The Composer

Effective leader of the modern Greek National School of Music. His activities as composer, author, teacher, music critic and manager shaped Greek musical life to a considerable extent during the first half of the 20th century.

He started his musical education in Athens and Constantinople and completed it in Vienna between 1901 and 1906. After spending four years as a piano teacher in Kharkov (today in Ukraine, then part of Imperial Russia), he settled permanently in Athens, in autumn 1910.
Founder two of the most important conservatories in Greece; cofounder of Union of Greek Composers, he served for a time as director of the National Opera (1945).


He was the first musician to be elected member of the Athens Academy. His large output includes 3 symphonies, 5 operas and hundreds of songs. [The number of his works is quoted as 100 or as 220 depending on whether individual songs are counted as separate works or are grouped into song cycles.]

Music critic George Leotsakos has said about Kalomiris:

Consciously moving between Wagnerism, the 19th Century Russian School and Greek folklore, he attained especially in his orchestral scores, a style of his own. A polyphonic structure (sometimes over-rich) brilliantly and colourfully orchestrated, is driven forward with a healthy exuberance and an overwhelming sense of dramatic impact and melodic pathos, not unskillfully expanding folksong modes into chromatic structures.

At the turn of the millenium Kalomiris' music remains largely unknown outside Greece but at least two of his works, his Symphony No.1, “Leventia” and his opera The Mother’s Ring, are relatively well known in Greece.


In the nearly 40 years since his death Kalomiris' music has withstood the onslaught of various fashions of artistic modernism, populism and now cosmopolitanism. It has survived and will survive all of them because, despite its largely borrowed language, it has something unique and sincere to say.

H. Politopoulos, December 1999


born in Smyrna (Izmir), Turkey 14.12.1883, d. Athens, Greece, 3.4.1962

Kalomiris' music has been published by various houses in Greece and abroad. All his music, published and unpublished, can be obtained through the Manolis Kalomiris Society. Some of it can be made available electronically.  

Kalomiris' original manuscripts have been microfilmed and copies are normally available at the Music Library of Greece “Lilian Voudouri” [link]. You can email the Music Library of Greece “Lilian Voudouri webmaster for further details. Copies should also be available at the University of Corfu, at the State Conservatory of  Salonica and at the University of Indianapolis in the USA.

Copyright © 2015 Manolis Kalomiris Society. More Info: TERMS OF USE. Contact info.