Xenakis Giannis


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Born: 29-05-1922
Died: 04-02-2001
From: Romania, Braila


Iannis Xenakis (May 29, 1922, Romania - February 4, 2001) was a Greek composer who spent much of his life in Paris, France. He is acclaimed as one of the most important composers of contemporary music.

He was born in Brăila, Romania, and studied architecture in Athens, Greece. Xenakis participated in the Greek Resistance during the World War II and the first phase of Greek Civil War as a member of the students company Lord Byron of ELAS (Greek Peoples Liberation Army). He received a severe face wound and escaped a death sentence. In the '50s he fled to Paris and worked with Le Corbusier. While his assistant, Xenakis designed the Philips Pavilion, home of the première of Edgar Varèse's Poème Électronique at the 1958 Brussels International Fair.

He studied music composition with Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, and Olivier Messiaen. He is particularly remembered for his pioneering electronic and computer music, and for the use of stochastic mathematical techniques in his compositions, including probability (Maxwell-Boltzmann kynetic theory of gases in Pithoprakta, aleatory distribution of points on a plane in Diamorphoses, minimal constraints in Achorripsis, Gaussian distribution in ST/10 and Atrées, Markovian chains in Analogiques), game theory (in Duel and Stratégie), group theory (Nomos Alpha), and Boolean algebra (in Herma and Eonta).


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