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Biography

Christos Samaras was born in 1956 in Doxato, near Drama. He embarked his music studies at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki (1969-76) studying Music Theory - Harmony with Ioannis Damianos and Counterpoint with Kostas Nikitas - as well as Flute with Emmanuel Ekaterinis and piano with Mary Papadopoulou. In the autumn of 1976 he continued his studies at the University of Music and Fine Arts in Vienna, studying Composition with Friedrich Cerha and Erich Urbanner, and Flute with Louis Riviere and Robert Wolf. In 1981 he graduated with the Diploma of Composition and in 1982 with the Pedagogical Degree of Flute. Between 1982 and 1984 he pursued post-graduate studies in Composition at the University of Fine Arts of Berlin with Isang Yun. He also attended Composition Classes presented by Klaus Huber, Luigi Nono, Hans-Werner Henze, Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, Witold Lutoslawski and Diether Schnebel. Since 1984 he lives and works in Thessaloniki.

In 1984 he gained the Second Prize in the Competition of Composition in Hammeln of Germany with the work "Askitiki" (1982) for small orchestra, and in 1985 the Second Prize for composition in the competition Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden, Germany with the "Fourth String Quartet" (1984). In 1987 he took the First Prize in the Competition of Composition of the Foundation for Literature and Arts under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture in Athens with the work "Paradromes" (1986) for eleven instruments. In 1989 he took the First Prize in the Competition of Composition ALEA III of the University of Boston, USA with the work "Apologia II" (1988) for small orchestra. In 1990 he gained the First Prize in the Competition of Composition of the Foundation for Literature and Arts under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture in Athens with the work "Monogramma" (1989) for solo violin. In 1993 he received Distinction in the Competition of Composition of the Arts Foundation "Techni" in Thessaloniki for his work "Thrinos" (1993) for mixed chorus. In 1995 he took the Third Prize in the Competition of Composition of the Foundation for Literature and Arts in Athens with the work "Sonatine" (1993) for flute and piano. In 1995 he gained the Second Prize in the competition of composition of the Union of Greek Composers in the memory of Y.A. Papaioannou with the work "Concert for violin and chamber orchestra" (1994). Finally in 1996 he took the First Prize from the Macedonian Arts Company for his work "Macedonian Rhapsody" (1996) for orchestra.

At present he is Professor of Composition in the Department of Music Studies, Faculty of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has taught Music Theory and Composition in various conservatories of Thessaloniki and other cities. For many years he has been appointed Artistic Director in many of these conservatories. He has also taught composition in various seminars and workshops. Finally he has been awarded by various institutions and foundations for his educational and artistic contribution.

Recently in 2010, as a visiting professor, he taught Composition Masterclasses at Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA, while his music was performed at several cities in America. He also participates with his work: 1) LAPSES (PARADROMES) (1986) for 11 instruments, at the CD Greek Music Avant-Garde of the 20th Century Association (CD distributed from ETEBA, 1997), 2) STRING QUARTET Nr.4 (1984) published at the CD Agora AG, 1999, with the New Greek Quartet, 3) with his work SONATINA (1993) for flute and piano at the CD of Nikolos Dimopoulos and Dimitris Dimopoulos published by IRIDA Company, 4) KALIM - ARIA (2003) for alto flute at the CD of Ria Georgiadou Flute dimensions published by IRIDA, 5) ELEGY (1989) for clarinet, percussion and strings at the Legend Classics Company CD with the Bulgarian Radio Orchestra, 6) EGOMION V (2008) for saxophone quartet, baritone and percussion at a cd based entirely on poetry by Kostas Varnalis 7) ULTIMUM III (2008) for alto saxophone and piano at the American Company Albanyrecords CD.

His compositional work is varied in nature, covering all sectors: four symphonies, the opera "I Gioconda tou Olokaftomatos" [Holocaust], 2 concerts for piano and orchestra, concert for flute and orchestra, concert for violin and chamber orchestra, a music-theatre, four string quartets, more than 25 orchestral works, chamber music for various ensembles, choral music, songs for voice and piano, music for solo instruments.

His works have been performed in England, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, USA, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Finland. They have also been presented by the Greek, French, German, Austrian and Australian Radio-Television.

His work is published by the Music Publishing House "Papagregoriou-Nakas" (www.panasmusic.gr) and he is a member of the Greek Composers Union (www.gcu.org.gr).