Dhimitris Semsis

1881 - 1950

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Recognized as one of the finest Violinists of his time Dhimtris Semsis stands out as one of the great artists in the Early Rebetic and Smyrnaic periods. He is mostly known today for his brilliant instrumental accompaniment for Roza Eskenazy, whom he worked with extensively, in both live performance and studio recordings. In fact, like Panayiotis Toundas, he also had beem employed as a recording director from the late 1920's well into the 40's, for both HMV and Columbia. He began playing the Violin as a child, and progressed rapidly to a professional level where his first professional engagement was playing the Violin with the band of a travelling circus, which toured primarily in eastern Europe. He later performed in Turkey as well as the Mid-East. During the early 1920's, Semsis cultivated his compositional style while he worked extensively in Smyrna, where he met and accompanied some of the top performers and composers of the Smyrnaic style of Rebetica. These included Rita Abatsi, Dalgas, Perpiniadis etc. He returned to mainland Greece during the Great Population exchange, that took place as a result of the treaty of Lausane in 1922. He died in January of 1950 .