The Symphonic Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1935) by Manolis Kalomiris: Reaffirming the National-Ideal Topos Through the (Old) Western Canon

  • Giorgos Sakallieros Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Music Studies
Keywords: Greek art music, piano concerto typology, modality, folk song, texture, variation, fugue, national identity, self-referential portrayal


Manolis Kalomiris’s Symphonic Concerto for piano and orchestra (1935) consolidates the virtuosic piano performance and the complexity of romantic symphonic texture with the appearance of authentic Greek folk material, its westernized treatments, and symbolic self-references arising from the Greek National School principles. The work is critically examined through historical and analytical perspectives, aiming at a better understanding of the composer’s aspirations expressing the indigenous artistic, cultural and political circumstances of the period when it was completed. Examples of the relative Greek and international “concertante” repertoire, from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, are also taken into comparative consideration.

Author Biography

Giorgos Sakallieros, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Music Studies

Giorgos Sakallieros is Associate Professor of historical musicology at the School of Music Studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He holds a PhD in musicology from the Faculty of Music, University of Athens. He also studied composition and advanced music theory. His publications include the books Dimitri Mitropoulos and His Works in the 1920s. The Introduction of Musical Modernism in Greece (Athens: Hellenic Music Centre, 2016 – 1st Prize for Musicological Monograph by the Union of Greek Music and Theatre Critics, 2018) and Yiannis Constantinidis (1903–1984): His Life, Works and Compositional Style (Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, 2010), many articles, and contributions to Grove Music Online. His research mainly focuses in Greek art music (19th-20th cent.), through historical, analytical and interdisciplinary perspectives. He is also an active composer with more than 30 titles, several of them having been awarded in national competitions. He has collaborated in international research programs with major European institutions (IRCAM, ZKM, Onassis Foundation). He is a member of the International Musicological Society (IMS), of the Society of Interdisciplinary Musicology (SIM), of the Hellenic Musicological Society, and of the Greek Composers Union.