Panayiotis Toundas

1885-1942

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One of the most influential and greatest composers of the old Smyrnaic tradition , Panayiotis (Peter) Toundas was also one of the most significant and important individuals in the early days of recording .  He came to Athens around 1923 during the great population exchange that resulted from the Smyrna tragedy .  Not only was he one of the most significant composers from the Smyernic period, but he also played the part of a record producer and impresario for Odeon records, during the early thirties .  In fact it was he who discovered Roza Eskenazy , while sitting in a Taverna in 1929.  Earlier in his career , he had started out as a mandolin instrumentalist and was part of a group that was known as " The Politika"  around the turn of the Century .  He began to compose around 1910 and his compositions were well known all through the 1920's .  He also had traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as the Mid-east and eventually had become something of an authority on the subject of Ethnic Folk music .  His compositions were always big hits during his time and many contemporary singers and musicians in Greece , still record many of them .  He died at his home in 1942 during the occupation .