Sakelaridis, Theophrastos



Operatic and symphonic composer; born in Athens. Son of John Sakelaridis, who settled in that city as a professor of vocal music, giving special attention to the improvement of ecclesiastical music in the Church of Greece, and transferring the ancient Byzantine notation into the modern notation, so as to make it adaptable for general use. From his father, young Sakelaridis received his first instruction in music, later going to Germany and to Italy for the completion of his studies. On his return to Greece he conceived the idea of collecting the old popular Greek melodies, as sung by the people, and using them as a base for the national music. In 1903 he gave a concert in the Musical Academy of Munich; also before the Royal Court of Bavaria, when a large orchestra under his direction performed several of his compositions, with the Greek songs, in illustration of his work, sung by his father and brother. On his return to Greece he gave* a series of concerts in Athens, and later at Alexandria and Cairo. His opera, The Pirate, with libretto, derived from a poem of Polivios Demetrakspoulos, was given in September, 1907. His other important works are The Bacchides; The Sleeping Muse; Under the Sky of Greece; and a symphony on a poem of Georges Tsokopoulos. During the Olympic Games of 1906 Sakelaridis conducted the performance of the Antigone and Electra of Sophocles, and one of the performances of the comedies of Aristophanes. The music of the chorus for these plays was composed by him. He lives in Athens, where he is subdirector of the National Greek Opera.