Dino Kartsonakis

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Dino Kartsonakis
Born (1942-07-20) July 20, 1942 (age 74)
New York City, United States
Genres Christian, classical
Occupation(s) Pianist, television host
Instruments Piano
Years active 1963–present
Labels Benson
Website www.dinoplayspiano.com

Dino Kartsonakis (born July 20, 1942) is an American pianist of Greek heritage. He is known for his virtuosic arrangements of sacred music for the piano.


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.[1]

Dino has hosted two television shows, the "Dino and Debby Show" in the 1970s with his first wife Deborah Keener and "The Dino Show" which formerly aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.[2] 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.[3]

Many of his works are religious-based or contemporary arrangements of classical works. Dino also performs in his own show in Branson, Missouri.[4] Among his accomplishments is production of what is known as the "Peace Series", a collection of CDs featuring more subdued piano arrangements against a backdrop of nature sounds.[5]

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.[6]

Dino received a participation Grammy Award in 1999 for his work on the soundtrack of the movie The Apostle.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1974, Dino married his first wife, Deborah Keener, and together they have a daughter, Christina (who is now a singer-songwriter and producer, and goes by the stage name Sugar Dame).[8] After touring as Dino & Debby, the two divorced in 1981. In 1986, Dino married his second and current wife, Cheryl, who is the sister of Gospel music singer, Gary McSpadden, formerly of The Imperials and the Gaither Vocal Band. Cheryl has a daughter from a previous marriage.[9]

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 cafe's.[10]

In 2011 Dino and his wife Cheryl lost their home during a flood in the Branson, 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.[11]

GMA awards[edit]

Eight Gospel Music Association Dove Awards:

  • 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986: Instrumentalist of the Year[12]
  • 1993, 1996: Instrumental Album of the Year[13]


  • 1963: No Greater Love
  • 1964: Request by Dino
  • 1972: Alleluia
  • 1972: Kathryn Kuhlman Presents Dino
  • 1973: The Miracle with David Rose
  • 1973: With Love from Dino
  • 1974: He Touched Me
  • 1974: Salute to the United States of America
  • 1975: My Tribute
  • 1976: Folk Musical Themes
  • 1977: Classic Country
  • 1977: Piano Portrait
  • 1978: Dino on Tour
  • 1978: Love Song
  • 1979: Just Piano Praise
  • 1979: Rise Again
  • 1980: Rush Hour
  • 1981: Just Piano Praise II
  • 1982: Just Piano Praise III
  • 1983: Chariots of Fire
  • 1983: Majesty
  • 1984: A Christmas Gift
  • 1984: Great is the Lord
  • 1985: Regal Reign
  • 1986: A Place For Us
  • 1987: A Wonderful Time of the Year
  • 1988: Dino Kartsonakis
  • 1989: Peace in the Midst of the Storm
  • 1990: All Creation Sings
  • 1991: Majestic Peace
  • 1992: Christmas...A Time For Peace
  • 1992: Somewhere in Time
  • 1993: Rhythm of Peace
  • 1994: Miracles
  • 1995: Classical Peace
  • 1996: Quiet Time
  • 1997: Moonlight Sonata
  • 1997: The Apostle Soundtrack
  • 1997: The Lord's Prayer
  • 1997: Unforgettable
  • 1998: A Christmas Celebration
  • 1999: Quiet Romance
  • 2000: Quiet Inspiration
  • 2002: Somewhere in Christmastime
  • 2007: Birthday of the King


  • 1976: Christmas with Dino
  • 1985: Encore
  • 1998: Dino Collector's Series
  • 2007: Sacred Piano Hymns


  • 1987: A Concert Spectacular
  • 1998: Music For All Time
  • 2000: Christmas Extravaganza
  • 2002: Easter Spring Spectacular
  • 2007: Birthday of the King


  1. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino and Kuhlman". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino & Debbie. "Dino and Debby Show". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino Dubbed "The Christian Liberace"". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino Performs in Branson". Bransonshows.com. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino Plays Sounds of Nature". Pandora. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino Plays Carnegie Hall". assistnews.net. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino wins participation Grammy for the Apostle". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Kartsonakis, Christina. "Christina Kartsonakis as Sugar Dame". antimusic.com. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino divorces first wife". google.com. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino's 24Karrot Cake Company". Dino Kartsonakis. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Kartsonakis, Dino. "Dino and Cheryl Lose their Home during flood". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Dove Award Recipients for Instrumentalist". Published by the Gospel Music Association. Retrieved November 15, 2006.
  13. ^ "Dove Award Recipients for Instrumental Album". Published by the Gospel Music Association. Retrieved November 15, 2006.

External links[edit]