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Georges Aperghis

The Greek composer was born in Athens in 1945. His master was Iannis Xenakis. Besides the theatrical experiments of his company ‘Atelier Théâtre et Musique’ (Theatre and Music Workshop), he became especially well-known through his chamber works. It took him a long time to decide whether to become a musician or a painter. In post-war Athens he was not well-acquainted with the European musical avantgarde, and acquired his knowledge mostly from sheet music. His limited audio experiences included works by Schönberg, Bartók and Stravinsky. When he first encountered electronic music it was like a revelation to him. Around 1963 he decided to quit painting and become a composer. He moved to Paris in the same year, and continued his musical studies there. His early compositions were strongly influenced by serialism and the works of his master, Xenakis. Later influences included John Cage and Mauricio Kagel, as well as theatre. His activities from the mid-70s onwards have been focused around three themes; the connection between theatre and music, chamber music and opera. He has written over a hundred pieces. His music is serious yet humorous, personal and unclassifiable, it follows tradition but refuses to slavishly obey convention.