Michalis Stavrakakis was born in the village of Armanogia in the Heraklion province and he grew up in the town of Anogeia in Rethymnon where he developed a relationship with music based on the lifestyle of the area itself in which music is a very important part. He became actively involved with the mandolin and the laouto from his childhood years.
His first teaching experience was at the Folk Music School of Aristides Moschos and Dimitris Lagios during the years 1985-1987. This was followed by a long succession of teaching positions including The Musical Gymnasiums of Heraklion and Rethymnon (1995-2013), the Municipal Music School of Heraklion, the Pan-Cretan Music School, The Music School “Chromaton”, The Pan-Cretan School. He has also taught many seminars at the Musical Workshop Labyrinth.
Michalis Stavrakakis has also been very active during his more than four decades of career performing concerts and participating in recordings with various formations in which he has participated or created himself. He is rightly considered to be one of today’s foremost exponents of Cretan music as well as of other related idioms.
His originality and pioneering work have placed him at the forefront of many of the most significant developments of contemporary Greek music. His distinctive and highly individual sound, his exceptional technique and aesthetic sense on both the mandolin and the laouto have resulted in his having worked with some of the foremost exponents of Cretan and Greek traditional music.
He was a founding member of ensembles such as Labyrinth and Hainides in which his contribution as instrumentalist, singer, and composer was highly significant.