Kalomiris, Manolis

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Kalomiris, Manolis

Kalomiris, Manolis, distinguished Greek composer and pedagogue; b. Smyrna, Dec. 26, 1883; d. Athens, April 3, 1962. He studied piano with Bauch and Sturm, theory and composition with Grädener, and music history with Mandyczewski at the cons, of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna (1901–06), then went to Russia, where he taught piano at a private school in Kharkov. He settled in Athens, where he taught at the Cons. (1911–19). He was founder-director of the Hellenic Cons. (1919–26) and of the National Cons. (1926–48). He was greatly esteemed as a teacher, and also publ. several textbooks on harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. Kalomiris was the protagonist of Greek nationalism in music. Almost all his works are based on Greek folk-song patterns, and many are inspired by Hellenic subjects. In his harmonies and instrumentation, he followed the Russian school of composition, with a considerable influx of lush Wagnerian sonorities.


dramatic:Opera: O Protomastoras (The Master-Builder), after Kazantzakis (Athens, March 24, 1916; rev. 1929 and 1940); To dachtylidi tis manas (The Mother’s Ring; 1917; rev. 1939); Anatoli (Sunrise), musical fairy tale, to a libretto by the composer after Cambyssis (1945; rev. 1948); Ta xotika nera (The Shadowy Waters), after Yeats (1950; rev. 1952); Constantinos o Palaeologus, music legend after Kazantzakis (Athens, Aug. 12, 1962). orch.:Greek Suite (1907); Iambs and Anapests, suite (1914); Greek Rhapsody for Piano and Orch. (orchestrated by G. Pierné and conducted by him, Paris, April 3, 1926); Island Pictures for Violin and Orch. (1928); 3 Greek Dances (1934); Piano Concerto (1935); Triptych (1940); Minas the Rebel, tone poem (1940); The Death of the Courageous Woman, tone poem (1945); Violin Concertino (1955). chamber: Piano Quintet, with Soprano (1912); String Trio (1921); Quartet quasi fantasia for Harp, Flute, English Horn, and Viola (1921); Violin Sonata (1948). Piano: Sunrise (1902); 3 Ballads (1906); For Greek Children (1910); 2 Rhapsodies (1921); 5 preludes (1939). vocal:The Olive Tree for Women’s Chorus and Orch. (1909); Valor Symphony for Chorus and Orch. (1920); Symphony of the Kind People for Mezzo-soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1931); At the Ossios Loukas Monastery for Narrator and Orch. (1937); Palamas Symphony for Chorus and Orch., after Palamas (Athens, Jan. 22, 1956); choruses; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire