Vasilis Rakopoulos was born in Athens Greece. He got his degree in Electrical Engineering in 1975 at METSOVION National Technical University of Athens (NTU) and had post graduate studies both in Wave mechanics at DIMOKRITOS NUCLEAR CENTER( 1976-78) and in Operational research a at NTU (1979-1980).
Throughout his academic training, he has been working as a guitarist and arranger for various record labels and performed with some of the greatest Greek composers (M.Theodorakis ,M.Chajidakis, N.Mamagakis etc) both in Europe and the United States.
At the same period he had been active within the uprising jazz scene of Athens performing with guests jazz musicians like Rudolf Dasek, Bella Lakatos, Johnny Labizy, winning the guitar player position of the European jazz big band of young musicians.
He lived in Bern-CH (1980-1990) and worked as session guitarist & trumpet player in small combos and bigger formations, attending the courses of the professional department of the SJS and dedicating most of his efforts in Composition.
In 1986 he graduated from SWISS JAZZ SCHOOL (HOCHSCHULE der KUNST/ BERN CONSERVATORY) with a degree in Jazz guitar. He studied counterpoint and fugue with M. Gutesha as well as composition and orchestration with Axel Jungblood. He also took music pedagogy courses at the Bern University.
Coming back to Greece he started recording his compositions developing his personal discography:
1. Roxani (Lyra) 2. Torch dance (e-terra) 3. Iris (protasis)
4. Enotites tris (universal/muse.gr ) 5. ammon (muse.gr/wave)
He has performed his compositions and arrangements at Athens Megaron (educational cycle), Helikon festivals of Athens with Egberto Gismonti, Aziza Mustafa Zadeh & Bulgarian voices,
Theatre de la Ville – Paris (Iris group), international jazz festival of Rome, A-fes Skopja, international jazz festivals of Athens & Thessaloniki, opening events of Olympic games 2004 Heraklion Kreta.
He has got a vast teaching experience. He currently works as professor of Jazz Guitar and Functional Harmony at Ionio University.
Concerning his compositional work, the thematology and musical idioms used, have multicultural influences, the main characteristic being his reference to the Greek ancient Drama principals and his preference to the classical forms (for more details: “Greek Composers Dictionary” of A.Symeonides).