The Greek pianist Janis Vakarelis enjoys a major international career since winning the 1st Prize at the Queen Sofia International Piano Competition in Madrid with appearances in Europe, North and South America, Japan and the Far East. He has worked with many eminent conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Neville Marriner, Charles Dutoit, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph Eschenbach, Marek Janowski, performing with the leading orchestras such as the Staatskappelle Dresden, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, City of Birmingham Symphony, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, Mozarteum Salzburg, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, among others.
Janis Vakarelis has recorded extensively over the years for RCA (Brahms,Prokofiev), ASV (Brahms), RPO Records (Liszt, Prokofiev, Gershwin) which earned him extraordinary reviews in Gramophone, Classical Music and Diapason. He performs at all the most prestigious halls - Musikverein Vienna, Festspielhaus Salzburg, Berliner Philharmonie, Tonhalle ZÜrich, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall and in international festivals- London Proms, Schleswig-Holstein, La Roque d'Anthéron, Spoleto, Brescia-Bergamo, Echternach, Gstaad,Sintra, Enescu Festival, etc.
As a chamber musician, Janis Vakarelis has worked with artists like Yuri Bashmet, Steven Isselis, Misha Maisky, Heinrich Schiff, Vladimir Spivakov, Augustin Dumay, Michel Portal, Ensemble Wien, Artis Quartet, Philharmonia Quartet Berlin, New Fine Arts Quartet, Quartetto della Scala.
Janis Vakarelis is also Artistic Director of the Nafplion International Music Festival in Greece, which he founded in 1991.
Appearances in recent seasons included his debut with Zubin Mehta and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia, Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Yutaka Sado and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Vladimir Fedoseev and the Wiener Concert Verein, Nicolai Alexeev and the Dresden Philharmonie and the St.Martin-in-the Fields Orchestra.
The President of Greece presented Janis Vakarelis with the Order of the Golden Phoenix for his services to music. Janis Vakarelis made his New York debut at the Carnegie Hall in October 2012.