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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » M » Mitropoulos, Dimitri



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Dimitri Mitropoulos (2/02/1896 - 11/02/1960)

Dimitri Mitropoulos showed musical talent from an early age: at ten years old, having started to learn to play the piano earlier, he was writing and playing his own compositions. His aptitude was noted by a member of the staff of the Athens Conservatory who encouraged him to pursue his musical studies. Having been born into a highly religious household, several of his relatives being priests of the Greek Orthodox church, Mitropoulos too considered becoming a priest, but the absence of music in the Greek Orthodox liturgy decided him in favour of music and he entered the Athens Conservatory, where he studied piano with Wassenhoven and harmony and counterpoint with Marsick. He graduated in piano in 1918 and in composition in 1920. While still a student he composed a symphonic poem entitled La mise au tombeau de Christ and his opera, Soeur Beatrice, based on a text by Maeterlinck, was performed at the Conservatory in 1920; Saint-Saëns was shown the score and later wrote favourably about it in a French journal. Mitropoulos was awarded a scholarship to study at the Brussels Conservatory with Paul Gilson during 1920 and 1921, after which he studied with Busoni in Berlin at the High School for Music until 1924. While in Berlin he also conducted as a substitute at the Berlin State Opera on Busoni’s recommendation.

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