Antoniou, Theodore

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Antoniou, Theodore

Antoniou, Theodore, Greek-American composer, conductor, and teacher; b. Athens, Feb. 10, 1935. He studied in Athens at the National Cons, (violin and voice, 1947–58), with Manolis Kalomiris (composition), and at the Hellenic Cons, (composition and orchestration with Yannis Papaioannou, 1958–61). He then went to Munich and was a student of Günter Bialas and Adolph Mennerich (composition and conducting) at the Hochschule für Musik (1961–65), and also of Anton Riedl at the Siemens Studio for Electronic Music. He also attended the summer courses in new music in Darmstadt (1963–66). In 1967 he became music director of the Municipality of Athens Sym. Orch. and of the Hellenic Group of Contemporary Music. In 1968 he was in Berlin under the auspices of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. He was composer-in-residence at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood (summer, 1969), Stanford Univ. (1969–70), and the Univ. of Utah (1970–72). From 1970 to 1978 he was prof. of composition and director of the New Music Group of the Philadelphia Coll. of the Performing Arts. He also was conductor of the Philadelphia Musical Academy Sym. Orch. (1971–75) and asst. director of contemporary activities at Tanglewood (summers, 1974–85). In 1978 he became prof. of composition and founder-music director of its contemporary music ensemble Alea III, with which he has programmed over 800 scores by some 500 composers. He was the recipient of the Greek Academy of Arts and Letters Music Award in 1997 for his manifold contributions to contemporary music. Antoniou’s early music is remarkably compendious in its integration of quaquaversal layers of sound. Folk elements in Greek modalities are also in evidence, and many of his titles have Greek philosophic or literary connotations. His later style developed to embrace a modified serialism and, in addition, a personal use of free tonality and free atonality. His music is highly dramatic and often virtuosic.


DRAMATIC: Clytemnestra, sound action for Actress, Dancers, Orch., and Tape (1967; Kassel, June 4, 1968); Cassandra, sound action for Dancers, Actors, Chorus, Orch., Tapes, Lights, and Projections (1969; Barcelona, Nov. 14, 1970); Chorochronos I, mixed media piece for Baritone, Narrator, Instruments, Tape, Films, Slides, and Light Effects (Philadelphia, May 11, 1973); Periander, mixed-media opera (1977–79; Munich, Feb. 6, 1983); Bacchae, ballet (1980; Athens, June 25, 1982); The Imaginary Cosmos, ballet (1984); Bacchae, opera (1991–92; Athens, Aug. 17, 1995); Monodrama for Actor and Chamber Ensemble (1992; Athens, April 9, 1994); Oedipus at Colonus, opera (1997; Athens, May 9, 1998). ORCH.: Antithesis (1962; Hannover, Jan. 20, 1966); Jeux for Cello and Strings (1963; Hannover, Jan. 23, 1965); Micrographies (1964; Kassel, March 4, 1968); Violin Concerto (Athens, Aug. 16, 1965); Kinesis A B C D for 2 String Groups (Athens, July 13, 1966); Op Overture for Orch. and Tape (1966); Events I for Violin, Piano, and Orch. (1967–68; Hagen, June 10, 1968), II (Tanglewood, Aug. 30, 1969), and III (Barcelona, Oct. 8, 1969); Katharsis for Flute and Orch. (Athens, Dec. 22, 1968); Threnos for Wind Orch. (1972; Tanglewood, Aug. 7, 1974); Chorochronos II (Reutlichen, Oct. 19, 1973); Fluxus I (1974–75) and II for Piano and Chamber Orch. (1975; Philadelphia, April 4, 1976); Double Concerto for Percussion and Orch. (1977; Philadelphia, April 26, 1978); The GBYSO Music (1982; Boston, April 17, 1983); Skolion (Athens, July 7, 1986); Concerto for Tambura and Chamber Orch. (Iraklion, Aug. 27, 1988); Paean (Boston, Oct. 26, 1989); Concerto/Fantasia for Violin and Chamber Orch. (1989; Boston, April 19, 1990); North/South for Piano and Chamber Orch. (N.Y., April 4, 1990); Celebration (Boston, Dec. 13, 1994); Concerto for Violin and Strings (1995; Athens, June 1, 1997); Concerto for Marimba, Harp, and Orch. (1995; Athens, Jan. 17, 1997); Moto Perpetuo (1995); Kommos B (N.Y., July 11, 1996); Guitar Concerto (Corfu, July 13, 1997); Piano Concerto (1998; also for 2 Pianos and Orch., 1999). chambers: string quartets (1960, 1998); Quartetto giocoso for Oboe, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1965; Berlin, June 8, 1968); Lyrics for Violin and Piano (1967; Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 1968); Five Likes for Oboe (1969; Rothenburg, Jan. 14, 1971); Synthesis for Oboe, Hammond Organ, Percussion, Double Bass, and 4 Synthesizers (1971); Four Likes for Violin (1972; Berlin, Jan. 31, 1975); Three Likes for Clarinet (1973; Vienna, Aug. 18, 1974); Stichomythia I for Flute and Guitar (1976; Philadelphia, Nov. 17, 1978) and II for Guitar (1977; Athens, March 13, 1979); Two Likes for Contrabass (1976; Boston, Nov. 12, 1989); Parastasis for Percussion and Tape (1977; Philadelphia, Dec. 10, 1978); The Do Quintet for 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone, and Tuba (Philadelphia, April 12, 1978); Aphierosis for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Violin, and Cello (1984; N.Y., Jan. 18, 1985); Octet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola, and Cello (Athens, Dec. 4, 1986); Ertnos for 9 Players (1987); Lament for Flute (Boston, April 1, 1988); Commos for Cello and Piano (1989; Athens, April 3, 1990); Dexiotechniká Idiómela for 9 Players (1989); Palermo Maggio 23, 1992 for Flute and Chamber Ensemble (1992); Epigrams II for Violin and Harp (1993); Suite for Brass Quintet and Optional Organ and Percussion (Boston, May 16, 1993); Suite for Guitar (1994–95; N.Y., May 30, 1995); Brass Quintet (1995); Ten Epigrams for Mandolin (1995; Boston, Dec. 2, 1998); Frülingswerwachen for Saxophone, Percussion, and Piano (Athens, Feb. 1996); Zøn for 8 Players (Boston, May 5, 1996); 6X22 for 12 Guitars (1996; Athens, Feb. 18, 1997); Decem Inventiones for Woodwind Quintet (1996); Eros II for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (1997); Trio Concertante for 2 Violins and Piano (London, May 1998); Romantic Duo for Violin and Harp (1998); Trios SLS for Bassoon, Piano, and Cello (1999); Double Reed and Strings for Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1999). VOCAL: Melos, cantata for Medium Voice and Orch., after Sappho (1962; Athens, April 2, 1967); Kontakion for Soloists, Chorus, and String Orch. (Berlin, May 7, 1965); Climate of Absence for Medium Voice and Orch. (Munich, Nov. 12, 1968); Moirologhia for Jani Christou for Medium Voice and Piano (1970; Athens, Oct. 1, 1971); Nenikikamen, cantata for Baritone, Mezzo-soprano, Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1971; Munich, Feb. 25, 1972); Verleih uns frieden for 3 Choruses (1971–72; Kassel, Sept. 30, 1972); Die weisse Rose, cantata for Boys’ Chorus, Mixed Chorus, Narrators, Baritone, and Orch. (1974–75; Philadelphia, April 25, 1976); Chorochronos III for Medium Voice, Piano or Percussion, and Tape (1975; Berlin, Jan. 26, 1977); Circle of Thanatos and Genesis, cantata for Tenor, Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1977–78); Revolution der Toten, cantata for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus, and Orch. (1981); Epigrams for Soprano and Chamber Orch. (1981; Chicago, April 16, 1982); Prometheus, cantata for Baritone, Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1983; Athens, July 2, 1984); 11 Aphighisis for Medium Voice and Piano (1983; also for Medium Voice and Chamber Orch., 1984, Athens, June 17, 1985, and for Medium Voice and Orch., 1996, Athens, March 9, 1998); Kriti: Oneiro Mega for Soprano, Tenor, Narrator, and 7 Players (Iraklion, Sept. 18, 1984); Paravasis I (Boston, Dec. 4, 1987) and II (1992) for Voice and Tape or Any Solo Instrument; Oraseis Opsonde for Chorus, 15 Instruments, and Optional Narrator (Boston, July 4, 1988); Eros I for Chorus and Orch. (1990) and II for Mezzo-soprano, Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (Athens, Sept. 12, 1997); Agape for Chorus, Flute, Brass, and Percussion (Boston, July 26, 1990); Westwinds for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (Boston, May 4, 1991); Ode for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (Athens, Dec. 16, 1992); Celebration III for Chorus and Orch. (N.Y., May 20, 1995); Music of the Myth for Chorus, Cello, Double Bass, and Percussion (Delphi, Aug. 12, 1996); Cantata Concertante for Mezzo-soprano, Violin, Piano, Chorus, and Orch. (1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire