Born in Naoussa (Greece). Thanos is steadily achieving recognition to be one of the leading world-class performers of his generation. His rich musicianship and perfectionism have already credited him with the highest praise from audiences and critics. It is his intense musical intuition, flawless technique and personal style in his interpretations that easily captivate the audience. Through his extended devotion to the study and performance of the idiomatic music of Sergio Assad , Thanos achieved to be regarded by the great Brazilian master a top-class interpreter of his works. Sergio Assad, between other comments, writes for Thanos: "...An incredible musician and guitarist!”, “...He has total control and understanding of my music!..."...". Classical Guitar Magazine (Blair Jackson-Nov 2017) refers to him: “...a formidable guitarist!..
American Record Guide (Kenneth Keaton-May 2012) mentioned: “Mitsalas’s playing is excellent…His technical command and sense of invention and expression are impressive!” Sharon Isbin (Head of the guitar department at The Juilliard School) said for him: “Thanos has a brilliant virtuoso technique and an excellent musicianship – truly an extraordinary talent! His playing is of the highest professional caliber!” Reviewer Timothy Smith (Oct 2014) at minor7th mentions: “Mitsalas marries all of the elements of great classical guitar playing: enormous and evocative tonal range, world-class command of the instrument, and a unique and defining musical voice….Mitsalas' newest offering, entitled "Contemplation", is quite simply one of the finest recordings I've encountered in my decade of writing reviews.”
He started his international steps at a very early age, being the youngest winner ever in the history of competitions like Volos International Guitar Festival & Competition - Greece (while 15 years old), Silesian Guitar Autumn-Poland (while 16 years old) and Carrefour Mondial de la guitare-Martinique/South America (while 18 years old).Since then he has performed successfully in many major international artistic events and venues like Lincoln Center of NY, Merkin Hall (NY), Hancock Auditorium (Los Angeles), Queen's Grand Theatre of Zhengzhou-China, Athens & Thessaloniki Megaron of Music, etc) , touring throughout Europe, Asia, North & South America.
Thanos Mitsalas graduated with the greatest honors from New Conservatory of Thessaloniki-Greece (class of Costas Cotsiolis), Hochscule fur Music in Koln/Aachen-Germany (class of Thomas Muller Pering) and finally from the prestigious Juilliard School-NY, where he studied on a full scholarship at Sharon Isbin's class, evaluated as one of the most brilliant talents of the school.
A versatile guitarist, Mitsalas performs both as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles and has performed with orchestras conducted by such important personalities like Leo Brouwer, Josif Conta, Theodoros Antoniou, Jan Wincenty Hawel, Emir Saul among others.
Important contemporary composers (S.Assad , G.Drozd , S.Iannarelli - to name a few) have dedicated works to Thanos. He has also performed several International and National ‘premieres’ of guitar compositions by major composers of our time (works by Assad, L.Brouwer, G.Drozd, R.Dyens, S.Iannarelli, J.Clerch,etc) and repeatedly recorded for Greek and foreign International Radio and TV networks.
Beside his performing activities Thanos teaches at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, and as a guest professor at many international music festivals, music schools-universities or summer music academies. For ten years he holded the position of the artistic director at the Municipal Conservatory of Naoussa (Greece). Many of his students have followed successful careers as performers or pedagogists of guitar.
Since 2008 he has intensively devoted himself to the music of the great guitarist – composer Sergio Assad. During the IGF of Volos - Greece (2019), Thanos was honored to participate – as a specialist in S.Assad's music- together with the legendary Assad Brothers at a unique Gala Concert dedicated to the famous Duo and the music of Sergio Assad. During the same year Thanos was hosted by Sergio Assad in Brazilian TV (SESC TV & Movimento Violao), for a recording and broadcast of a program tribute to Assad's solo guitar music. Thanos' discography includes solo guitar music, as well as chamber music works written by the Grammy awarded Brazilian master. Among other pieces, he has recorded world premieres of such important and enchanting works like Concerto Fantasia “Mikis” for Guitar and Strings, “Eli's portrait”,“Sandy's portrait” and “Seikilos Epitaph's Fantasy”.