In Memorium +Lykourgos Angelopoulos

With great sadness and a feeling of "harmolypi", we announce that the great Greek hymnographer and chanter, Lykourgos Angelopoulos, passed away on May 18, 2014 after several months of illness. 

Lykourgos Angelopoulos (Greek: Λυκούργος Αγγελόπουλος; 1941 – 18 May 2014) was a Greek ecclesial singer. He was professor at the School of Byzantine Chant at the Conservatory of Athens, the founder and director of the Greek Byzantine Choir and an Archon Protopsaltes (lead protopsaltes) of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Lykourgos A. Angelopoulos was born in Pyrgos, Peloponnese, in 1941. He studied Byzantine music at the School of National Music, under the tutelage of the great musician and musicologist, Simon Karas, and Law at the University of Athens. He was the protopsaltes (first cantor) at the Church of Saint Irene in Athens (first Cathedral). He was the founder and director of the Greek Byzantine Choir and professor of Byzantine Music at the Nikos Skalkotas Conservatory and at the Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens. He was the director of the Children's Byzantine Choir of the Archdiocese of Athens since its foundation and the director of the School of Byzantine Music at the Diocese of Elis.

Lykourgos Angelopoulos had published his own editions according to the re-introduction of signs taken from Late Byzantine notation. Simon Karas translated them within the rhythmic context of Neo-Byzantine notation as ornaments. Concerning performance practice, the choir follows Karas' innovations and his interpretation of the Byzantine modes, due to Lykourgos Angelopoulos' use of the "extended" neumatic notation in his own hand-written chant editions. In a contribution to a musicological conference at Delphi (1986), Lykourgos Angelopoulos explained his attitude to the living tradition and to the New Method in general, and editions based on Simon Karas' Method in particular. He died at the age of 73 on 18 May 2014

He had collaborated with the Athens Radio Broadcast on programs related to Byzantine Music and had performed contemporary music composed by M. Adamis, D. Terzakis and K. Sfetsas. He was a member of the research team headed by Marcel Pérès in France, which studies the old Western chants and their relationship to the Byzantine ones. He had performed Byzantine, Old Roman, Ambrosian and other traditions of Western plainchant in recordings with the Ensemble Organum in France.

In 1994 Lykourgos Angelopoulos was honored by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I with the Patriarchal offikion and was named Archon Protopsaltis (First Chanter) of the Holy Archdiocese of Constantinople. He had also been honored by Diodoros, Patriarch of Jerusalem, by the Orthodox Church of Finland and by the Diocese of Patras in Greece.

Lykourgos had especially influenced Georgios Konstantinou, who proposed a notation for microtonal shifts (melodic attraction) and notated details, which had previously been part of oral tradition. The advantage of the oral tradition is that only those singers who had been introduced by their masters, followed a certain local tradition. The Balkans and the Orient are still rich of these local traditions.
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