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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 101-115 of 115 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Gramophone 0GA1312 10-in. 1/7/1948 Einai ta niata mia phora (Ειναι τα νιατα μια φορα) Iōanna Geōrgakopoulou (Ιωαννα Γεωργακοπουλου) ; Stellakēs Perpiniadēs (Στελλάκης Περπινιάδης) Female-male vocal duet, with instrumental trio director  
Gramophone 0GA1369 10-in. 6/8/1948 Chronia stis thalasses gyrnō (Χρονια στις θαλασσες γυρνω) Annas Chatzēdakē (Αννας Χατζηδακη) ; Omilas St. Chatzēdakē (Ομιλας Στ. Χατζηδακη) ; Laikē Orchēstra (Λαϊκή Ορχήστρα) Female vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble songwriter  
Gramophone 0GA1370 10-in. 6/8/1948 Kalamatianē (Καλαματιανη) Annas Chatzēdakē (Αννας Χατζηδακη) ; Omilas St. Chatzēdakē (Ομιλας Στ. Χατζηδακη) ; Laikē Orchēstra (Λαϊκή Ορχήστρα) Female vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble songwriter  
Gramophone 0T1420 10-in. 1/8/1934 Psarades houvardades (Ψαράδες χουβαρντάδες) Rita Abatzi (Ρίτα Αμπατζή) Female vocal solo songwriter  
Gramophone 0T1512 10-in. 1/10/1934 O mylōnas (Ο μυλωνας) Roza Eskenazē (Ρόζα Εσκενάζη) ; Kostas Nouras (Κώστας Νουρας) Vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble songwriter  
Gramophone 0T1513 10-in. 1/10/1934 Den me theleis pia (Δεν με θελεις πια) Roza Eskenazē (Ρόζα Εσκενάζη) Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble songwriter  
Gramophone 1586y 10-in. June 1910 Fa majore Yiannis Tsanakas Male vocal solo, with violin and santur instrumentalist, violin  
Gramophone 1591y 10-in. June 1910 Rast ghazel Yiannis Tsanakas Male vocal solo, with violin and santur instrumentalist, violin  
Gramophone 1595y 10-in. June 1910 Ouchak ghazel Yiannis Tsanakas Male vocal solo, with violin and santur instrumentalist, violin  
Gramophone 1596y 10-in. June 1910 Adamaman Yiannis Tsanakas Male vocal solo, with violin and santur instrumentalist, violin  
Gramophone 0T1635 10-in. 7/17/1934 Dichōs kaltses perpatoun (Δίχως κάλτσες περπατούν) Roza Eskenazē (Ρόζα Εσκενάζη) Female vocal solo songwriter  
Gramophone 0T1741 10-in. 7/21/1934 To mōro (Το μωρό) Roza Eskenazē (Ρόζα Εσκενάζη) Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble and sound effects songwriter  
Gramophone 0T1742 10-in. 7/21/1934 Mantēli (Μαντηλι) Roza Eskenazē (Ρόζα Εσκενάζη) Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble arranger  
Gramophone BW3083 10-in. 12/10/1929 Cifte telli D. Salonikios Violin solo, with sandouri and outi instrumentalist, violin  
Gramophone BW3084 10-in. 12/10/1929 Rast neva logga D. Salonikios Violin solo, with sandouri and outi instrumentalist, violin  
(Results 101-115 of 115 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Semsēs, Dēmētrios (Σέμσης, Δημήτρης)," accessed May 13, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107289.

Semsēs, Dēmētrios (Σέμσης, Δημήτρης). (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107289.

"Semsēs, Dēmētrios (Σέμσης, Δημήτρης)." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 13 May 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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