After studying at the Hellenic Conservatory and the University in Athens (from which she holds a degree in History) Despina Homatidou gained her diploma in harpsichord at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, under the tutelage of Andrew Wilson –Dickson and Nicholas Parle, graduating first in her year and receiving also the Principal’s Award for Music. She then gained a scholarship for two years from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) to continue her studies with Nicholas Parle and James Johnstone, where she completed her Master’s Degree in Music Performance from the City University and the GSMD.
She has attended masterclasses with Kenneth Gilbert at the Academia Chigiana in Sienna, Andreas Kröper in Athens, Sophie Yates and Davitt Schaemer in London and has accompanied viola da gamba players in Jordi Savall’s classes in London.
Despina, as a continuo player, has given concerts in various venues in London (Bishopsgate Hall, the Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, St Anne & St Agnes’ Church, the International Early Music Exhibition) and in other cities in UK (the Chester Summer Music Festival and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama). She has appeared in Queen Elizabeth Hall with the “Musicians of London” and the Goldsmiths Choral Union in Handel’s Oratorio “Israel in Egypt”. With the ensemble Babillage was finalist in the York International Early Music Competition, took part in the XXIV Barcelona Early Music Fringe Festival and were invited back to be showcased as part of Cafe Zimmerman, giving concerts that were broadcasted from the Spanish Radio. She has given a solo recital in the “Norfolk House Music Room” in V&A Museum, in honour of Prince of Wales, part of the celebrations for the opening of the British Galleries.
Despina has extensively collaborated with the well-reknowned guitarist John Mills, presenting music for guitar and harpsichord, performing throughout the UK and the continent as well as the greek guitarists Michalis Kontaxakis and Dimitris Dekavallas.
In Athens, she appears often in the concert series of the conservatory “F. Nakas”, the International Art Centre “Athenaeum” and the concert hall “Parnassos”. She has also performed with the Kamerata –Orchestra of the Friends of Music in Megaron, under the conductors A. Myrat and Christopher Warren-Green and the Symphony Orchestra of Athens.
Her collaboration with the flutist Sofia Mavrogenidou (Duo Sonelli) had as a result the recording of the piece ‘Affetti’ by Milos Stedron, which was released in the Chech Republik (2009).
Despina and the baroque violinist Magdalena Cieślak, are the founding members of the Indigo ensemble, that explores music with baroque, jazz and celtic traditional elements.
Despina has taken part at the festivals Ope(r)n Air Waldbόhne Arosa (Switzerland), under the conductor Andreas Kröper, An Aout au Pays de Fayence and Rencontres Musicales des Neuf Fontaines (France), Midis-Minimes and Zomer van Sint-Pieter (Belgium) in collaboration with the mezzo soprano Betsabée Haas and the period instruments ensemble La Canamella and Christian Wagner Gesellschaft and im Geistliche Musik in der Klosterkirche Bebenhausen (Germany), Fishguard International Music Festival, Tenby Arts Festival and Radyr & Morganstown Festival (United Kingdom).
She is currently living in Cardiff and since September 2012, she’s been teaching at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
“…beautiful instrumental sound and music making of considerable quality…” (Recorder magazine)
“….extraordinary talented musician, with pronounced sense of sound and melodic intensity…” (Leonberg Kreiszeitung)
“… clarity of sound, brilliant technique, sensitive accompaniment …” (Seistro magazine, Athens)
“… brilliance and clarity in the fast passages, but also an almost sombre introversion at times … ” (Glyn Min Hughes, the Free Library)