Filoktitis Oikonomidis

Conductor, Violinist
He was born in Athens in 1889. He received a Ph.D. from the Athens Law School. He studied at the Athens Conservatory, where he later served as a teacher of advanced music theory and director (1930-39). He was the teacher and educator of important Greek musicians and composers (Dimitris Mitropoulos, Mikis Theodorakis, et al.). He served as director of the Piraeus Conservatory (1924-31) and participated in the Athens Conservatory Symphony Orchesrta as a violinist (1900-42) and as a viola soloist (1900-17). In 1921 he founded the Choir of Athens, which he directed and with which he presented, for the first time in Greece, oratorios by leading composers, such as: Bach's Matthäuspassion and Mass in B minor, Mozart's Krönungsmesse and Requiem, Händel's Messiah, Haydn's Die Schöpfung, Honegger's Le Roi David, Berlioz's La damnation de Faust, Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, etc. In 1922, he co-founded the Athens Folk Concerts series, where he also served as conductor. In 1942, he transformed the Athens Conservatory Symphony Orchestra into the Athens State Orchestra and became its lifelong director general. He was a prominent figure of the modern Greek music scene for over half a century. In addition, he conducted major music ensembles abroad, including: the Philharmonics of Berlin and London, the Vienna Symphony, the orchestra of St. Cecilia's conservatory in Rome, the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra in Paris, the orchestra of the Naples Conservatory, etc. He orchestrated Greek folk songs and authored textbooks on music. In 1955, he and Dino Yannopoulos co-organized the first Athens Festival, where he conducted the GNO force in the opera Orpheus and Eurydice [Orfeo ed Eurydice]. In 1954 he served as unpaid director of the GNO. He died in Athens on 10/12/1957.