous notated compositions, while challenging the notion of ‘the work’ in Western art music, using Nicolas Economou’s (transcribed) compositions. Also, as a pianist, I aim to examine the relationship between performers and these kinds of musical texts, as well as ways they can be interpreted.

I have always been fascinated by the legacy composers leave through their manuscripts and intrigued by the editing processes that lead towards the publication of a work’s edition. As a performer that was taught to use musical scores and editions with critical thinking, as well as a musician interested in the compositional work of Cypriot pianist and composer Nicolas Economou, my doctoral research was undoubtedly shaped according to my artistic identity; something which makes the whole research process for me fascinating.

Apart from practicing the piano, I usually spend my free time working out, cooking, or reading a good book. Even though I am not a coffee aficionado or a great baker, I always try to discover and visit new small, cosy coffee shops and bakeries.

My goal is to pursue a career in the academia, while performing – both as a soloist and chamber musician – and teaching piano. Also, I am very interested in getting involved in arts and cultural management, as I strongly believe that artists should be able to have their say in decisions regarding their profession. I aim to make classical music more accessible to young audiences through multimedia and promote young composer’s works as much as possible.

I constantly challenge myself in order to develop as a person and an artist, and from the very beginning of the application process, it was clear to me that this university would be the ideal place for me in order to grow and excel during my doctoral studies. Here, professors and students are truly passionate about their field, and being surrounded by this community, I always feel inspired to work hard and achieve my goals. Also, the University of Oxford, as one of the best universities in the world, offers facilities and access to material and sources that few universities can, while being a member of a college allows me to interact with students and staff of all disciplines, other than music, which is fascinating and intriguing. 

Paying fees and finding funding have always been the biggest challenges for doctoral students. After spending six years in London for my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, paying full fees for my doctoral studies for three years would be a huge challenge for me, as well as my parents. Undoubtedly, the Hélène La Rue Scholarship has allowed me to concentrate fully on my studies and research, as well as my piano practice and musical engagements, without worrying much about money.