Greek musician Sokratis Sinopoulos is a contemporary master of the lyra, a small bowed instrument that dates back to the Byzantine era. His playing is delicate and nuanced yet highly expressive, and his proficiency on the instrument has been widely acclaimed. Sinopoulos has collaborated with numerous musicians throughout the world. He's equally comfortable crossing genre boundaries into jazz and classical, as he is to staying true to Greek folk traditions. Born in Athens in 1974, he studied Byzantine music and classical guitar as a child, and began playing the lyra in 1988, under the instruction of Ross Daly. Sinopoulos' remarkable talent was immediately apparent, and he joined Daly's group Labyrinthos a year later. He became highly prolific, contributing to recordings by countless musicians including Derya Türkan, Eleni Karaindrou, and Loreena McKennitt. Sinopoulos was awarded the Melina Mercouri award for young artists in 1999.
In 2010, Sinopoulos collaborated with American jazz musician Charles Lloyd and Greek singer Maria Farantouri during a concert in Athens. Released as the double-CD Athens Concert by ECM the following year, the experience had a profound effect on Sinopoulos, inspiring him to take his sound in new directions. He formed Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet with pianist Yann Keerim, bassist Dimitris Tsekouras, and drummer Dimitris Emanouil, and encouraged the musicians to improvise freely and find musical common ground rather than trying to adhere to any specific genres of music. The quartet recorded their full-length debut, Eight Winds, in 2014 with producer Manfred Eicher, who released the album on ECM the following year. ~ Paul Simpson