Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Subscriber: null; date: 02 April 2020

Adamis, Mihalislocked

  • Dimitri Conomos
  • , revised by George Leotsakos

(b Piraeus, May 19, 1929). Greek composer and musicologist. He graduated in theology from Athens University (1954), in neo-Byzantine music (1955) and harmony (1956) from the Piraeus League Conservatory, and in counterpoint, fugue and composition (1959) from the Hellenic Conservatory, where he studied with Yannis A. Papaïannou. At Brandeis University (1962–5) he studied composition (with Arthur Berger), Byzantine music palaeography and electronic music. In 1950 he revived the boys' choir of the Greek Royal Palace, which he directed until 1967. He also established and conducted the Athens Chamber Chorus (1958–61). Between 1961 and 1963 he taught Byzantine music at the Holy Cross Theological Academy, Boston, Massachusetts. In 1965 he established the first electronic music studio in Athens. He was a founder-member (1965) and later president (1975–85) of both the Hellenic Association for Contemporary Music and the Greek section of the ISCM. In 1968 he was appointed head of the music department and choral director at Pierce College, Athens. As a member of the administrative board of the Ionian University, Corfu (1990–94), he was instrumental in the foundation of its music department.

Adamis is an outstanding yet solitary figure in Greek music after 1960. A considerable part of his earlier output involves the reconciliation of stylistic extremes in the form of neo-Byzantine chant on the one hand, and atonality, serialism and electronic music on the other. The liturgical ethos of works such as Apokalypsis, ékti sfraghida (‘The Sixth Seal of the Apocalypse’, 1967), Tetélestae (‘It is Accomplished’, 1971) and Photonymon (1973), lends the combination an unexpectedly dramatic impact; it was certainly perceived as courageous in Greece, where many Orthodox intellectuals still reject Western music as incompatible with their ideals of national identity. In the 1980s, during which he concentrated on instrumental music, Adamis's style underwent a gradual modification. Expanding his research into the modes and rhythms of folksong, he explored a ‘polymelodic’ counterpoint, in which independent lines combine to produce striking harmonic conflicts, the kaleidoscopic effect heightened by shifting, iridescent tone-colours (Alloiostrofa, 1986; Eptaha, 1989; Enestota, 1991; Hellenion, 1996).


(selective list)


Choral, acc.

Vyzantina pathi [Byzantine Passion], 6 solo psaltes, psaltes chorus, 2 mixed choruses, bells, talanta, semantra, 1967

Génesis (S. Beiles, A. Rooney), nar, 3 choruses, tape, dancers, 1968

Miroloi [Lamentation], 2 psaltes, 2 isocrates, perc, tape, 1970 rev. 2 psaltes, 2 isokrates, SSSAAATTBB, perc, tape, 1973

Iketirion (Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes), 2 nar, 30 female vv, idiophones, 1971

Tetélestae [It is Accomplished] (Bible: John), psaltis, mixed chorus, tape, 1971

Photonymon, psaltis, mixed chorus, bells, talanta, semantra, 1973

Eirmos, SSAATTB, 3 metallic idiophones, 1975

Rodhanon (nonsense syllables), T, male chorus, fl, ob, cl, tuba, str qt, 1983

Tetélestae, T, 2 mixed choruses, 2 fl, ob, cl, 2 hn, tpt, trbn, 3 perc, str, 1987

In Bethlehem, mixed chorus, fl, ob, cl, bn, perc, str, 1988

Hristougena-Protougenna (trad. Christmas carol), BarBarBB, fl, ob, cl, vc, perc, 1992

Os thisavron [Like a Treasure] (Sikeliotis), T, mixed chorus, ob, cl, trbn, vc, chimes, 1994

Theoptia [Vision of God] (Bible, hymns, St Gregorius Palamas), 2 psaltes, mixed chorus, orch, 1997

Choral, unacc.

Orthodox Liturgy, 1954

Fonés [Voices] (C. Cavafy), SATB, 1959

Psalmiki odhi [Psalmic Ode] (Pss cx, viii, cxxxi), SATB, 1962

Idiomela 4, SATB, 1967

Seven Against Thebes (Aeschylus), SSAA, 1968

Anastassimi odhi [Ode for the Resurrection], psaltis, mixed chorus, 1969

Iphigenia in Aulis (Euripides), SAA, 1970

I treis paedes en kamino [The Fiery Furnace], psaltis, male chorus; Nyfiatika Dodekanissou [Wedding Songs of the Dodecanese] (trad.), SSATB, 1979

[4] Koitika tragoudhia [4 Folksongs from Kos], SATB, 1982

Prometheion (Aeschylus, D. Solomos, trad.), B, SSAATTBB, 1983

Eufraenou Thessaloniki [Rejoice, Salonica] (G. Sikeliotis), SSATB, 1986

Hiotika Dhimotika tragoudhia [Folksongs from Chios], SATB, 1989

Threnos [Lamentation] (Aeschylus), 1993

Xeniteméno [Expatriated] (I. Vilaras), children's chorus/female chorus, 1993

O moira [Oh Destiny] (Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes), male chorus, 1993

Neféli foteini [Bright Cloud] (Bible: Matthew xvii.5), SSAATTBB, 1999

O glykasmos ton anghélon (Hymn from the Supplicatory Canon to the Holy Virgin, Orthodox Church Hymnography), SATB, 1999

Ton lypeeron (Hymn from the Supplicatory Canon to the Holy Virgin), SSA, 1999

Oti meth’ eemon o Theos [God is with Us] (Bible: Isaiah viii.10), SATB, 1999

Ti Hypermacho II [To Thee, the Champion Leader] (Orthodox Church Hymnography), SATB, 1999

Tis Theos mégas [Who is so Great a God] (Orthodox Church Hymnography), SSA, 1999

harmonizations and elaborations of Byzantine chants, folksong arrs.

Other vocal

Apokalypsis, ékti sfraghida [The Sixth Seal of the Apocalypse], nar, 6 vocal groups, tape, 1967

Kratema (nonsense syllables), psaltis, ob, tuba, tape, 1971

Orestes (Euripides), Bar, perc, tape, 1972

Mélisma (nonsense syllables), (S/A/T, fl)/(S, cl), 1981

Aide Maro [Come on, Maro] (trad.), S, A, B, rec, pf, 1992

Ghyni perivevliméni [A Woman Clothed with the Sun] (Bible: John xii.1), Mez, pf, gong, 1998

Mayema i physsis [Nature’s Spell] (D. Solomos), S, fl, ob, cl, bn, 1998

Orch and large ens

Sinfonietta, chbr orch, 1961

Evolutiones, orch, 1980

Epallelon, 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, b cl, 2 bn, dbn, 4 hn, 2 tpt, 2 trbn, tuba, 3 perc, 1985

En hordais ke organois [In Strings and Flutes], 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bn, hn, tpt, tuba, str, 1994

Other instrumental

Litourghiko Kontsérto [Liturgical Conc.], ob, cl, bn, str qt, 1955

2 Pieces, vn, pf, 1958

Variations, (2 vn, va, vc, db)/orch, 1961

Suite in ritmo antico, pf, 1959

Duo, vn, pf, 1961

3 Pieces, db, pf, 1962

Anakyklisis, fl, ob, cel, va, vc, 1964

Epitymvio [Epitaph], pf, 1965

Prooptiki [Perspective], fl, pic, 2 perc, 1965

Ihima, tuba, 1974

Ihima II, vc, 1974

Paegma, fl, cl, tpt, tuba, perc, vn, vc, 1976

Qt, fl, vn, va, vc, 1977

Paramythi [Fairy Tale] (R. Bach), narr, cl, vn, vc, perc, 1977, rev. as Glaros [Seagull], fl, db, metallophone, tape; Metallaxis, fl, ob, 2 cl, 2 bn, 2 hn, tpt, 1985

Alloiostrofa, fl, cl, vn, va, pf, perc, 1986

Kalophonikon, 2 s sax, 2 a sax, 1988

Periakton, fl, ob, cl, bn, perc, vn, va, vc, 1988

Strofikon, 2 gui, 1988

9 ‘yirismata’ on a Chios Folksong, pf, 1989

Eptaha, cl, va, 1989

Koitika I, fl, cl, vn, vc, 1989

Koitika II 4, 3 vn, vc, 1989

Koitika IIa, str qt, 1989

7 automela, str qt/str orch, 1990

Enestota, fl, ob, cl, bn, vn, va, vc, 1991

Esothen, wind qnt, 1991

Paga laléoussa, 2 tpt, hn, trbn, tuba, 1992

Hristougena-Protougenna, 2 tpt, hn, trbn, tuba, 1992 [based on trad. Christmas carol]

En yee erimo [On Desert Land], trbn, vib, timp, tam-tam, 1994

Dragon, 3 db, 1994

Hellenion, fl, a fl, ob, eng hn, cl, basset horn, 1996

Evhymnon, sax qt, 1998

Molpi [Melos], a sax, 2000


Ajax, 1960

Symposium, 1960

Phaedrus, 1961

Piece One, Piece Two, 1964

Minyrismos, 1966

Metallika glypta [Metallic Sculptures], 1972

incid music for 9 plays

Principal publishers: Breitkopf, Gerig, Gravis, Modern, Nomos


  • Review of O. Strunk: Specimina notationum antiquiorum, MMB, 7 (1966), Epetiris Etairias Byzantinon Spoudon, xxv (1966), 443ff
  • ‘Catalogue of Byzantine Musical Manuscripts in Zante’, Epetiris Etairias Byzantinon Spoudon, 25 (1966), 313–65
  • ‘Neotropi melodiki kataskevi’ [New ways of melodic construction], Epoches (1966), 154–5
  • ‘An Example of Polyphony in Byzantine Music of the Late Middle Ages’, IMSCRXI: Copenhagen 1972, 737–47
  • ‘A Reference to the Relation of Eastern and Western Chant’, Studies in Eastern Chant, 4, ed. M. Velimirović (Crestwood, NY, 1979), 3–4
  • ‘Isagoghi stin istoria tis Vyzantinis moussikis me vassi ta moussika heirographa’ [An introduction to the history of Byzantine music, based on musical manuscripts], Dheltio tis etaireias neohellenikou politismou ke yenekis paedheias (Athens, 1982)
  • ‘Vyzantinos moussikos politismos: syneidhissi ke prooptiki’ [Byzantine musical civilization: consciousness and perspective], Odhoiporia elpidhos (Athens, 1992), 47–60
  • ‘Some Instances in the Byzantine Manuscripts Indicating a Relationship to the Music of the West’, Polyphonies de tradition orale: Royaumont 1990, 59–67
  • ‘Within and Beyond Symbolism’, CMR, 12 (1995), 9–21


  • Viografiko lexico prosopikotiton: Who's Who 1979 (Athens, 1979), 16 only
  • G. Leotsakos: ‘Adamis, Michalis’, Pangosmio viografiko lexico [Universal biographical dictionary], 1 (Athens, 1983), 58 only
  • Y. Solomos: Aspects de la musique grecque contemporaine (diss., U. of Paris, 1984)
Contemporary Music Review
International Musicological Society: Congress Report [1930-]