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Thomas F. Heck

revised by Peter Danner

(b Sopiki, Greece, Dec 18, 1893; d Alexandria, VA, Feb 26, 1986). American guitar teacher and publisher, born in Greece. At the age of 14 he moved from Greece to Cairo, Egypt, where he learned to play the mandolin. He returned to Greece in 1912, but in 1914 immigrated to the United States. After serving in the US Army, he settled in Washington, DC, in 1920, where he taught fretted instruments, played mandolin and banjo on the radio, and studied the guitar seriously with William Foden and George Krick. By the late 1920s he was one of the few Americans (other than Bickford, Krick, and Foden) promoting European guitar music. Papas befriended the guitarist Andrés Segovia soon after the latter’s 1928 New York début and effectively promoted Segovia’s American career thereafter. As a publisher, he established the Columbia Music Company in Washington (1928) and eventually published his ...