Lost Skalkottas work performed

A lost work by one of Greece’s top 20th century composers, which was retrieved from a street vendor’s junk box by a Thessaloniki music teacher, is to be performed for the first time before the public in the northern city this evening. The transcription for piano by Nikos Skalkottas (1904-49) of four of his 36 Greek Dances – the composer’s most popular work, which was written for orchestra – was found six years ago by Aristides Voulgaris, a violin teacher at the Thessaloniki municipal school of music, at a street market behind the city’s Rotonda church. Voulgaris happened upon the 10-page, signed manuscript as he was rooting through a box of old books on astronomy. He bought the work, together with one of the books, for the far-from-astronomical sum of 17,000 drachmas (50 euros). «It was a shock,» Voulgaris said. «I never expected to find this sort of thing on a street market bench.» The work will be presented at the Theater of the Society of Macedonian Studies during a concert for the 100th anniversary of Skalkottas’s birth.