Director of the first military band of Revolutionary Greece and the Greek Kingdom
Occupation: Musician, Composer
Ernst Michael Mangel was a Hungarian musician, composer, and philhellene, who became the director of the first military band of Revolutionary Greece and the Greek Kingdom. He had served before as a lieutenant in the French Army.
An encouraging musician
Ernst Mangel was born in 1800 in the Transylvanian city of Karlsburg. After the outbreak of the Greek Revolution in 1821, he joined the movement of Philhellenism and in 1823 he went to Greece to fight alongside the Greeks. In 1824, Mangel and his father arrived in Missolonghi, where they entered the regular brigade, which was under formation under the auspices of Lord Byron. After Byron’s death, he followed the French philhellene, Colonel Charles Nicolas Fabvier, who was tasked with creating a regular army. Fabvier organized a military band, called the Musical Troupe, and entrusted its direction to Mangel. In 1828, with the arrival of the first Governor of Greece, John Kapodistrias, Mangel and his orchestra settled in Nafplio. In 1834 Mangel converted to Greek Orthodox, choosing the name “Michael”, he married a local woman and left the army. Following the establishment of a Music School in Athens in 1843, Mangel was recalled to active duty and appointed the School’s director. At the same time, Mangel wrote military marches based on Greek folk music and adapted European marches for local use. Later, he was promoted to musical inspector and retired in 1870 with the rank of Major.
Manuscripts of three triumphal marches dedicated to King Otto are stored in the Bavarian State Library in the city of Munich.