Dimitris Mitropoulos tomb

Monumental simplicity for the great Greek conductor

Dimitris Mitropoulos (1896-1960) was an internationally renowned conductor, composer and an excellent pianist. He studied at the Athens Conservatory and later, in Berlin, under the brilliant Ferrucio Busoni.
He wrote forty works for orchestra, piano and voice, as well as an opera. He conducted the Symphony Orchestra of the Athens Conservatory, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston and Minneapolis Symphony Orchestras, and from 1949 the New York Symphony Orchestra. He did not use a baton, and, he is well known for the fact that even in rehearsal he conducted from memory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUq_RKXkd3s

He died while rehearsing with the orchestra of La Scala di Milano. His body was cremated in Lugano and his ashes were transported and buried in the First Cemetery of Athens, in a climate of great emotion.
His tomb was made by the sculptor Yannis Pappas (1913-2005). For Pappas, musicians and poets are great benefactors of humanity! Considering the music, work and offer of Mitropoulos as the real important and global monument of intangible heritage, he crafted a column (stele) of green and gray marble from Tinos with austere simplicity, to pay respect and honor to his memory. This choice is also consistent with the ascetic lifestyle of Mitropoulos.

Τhe stele type has been used since antiquity in funerary art. This tradition continues in all periods and styles, as can be seen from the nearby monuments in Pentelic marble (tomb of the politician Ioannis Kolettis and of Kitsos Tzavellas, fighter of the Greek Revolution of 1821). Pappas’ proposal for the tomb of Mitropoulos follows the tradition of this typology, but in a distinctly modern and original version.

City of Athens, Department of Cultural Heritage, 2023

@ text: Georgia Antonopoulou, PhD

@ photo: Victoria Kaisari

Get QR code