NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904 - 1949)
The Greek composer Nikos Skalkottas trained in Athens as a violinist, continuing his studies with Willy Hess in Berlin, where he also studied composition and met many of the leading young musicians of the time. He went on to study with Schoenberg before returning in 1933 to the musically conservative Athens, where he continued to earn a living as a rank-and-file orchestral violinist.
Orchestral and Chamber Music
Skalkottas was obliged to compose only after the end of his orchestral duties. In style he remained loyal to the principals he had acquired in Berlin, while also turning to Greek folk-music for material. His orchestral music includes Greek dances, symphonic and dance suites, and a number of concertos, including three for piano, others for violin and piano, cello, oboe, violin and viola, double bass, two violins, and a Concertino for trumpet. His chamber music involves a similarly wide range of instrumentation.