Petros Theodorou

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Like a handful of avant-garde artists based in Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, Petros Theodorou has crafted himself a style that lies somewhere between classical composition and electro-acoustic,…
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Like a handful of avant-garde artists based in Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, Petros Theodorou has crafted himself a style that lies somewhere between classical composition and electro-acoustic, but defies both by standing firmly outside of academic conceptions. Little known outside his native country, his music can appeal to international audiences, especially to music lovers interested in Artemiy Artemiev and Peter Frohmader, two artists who also blurred the border between synthesizer, electro-acoustic, and contemporary music.

Theodorou was born in Thessaloniki in 1953 and remained in the city throughout his life. He started to write music in 1982 without formal training. A guitarist and keyboardist, he quickly turned to electronics and computers. In the late 1980s he mainly wrote song cycles that blended classical musical forms with Greek folklore (Beatrice, 1992), sometimes augmented by synthetic accompaniment (Onar, 1989). He gradually leaned toward more abstract composition. His exploration of a realm between acoustic and electronic, classical and electro-acoustic, and his blatant disregard of the computer and tape music being created in Paris, London, or Berlin led him to Musica Practica (1995), an ambitious synthesis of styles and approaches, avant-gardist in many of its aspects but still surprisingly listener-friendly. The same year, his first two LPs were reissued on one CD, Beatrice & Onar.

Since the late 1980s, Theodorou also explored ways to create music in interaction with other art forms, be it painting ("Topos-2 or Paradise Has No Apple Tree" with Herman Blaut, released on Musica Practica), literature, theater, or dance. He formed the Podium Music Center, an interdisciplinary association of artists, in 1989 to help coordinate multimedia projects. He also began to teach and give lectures.

In parallel he developed an acute sense of movement, something that translated into exciting results in Phoenisses (1999), his most profound work. The music of a dance production based on and around Euripides' play Phoenician Women, it dives even deeper into a personal form of expression that transcends regular categories and stands between (above?) acousmatics, classical, and instrumental music. His science-fiction cantata "Ars Moriendi," which blends a narrative with tape music, songs, and visual elements, premiered in his hometown in October 2001.