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Nikos Skalkottas (1904-1949) is a leading figure in Greek music (with Manolis Kalomiris [1883-1962], the founder of a 'modernist national school'). Skalkottas and Dimitri Mitropoulos--later to establish himself as a world-renowned conductor--were the first Greek composers to adopt atonality and the twelve-tone method in the 1920s. Skalkottas also explored 20th-century tonal idioms.
In his 25-year long career, Skalkottas composed more than 170 works, often short, but sometimes of "gigantic" dimensions and of remarkable sophistication and complexity. Manuscripts for over 110 works are gathered at the Skalkottas Archives in Athens, representing more than 80% of his work (since the missing ones are generally quite short). BIS has recently released three recordings of his orchestral and chamber music (BIS CD-1014, BIS CD-1024, BIS CD-904). His three
Concerto for Violin, Viola and Wind Orchestra
Symphony in One Movement ("The Return of Ulysses")
are among his key works. Gunther Schuller is currently recording Skalkottas's
Piano Pieces Volumes I--III
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