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Dino Kartsonakis is an accomplished sacred pianist of Greek heritage. Dino was born in New York City and attended Glad Tidings Tabernacle. He began playing his grandmother's piano at the age of three. The first song he had learned was "At the Cross." He was enrolled in piano lessons at age five. Dino received his professional training at The King's College as well as the Juilliard School of Music. For many years he served as pianist for the evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman. Dino has traveled extensively and produced well over 50 recordings on his own as well as mainstream labels. He has worked with various other evangelists.
Dino has hosted two television shows, the "Dino and Debby Show" in the 1970s with his first wife Deborah and "The Dino Show" which presently airs weekly on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Dino has described his style as combining the classical and the sacred. His technique has been described as fluid and brilliant and he has been termed the "Christian Liberace" because of his flair, costumes, pianos, and jewelry.
Dino has been awarded eight Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. He received the Instrumentalist of the Year award in 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1986. And in 1993 and 1996 he was awarded the Instrumental Album of the Year honor.
Many of his works are religious-based or contemporary arrangements of classical works. Dino also performs in his own show in Branson, Missouri. Among his accomplishments is the production of what is known as the "Peace Series", a collection of CDs featuring more subdued piano arrangements against a backdrop of nature sounds.
Dino performed at Carnegie Hall on December 15, 2005. He has participated in an auction benefiting Music Cares, a charitable organization that helps struggling musicians and entertainers.
Dino's first wife was Deborah Marie Keener, whom he married in 1974. They have a daughter named Christina. Dino and Debby subsequently divorced a few years later. Christina Kartsonakis is a singer/songwriter/producer and has been featured on several mainstream projects.
In 1986 Dino married his current wife, Cheryl. Cheryl Kartsonakis is a sister to gospel singer Gary McSpadden (formerly of The Imperials and the Gaither Vocal Band). Cheryl has a daughter, Cherie, from a previous marriage.
In 2007 Dino and his wife Cheryl opened a bakery in Branson, MO called Dino's 24Karrot Cake Company. Dino remarked that baking was his passion second only to performing his music. They are a major supplier to the Neiman Marcus stores and cafes.
In 2011 Dino and his wife Cheryl lost their home during flooding in the Missouri area. Dino lost all of his possessions such as his grand show pianos as well as all of his costumes, industry memorabilia, and awards. The Kartsonakis' then started helping the community by doing fundraising concerts to help other victims rebuild their lives and homes.
Dino Kartsonakis. (2011, July 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:35, February 16, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dino_Kartsonakis&oldid=441447180