Grek, Alexandros Konstantinos
- Kostas Kardamis
(b Corfu, 1/Nov 13, 1876; d Corfu, Oct 13, 1959). Greek composer, pianist, and conductor. He studied piano and composition in the Naples Conservatory (1894–8) and in 1899 he was appointed artistic director of the ‘Mantzaros’ Philharmonic Society of Corfu. In 1903 he moved to Athens to study at the Athens Conservatory and in 1906 he composed the opera Androniki. In 1907 he returned to Corfu, but in 1911 he moved to Alexandria (then an important centre of the Greek diaspora). There he demonstrated important musical activity as a composer, teacher, choirmaster, and conductor. In 1923 he was the music director of the Greek Association ‘Aischylos-Arion’. In 1948 Grek returned to Corfu, where he collaborated with its major music institutes, attempted to reorganize its postwar music activity, and presented several of his works, including his popular operettas Myriella and Carmelita.
Grek was the last major figure of the so-called ‘Ionian School’. As was the case with most of his fellow composers of the time, he actively and creatively participated in the quest for ‘national Greek music’ well before the coinage of the term by Kalomiris in ...