Magdalini Giannikou, Program Director, Contemporary Performance (Production Concentration) | Berklee Valencia Campus
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Magdalini Giannikou

Program Director Contemporary Performance (Production Concentration)

Magdalini Giannikou graduated from Berklee with a double major in film scoring and contemporary writing and production, after completing her diploma in classical piano and jazz studies in her native Athens, Greece. She founded the artistic project Banda Magda and has performed with her band in 22 different countries across five continents, collaborating with Grammy Award winners such as Snarky Puppy and Susana Baca. 

Giannikou has extensive experience as a producer, composer, and arranger, having written and arranged not only for her own projects, but also for formations such as Kronos Quartet and Metropole Orkest. As the daughter and granddaughter of female music educators, her natural gift and love for education is palpable. She has taught in different settings ranging from middle and high school workshops to master classes and seminars at international conferences and universities, including Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain. Her 16 years as an active bandleader, music director, producer, conductor, educator, and director of multidisciplinary projects in the global music industry make her an ideal fit for the role of program director for the Master of Music in Contemporary Performance (Production Concentration) program. She speaks Greek, English, French, and Spanish.

Career Highlights

  • Performer and band leader, Banda Magda
  • Participant in Carnegie Hall's Musical Explorers education program since 2011
  • Debut album, Amour, t'es la?, named one of NPR's 10 favorite albums of the year 
  • Performances include those in 22 countries across five continents in venues such as the Kennedy Center, L'Olympia, the Hammersmith Apollo, and Blue Note Tokyo, and at festivals such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, South by Southwest, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Kathmandu Jazz Festival, among many others
  • Chief producer and arranger for Zouzounia TV, a position that includes coordinating the team of musicians, child talent, studios, and engineers between Athens, Greece; Miami, Florida; and New York, New York, working on translations and vocal recording sessions in Spanish, Greek, Japanese, Portuguese, French, and English. Over 200 tracks arranged and produced since 2015, and the station has reached 3.2 million YouTube subscribers, with 2.5 billion views, and 60,000 daily views
  • Arranger and/or orchestrator for Metropole Orkest for five orchestra arrangements in 2018–2019 (Snarky Puppy, Jacob Collier, James Bond Tribute, Bokante, Robert Long), for string arrangements for producer Eduardo Cabra (Vicente Garcia, Ziggy Marley, Santiago Cruz), and for arrangements of diverse ensembles for artists such as Sylvie Bourban, Luisa Sobral, Marine Futin, Marcelo Woloski, and the Huntertones, among many others
  • Educator at colleges and universities including Escuela Fernando Sor, Artez Conservatory, Aarhus Conservatory, Syddansk Folkemusik, and California State University, among others; and for middle and high schools including Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Durham Academy; the Music Lab at Jefferson Center; William Fleming Public School; and Patrick Henry Public School, among others
  • Teacher of master classes on topics such as arranging, orchestration, rehearsal techniques, production, and stage presence, among many others
  • Attended the Sundance Composer's Lab, an intensive, two-week, project-based course on film music and composition under the guidance of Walter Murch, Harry Gregson Williams, George Clinton, and Osvaldo Golijov


  • While at Berklee, recipient of the George Delerue Scholarship in Film Scoring and the BMI Scholarship in Film Scoring


  • B.M., Berklee College of Music, film scoring and contemporary writing and production
  • Diploma, Hellenic Conservatory of Music and Arts, classical piano
  • Phillipos Nakas Conservatory, jazz studies