There is one fewer bouzouktsis in the world this week. Spiros Skordilis, the bouzouki performer, composer, and instructor passed away June 15 in Tarpon Springs, Florida at the age of 83.
Transferred to an infirmary because of his declining health, Skordilis had been battling cancer in recent years but was showing better signs according to statements by his wife, Kay Skordili. He had suffered a light stroke three years ago, as well as a few falls in the last few months.
A recognized and accomplished composer of the bouzouki, Skordilis penned many original pieces, including 1963’s “Oti Arxizei Oraio” (When Something Beautiful Begins), which became a Greek standard covered by multiple artists both in Greece and abroad.
Beyond his ability as a performer, Skordilis also taught students how to play the bouzouki in several different styles. He was exceptionally fluent in “The Taxim” which his website, greekmusicus.com, calls “the highly emotive improvisational form of the Bouzouki”.
In recent months, he had been honored by the Pan-Hellenic Center Prometheas of Florida. He was also awarded the title “Master of his Profession” by the Florida State Department of Cultural Affairs (USA).
The funeral will be held Saturday at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs. Spiros is survived by his wife Kay, three children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.