Stelios Pittas: 'My biggest challenge? Combining my professional work as an accountant with my music career'

Cellist Stelios Pittas tells all in our Q&A

Stelios Pittas is a Cypriot Cellist who spent eight years living in Malta. He still visits Malta frequently for concerts organised by various local orchestras. The initial instrument that Stelios started playing was the classical guitar at age seven, he then pursued the cello at the age of 11. Stelios won an international competition for young guitarists when he was 15. At that same age, he started performing as a principal cello player in the Cyprus Youth Orchestra. Stelios had the opportunity to perform aboard at the Apple Hills Music Festival in the United States, representing Greek Cypriots for peace in Cyprus as well as been invited to play alongside the amazing Cypriot Singer Vakia Stavrou with her band at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Maldives and Cyprus. Whilst living in Malta, Stelios had the opportunity to be part of the orchestra in the local musical production of Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Adam’s Family.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I prepare myself for the gym before heading to work.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

That I should learn from my own failures and mistakes, to improve myself.

What do you never leave the house without?

My phone and car keys.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Positive, ambitious, friendly.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Winning an international competition in the classical guitar category at the age of 15.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Eating snacks while watching TV.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To be proactive and set targets.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

The cello.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

To keep practising music.

Who’s your inspiration?

Jacqueline Du Pre. She was the greatest cellist of all time from a very young age.  Unfortunately, her career was cut short at age 28 due to multiple sclerosis.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Combining my professional work as an accountant with my music career.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

A painter.     

Do you believe in God?


If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would love to have dinner with Niccolò Paganini to ask him to play Caprice No. 24 with his violin.

What’s your worst habit?

Forgetting things behind me.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I will be sleepy and can sleep everywhere and anywhere.

Who would you have played you in a film?

Tom Hanks.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Complaining about life.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

The Swan by Saint Saens.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My Cello.

What is your earliest memory?

Performing in a concert with the cello in Maldives.

When did you last cry, and why?

At the airport when leaving back to Cyprus after living in Malta for eight years.

Who would you most like to meet?

YoYo Ma – one of the best cellists at the current time.

What’s your favourite food?

Suvla – Cyprus traditional BBQ.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Pablo Fernandez – a young and ambitious cellist who posts videos of himself playing on YouTube.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

The era of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

What book are you reading right now?

Sadly, reading is not my favourite hobby, but I like to read about music and sports material while browsing.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Fly – to enjoy the freedom.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

I just want to continue playing music.

What music are you listening to now?

The State of Trance is a Dutch trance radio show hosted by Armin van Buuren.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

I sing the Trollolo song by Eduard Khil.

Arts Council Malta.

This article is supported by Arts Council Malta.