Photograph of donors grandfather's orchestra. The donor's grandfather, Spiros Safrithis, is seated first row, center, in between the two girls dressed in white. The rest of the orchestra, dressed in black and holding mandolins and guitars, is arrayed around him. The photograph is in fair shape, having faded over the years. There are also dozens of small creases and cracks across the entire face of the photograph. The photograph appears to be printed on some sort of advertisement, or grading form, which is printed on the backside.
Spiros Safrithis came to the US from Greece in 1912 as a self-taught musician and composer of choral music.
He originally arrived in Washington D.C. where he pioneered a new style of liturgical music wich incorporated polyphonic aspects. For this he was branded a "heretic" and barred from playing in many choir orchestras.
However, over the years, his style gained acceptance and he traveled to Baltimore, Jacksonville, Florida, St. Louis, New York, and Chicago to train and lead Greek Orthodox choirs.
Spiros Safrithis passed away in Chicago, in 1938, at the age of 57.
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Photograph, Spiros Safrithis Collection, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/5536. Accessed 05/16/22.