Mikis Theodorakis

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Theodorakis, Mikis


Born July 29, 1925, on the island of Khios. Greek composer and prominent social and political figure. Member of Greece’s Resistance Movement.

In 1948 and 1949, Theodorakis was imprisoned in a concentration camp on the island of Makronesos. In 1950 he graduated from the Athens Conservatory, where he had studied composition under P. Economidis. From 1953 to 1959 he attended the Paris Conservatory, studying musical analysis with O. Messiaen and conducting with E. Bigot. In 1959 he returned to Greece. Between 1964 and 1967, Theodorakis served in parliament as a member of the Union of the Democratic Left. Imprisoned shortly after the military coup in 1967, he was released in 1968 in response to world public opinion. In 1969, however, he was arrested again and sent to the concentration camp at Oropos, near Athens. In 1970 he was permitted to go to France, where he resumed his musical activities. He returned to Greece in 1974.

Theodorakis has composed symphonies, chamber works, songs, and dances, including several syrtaki dances. Among his works are the musical revue and song cycle The Angels’ Quarter; the ballet scores Orpheus and Eurydice, Antigone, and Les Amants de Teruel; the musical tragedy and song cycle The Ballad of the Dead Brother; and a musical score for Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Tyrannus. He has also written music for several films. His vocal compositions include the song cycles Epitaphios, written in memory of those who were killed during the antifascist demonstrations, and Romiossini, as well as the oratorio Axion Esti, a work about the Greek struggle for liberation from fascist occupation. Theodorakis has performed on tour in the USSR.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Mikis Theodorakis is among the most prolific composers of Greece, best known for composing music for hit movie Zorba the Greek.
In the play directed by Aggelos Sikelianos and Elias Malandris for which music was made by Konstantino Psahos and Mikis Theodorakis, Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis will play Prometheus.
Fayyad's plan to prepare the ground for a Palestinian state within two years appears, in the light of all this, as no more than an additional item in a long wish-list, beginning with the celebration in Algeria in 1988, when Arafat accepted a two-state solution and the Palestinian national anthem was unveiled (lyrics by Mahmoud Darwish, music by Mikis Theodorakis), then continuing to Oslo with its successors: the Mitchell plan, the Road Map and Annapolis.
WHO links such unlikely musical bedfellows as Ena Sharples, Lennox Berkeley, Nadia Boulanger and Mikis Theodorakis of Zorba the Greek fame?
Anyhow, I remember going to see Zorba the Greek and, inspired by the music of Mikis Theodorakis, I changed my first name immediately.
Israel has complained to the Greek government about comments by composer Mikis Theodorakis who called Jews ``the root of evil'' and dismissed key Biblical figures as mere ``shadows,''a diplomatic source said.
We 2 Mikis Theodorakis / A Homage to Yiannis Ritsos
I hope the youth begin to hate everything American," declares Mikis Theodorakis, the country's leading cultural icon and composer of the Zorba theme, whom Greece nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
The music of Mikis Theodorakis, known best for the music in Zorba the Greek, was once banned in Greece as a threat to the government.
"It is very clear who the victims and who the victimisers are," said composer Mikis Theodorakis, who wrote the music for the film Zorba the Greek.
In the 1950s O Epitaphios, set to music by Mikis Theodorakis, became the anthem of the Greek left.