The Thracian song with its masterful and melodious voice was loved by every corner of Greece
Chronis Aidonidis died at the age of 95, one of the most important performers of our traditional music. He announced the news with a post on Facebook Archive of Musicological Tradition “Chronis Aedonidis”.
“It is with great pain that we announce that our beloved Teacher, Chronis Aidonidis, is no longer with us. At the age of 95 and after 75 years of continuous ministry and contribution to teaching, saving, spreading and recording the musical tradition of Thrace, he is heading to Heaven, leaving behind valuable musical recordings and four generations of students and collaborators who will perpetuate the name, the vision and teaching of es aei. Forever his memory and the gratitude of all of us for his contribution“, he says in his post.
Chronis Aidonidis was born in Karoti Didymoteicho on September 23, 1928. Son of the priest Christos and Chrysanthi Aidonidis, he is the second of his five siblings. In Karoti, he spends his childhood and teenage years and it is there that he learns his first songs and is introduced to the world of traditional music, first by his mother and then by the local musicians who played at his village festivals.
Still a student, he was taught Byzantine music by his father and later by the cantor Michalis Kefalokoptis. When he finished the eight-grade high school in Didymoteicho, he was appointed as a community teacher in Petrota of Evros. In 1950, he settled with his parents in Athens, where he continued and completed his studies in Byzantine music, at the Hellenic Conservatory, near the great teacher Theodoros Hatzitheodorou. In February of the same year, he was hired at Sismanoglio Hospital, where he works as an accountant, while at the same time completing his studies in accounting at the “Pyrsos” school. He would remain in this position until his retirement in 1988.
Nektaria Karantziwho has a long tenure in the field of Byzantine and folk music tradition, wrote about her teacher, Chroni Aedonidis: “Quiet and sweet as your voice may be your eternal life that begins today, my good Master. No fear, no anxiety. As much peace, peace and kindness you shared with your singing, so much may you receive in your new eternal journey. Rest assured that you have lived a wise and virtuous life. That your memory will bring smiles. Too bad you don’t have any. Fly away, like the swallows you sang a thousand times. Take with you our love, respect and your beautiful stories to tell to your papa-Christos and your mother Chrysanthi who are waiting for you. Make a new feast of true joy in your beautiful face and sing again, all over again. For your simple and kind soul, your path is rosy and your joy eternal».
In 1953, the great folklorist Polydoros Papachristodoulou will seek him out and suggest that he participate in his show “Thrakii Antilaloi”, on the state radio, in order to present to the world a Thracian repertoire unknown until then. Although at first Chronis Aedonidis will hesitate, telling him “I know these songs, I love them, but…I’m ashamed to say them”the words of encouragement and advice of the great folklorist will influence him and prompt him to finally dedicate the rest of his life to the effort of promoting and spreading traditional music.
The “Thracian Antilales” which, before Chronis Aidonidis, hosted only 30-40 songs of Eastern Thrace, now, with his voice, the world knows for the first time the songs of Western and Northern Thrace, but also many more of Eastern Thrace, which had never before they had been heard beyond the borders of Thrace. Later he participates in the choir of Simon Karras, while from 1957, he undertakes a regular weekly radio show, presenting the musical treasure of Thrace. At the same time, he still takes part in many concerts throughout Greece and records.
The Thracian song with its masterful and melodious voice was loved by every corner of Greece. But she has traveled with him to America, Australia, many countries of the former Soviet Union and Europe. That is why he was chosen to represent our country in the two biggest events of recent years: in the international televised celebratory program welcoming the new millennium, in 2000, where Greece welcomed the new millennium with his voice, in Sounio and in 2004, when he opened the Closing Ceremony of the Athens Olympics, with the moving sit-down song: “Friends welcome me”spreading the sacred music of Thrace to every corner of the world.
Chronis Aidonidis, raised with the sounds of Byzantine music and a cantor himself, took all this precious material and shaped it with absolute respect for the sounds and ways of our Byzantine musical tradition. “Thracian Song – Byzantine trope” it is called one of his records, a title that includes all of his personal contribution to the formation and quality upgrade of our traditional music.
Also, during all these years, there are countless distinctions and honors that Chronis Aidonidis received for his contribution to Greek culture, from state bodies, from Metropolises, as well as from many municipalities throughout Greece and cultural associations in our country and abroad.
A top honor is the awarding to Chronis Aedonidis of the Office of “Lord Hymnist of the Holy Church of Christ the Great” by the Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew on 29-11-2010, following a joint proposal by the Metropolitans of Didymoteichos Mr. Damaskinos and Mr. Alexandroupolis. Anthimou.
An important part of the personal, family and artistic archive of Chronis Aidonidis is today kept in the offices of the “Chronis Aidonidis” Musicological Tradition Archive and is accessible to anyone who wishes to study his life and work, as well as a part of the honors and his discography has been donated to the Holy Metropolises of Alexandroupolis and Didymoteicho. Most of this archive, and at least until 2002 when the association of Chronis Aidonidis was active, was collected and saved by his wife Fotini.
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