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Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης)

Dimitrios Semsis, also known as Dimitrios Salonikios (Greek: Δημήτρης Σέμσης; 1883 – 13 January 1950), was a Greek violinist born Dimitrios Koukoudeas (Δημήτριος Κουκουδέας) in Strumica, in the Salonica Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (present-day Republic of North Macedonia).

At the end of the 19th century, he joined the band of a circus, which was traveling all over the Balkans. In 1908 married his first wife Sonhoula Bochor Hanne and become his daughter Enriquette, cousin of Eskenazi Rosa, in the year about 1910. Later, he joined other traveling bands and played in several places such as Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Sudan and elsewhere.

After the end of the World War I, as Strumica remained in the kingdom of Serbia, Dimitrios Semsis' family moved to Thessaloniki (1919). In 1923, he married Dimitra Kanoula and had four children. At the beginning of 1927 he moved to Athens. By that time he took the nickname "Salonikios", probably because some agents from recording companies thought that his origin was from Thessaloniki.

At the end of the 1920s, Semsis was Recording Director of HMV and Columbia. He participated in hundreds of recordings of folk and smyrnaic songs between 1924 and 1931. He presented his first songs in 1928 and became the Director of Arts of His Master's Voice, in 1931 until his death. He composed over 100 songs.

In the 1930s, Dimitrios was recording with Roza Eskenazi, with great successes. He often was accompanying her to the taverns with Tompoulis, Lampros Savvaidis and Lampros Leonaridis. His compositions were being recorded by the greatest artists of that time, such as Rita Ampatzi, Stelios Perpiniadis and Stratos Pagioumtzis. He composed folk, smyrnaic and amane songs.

Dimitrios Semsis recorded hundreds of discs and plenty of them are re-released nowadays. In 1972, in an interview, Roza Eskenazi said that Dimitrios was playing "the best violin in the world".

After a short time of illness, he died of cancer in Athens on 13 January 1950.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1883 (Strumica), Died 1950 (Athens)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1910 - 1949

Roles Represented in DAHR: songwriter, director, composer, violin, arranger

Notes: Also known by his nickname, Salonikiós.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 115 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia CO27082 10-in. approximately 1940 M' ena karavi phortēgo (Μ' ενα καραβι φορτηγο) Rita Abatzi (Ρίτα Αμπατζή) Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Columbia CO27083 10-in. approximately 1940 Steile amaxi pare me (Στειλε αμαξι παρε με) Rita Abatzi (Ρίτα Αμπατζή) Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Columbia CO38346 10-in. either 1947 or 1948 Sēkō korē chaidemenē (Σηκω κορη χαιδεμενη) Georgitsa Vasilopoulou Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO38347 10-in. either 1947 or 1948 Kopeles tragoudousane (Κοπελες τραγουδουσανε) Georgitsa Vasilopoulou Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO38781 10-in. approximately 1948 Ē physarmonika (Η φυσαρμονικα) Stratos Pagioumtzis (Στρατος Παγιουμτζης) ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO38782 10-in. approximately 1948 To zari (Το ζαρι) Stratos Pagioumtzis (Στρατος Παγιουμτζης) ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO38783 10-in. approximately 1948 Sta peuka kai sta elata (Στα πευκα και στα ελατα) Odysseas Moschonas (Οδυσσεας Μοσχονας) Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO38784 10-in. approximately 1948 Perasmena-xechasmena (Περασμενα-ξεχασμενα) Odysseas Moschonas (Οδυσσεας Μοσχονας) ; Stellakēs Perpiniadēs (Στελλάκης Περπινιάδης) Male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director, songwriter  
Columbia CO38836 10-in. either 1947 or 1948 Mana mou mē me katadikasēs (Μανα μου μη με καταδικασης) Iōanna Geōrgakopoulou (Ιωαννα Γεωργακοπουλου) ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Female-male vocal duet, with bouzouki and instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO38837 10-in. approximately 1948 I zarganēs (Ι ζαργανης) Iōanna Geōrgakopoulou (Ιωαννα Γεωργακοπουλου) ; Giōrgos Mētsakēs ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Female-male vocal duet, with bouzouki and instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO38840 10-in. approximately 1948 Eisai chryso venetiko (Εισαι χρυσο βενετικο) George Nakos Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO38841 10-in. approximately 1948 Gia mia mikrē Livaditissa (Για μια μικρη Λιβαδιτισσα) George Nakos Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40040 10-in. either 1948 or 1949 Psilē vrochoula epiase (Ψιλη βροχουλα επιασε) Iōanna Geōrgakopoulou (Ιωαννα Γεωργακοπουλου) ; Giōrgos Mētsakēs Female-male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40088 10-in. either 1948 or 1949 Maurommata (Μαυρομματα) Iōanna Geōrgakopoulou (Ιωαννα Γεωργακοπουλου) ; Giōrgos Mētsakēs ; Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Female-male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40092 10-in. either 1948 or 1949 Den eim' egō gia sena (Δεν ειμ' εγω για σενα) Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40093 10-in. either 1948 or 1949 Dyo karpouzia s' ena cheri (Δυο καρπουζια σ' ενα χερι) St. Chrysinis ; Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40095 10-in. either 1948 or 1949 Gyrna monos mes' tēn nychta (Γυρνα μονος μες' την μυχτα) Prodromos Tsaousakēs (Προδρομος Τσαουσακης) ; Vasilēs Tsitsanēs (Βασιλης Τσιτσανης) Male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble composer, director  
Columbia CO40636 10-in. approximately 1949 Ela kai tha kaloperasēs (Ελα και θα καλοπερασης) Litsa Harmanta ; Tolis Harmanta Female-male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Columbia CO40639 10-in. approximately 1949 De s' allazō, koukla mou (Δε σ' αλλαζω, κουκλα μου) Manolis Hiotis (Μανωλης Χιωτης) ; Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) ; Andr. Spagadoros ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40640 10-in. approximately 1949 Tha se diōxō (Θα σε διωξω) Manolis Hiotis (Μανωλης Χιωτης) ; Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) ; Andr. Spagadoros ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40643 10-in. approximately 1949 Nanourisma (Νανουρισμα) Giōrgos Mētsakēs ; Soula Passalari ; Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) ; Stellakis (Στελλακης) Female-male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40645 10-in. approximately 1949 Ē eleniō (Η ελενιω) Giōrgos Anestopoulos (Γιώργος Ανεστόπουλος) ; Giōrgos Papasiderēs (Γιώργος Παπασιδέρης) ; Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) Male vocal solo, with clarinet and instrumental ensemble director  
Columbia CO40646 10-in. approximately 1949 Geitonisses (Γειτονισσες) Giōrgos Anestopoulos (Γιώργος Ανεστόπουλος) ; Giōrgos Papasiderēs (Γιώργος Παπασιδέρης) ; Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) Male vocal solo, with clarinet and instrumental ensemble director  
Gramophone 0GA21 10-in. 11/21/1934 Sēlyvriano (Σηλυβριανό) Roza Eskenazē (Ρόζα Εσκενάζη) Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Gramophone 0GA67 10-in. 11/24/1934 Koroido adika gyrnas (Κορόιδο άδικα γυρνάς) Roza Eskenazē (Ρόζα Εσκενάζη) ; Dēmētrios Semsēs (Δημήτρης Σέμσης) Female vocal solo and violin solo, with instrumental ensemble instrumentalist, violin  
(Results 1-25 of 115 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Semsēs, Dēmētrios (Σέμσης, Δημήτρης)," accessed May 18, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107289.

Semsēs, Dēmētrios (Σέμσης, Δημήτρης). (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 18, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107289.

"Semsēs, Dēmētrios (Σέμσης, Δημήτρης)." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 18 May 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107289

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