Andreas Makris

Andreas Makris (7 March 1930 - 3 February 2005) by Karen Cossaro. A violinist and composer-in-residence with the National Symphony Orchestra for twenty-eight years, Andreas Makris was born in Salonika, Greece and graduated from Greece's National Conservatory. He relocated to the United States in 1950 and studied at the Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, the Kansas City Conservatory, and the Mannes College of Music in New York. He became a member of the National Symphony Orchestra in 1961. In 1967, Makris wrote the Aegean Festival Overture, a composition evoking his Greek origins, as an overture for the National Symphony. His Overture premiered under the baton of conductor Howard Mitchell at Constitution Hall the following year. Its success then, and subsequently on tour, lead to the collaboration with Albert Bader of the U.S. Air Force Band to arrange the overture as a concert for band. During his tenure as conductor, Mstislav Rostropovich commissioned several works from Makris; he considered him a great composer. He has the distinction of being the first contemporary composer whose work premiered at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Makris wrote a composition honoring the 25th anniversary of the Kennedy Center. His arrangement of Paganini's Motro Perpetuo was frequently featured as an encore during the National Symphony Orchestra's world tours. Awards given to Makris include a Damrosch grant, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award.