Roussakis, Nicolas , Greek-born American composer and teacher; b. Athens, June 10, 1934; d. N.Y., Oct. 23, 1994. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1949 and became a naturalized citizen in 1956; attended Columbia Univ. (B.A., 1956; M.A., 1960; D.M.A., 1975), where he studied with Luening, Beeson, Cowell, Weber, Shapey, and Jarnach. He received a Fulbright grant for study in Germany (1961–63); attended seminars of Boulez, Berio, Ligeri, and Stockhausen in Darmstadt. Upon his return to the U.S., he became active with contemporary music groups. He taught at Columbia Univ. (1968–77) and at Rutgers, the State Univ. of N.J. (from 1977). His works are marked by an aggressive modernity of idiom, but are satisfyingly playable and surprisingly pleasurable even to untutored ears. They include Night Speech for Chorus and Percussion (1968), Short Pieces for 2 Flutes (1969), Concertino for Percussion and Woodwinds (1973), Ode and Cataclysm for Orch. (1975), Ephemeris for String Quartet (1979), Fire and Earth and Water and Air for Orch. (1980–83), Pas de deux for Violin and Piano (1985), Trigono for Trombone, Vibraphone, and Drums (1986), The God Abandons Antony, cantata for Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1987), Hymn to Apollo for Small Orch. (1989), To Demeter, for Orch. (1994; N.Y., Oct. 29, 1995), piano pieces, and choruses.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire