Many of us grew up with a small toy piano that we would play loudly and annoyingly until our parents told us to be quiet. The same can’t be said for George Kondilis. From the second his fingers glided across the toy piano his yiayia bought for him, he created magic.
George was born blind but that didn’t stop him from reaching for the musical stars. From the age of two, George’s yiayia, Lambrini Stavrou, would sing to him while he mimicked the song on his toy piano. Thirty-eight years later and George’s passion for the piano has only grown stronger. Something his mum, Maria Kondilis, says has made his yiayia very proud.
“George can listen to a song, memorise it and play that very same tune on the piano. From the age of two his yiayia Lambrini would sing to him and he would mimic it. Lambrini knew from this moment her grandson was gifted and he needed to be heard,” Maria tells The Greek Herald.
“She is very proud of her grandson’s gift. She would take him to many Greek events, nursing homes and anywhere she could get people to hear his talent. He really is her star.”
The self-taught piano player has an incredible song repertoire. George is able to perform not only Greek folk songs but also classical music such as Beethoven. Whilst he doesn’t have a favourite genre, his mum says just being able to perform brings George so much joy.
“George mainly plays Greek folk songs such as the Zorba, floghera, tsamika and zebekika. He also plays classical Beethoven, the theme song to Titanic and the list goes on,” Maria explains. “But just playing the piano brings George so much joy. He can sense the audience enjoying his music and he loves loud applause and being told what a wonderful talent he has.”
And talented he definitely is. George is a true inspiration with an extremely exciting future ahead of him.
Read the GREEK version of George’s story in the print edition on July 1, 2020.