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GIORGOS THYMIS

(1924-2009)

 

Born in Thessaloniki, he studied piano with Loris Margaritis and Athanasios Kontos at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki (1946, Soloist Diploma and First Prize). A grant from the Society of Macedonian Studies enabled him to continue his studies at the Vienna Music Academy (1951-54, Soloist Diploma). He took courses in Advanced Theory and Composition with Solon Michaelides (Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue), and studied conducting at the Salzburg “Mozarteum” Academy with internationally acclaimed maestros, such as Markevitch, Matacic, Leinsdorf, Dorati and others (1962, Conducting Diploma).

In 1954 he was appointed piano professor at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, where he taught until 1991. From 1958 until 1972 he also taught at the Salzburg “Mozarteum” International Summer Academy. In 1962 he was hired by the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra as an Assistant Conductor and in 1971 he became its General Director, a position he held until 1982. He was a founding member of “TECHNI” Music Society, the “THESSALONIKI TRIO” (along with violinist Kosmas Galileas and cellist Manolis Kazabakas) and the “ROTONDA” Chamber Orchestra (1955-59).

He commenced his pianistic career giving recitals in Greece and abroad, and continued his worldwide career as a maestro. He has conducted repeatedly in America, Romania, former Yugoslavia, Austria, Portugal, Israel, Bulgaria, Germany, Venezuela, Poland, North Korea, Philippines, former Soviet Union, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, France, former Czechoslovakia and Hungary. In Greece he has collaborated with the Athens State Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the Hellenic Radio-Television (at the Athens Festival and the “DIMITRIA” Festival of Thessaloniki), as well as the Thessaloniki City Symphony Orchestra. In 1983 he was invited to Poland as a member of the Jury at the “FITELBERG” International Conducting Competition in Katovice.

Among the many renowned artists who have performed as soloists under his baton, are Arrau, Weissenberg, Gelber, Cziffra, Ricci, Ughi, Ts’ong, Cherkassky, Magaloff, Brussolerie, Odnopossof, Ringeissen, Askenazy, Badura-Skoda, Katsaris, Sgouros, Tirimo and Vakarelis. He has conducted orchestras all over the world, including the Philharmonia Hungarica, the Danish Symphony Orchestra of Odense, the Strasbourg Philharmonic, the Prague Radio-Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Katovice National Symphony Orchestra.

Thymis has been a member of the “DIMITRIA” Festival Organizing Committee and also served on many other cultural committees. From 1991 to 1996 he was Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki branch of the North London College of Music (London Thames University). For a long period he was President of the Jury at the HELLEXPO International Chamber Music Competition, and also a committee member for the State Scholarship Foundation program and the YAMAHA World Piano Competition. He founded and sponsored the Panhellenic Piano Competition “GIORGOS THYMIS”, co-organized by the TSSO Friends Society and the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra itself.

His compositions comprise works for piano, violin and voice. His pedagogical work is of great importance, since he has supervised more than 80 piano graduates, many of whom pursue careers in Greece or abroad. During his long career Thymis has received numerous awards by several institutions, such as the City of Thessaloniki, the Rotary Club, the Music Society of Northern Greece, the TSSO, the Friends of the TSSO Society and others. Finally, he has had the honor of being awarded the Medal of the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture.

 

 

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