Mikis Theodorakis

Greek composer (1925–2021) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michail "Mikis" Theodorakis (Greek: Μιχαήλ "Μίκης" Θεοδωράκης [ˈmicis θeoðoˈɾacis]; 29 July 1925 – 2 September 2021)[1] was a Greek composer and lyricist credited with over 1,000 works.[2][3][4][5][6]

Quick facts: Mikis Theodorakis, Born, Died, Occupation, Po...
Mikis Theodorakis
Theodorakis conducting the orchestra in concert at Cultural Center "Fabrik" in Hamburg, 1971
Michail Theodorakis

(1925-07-29)29 July 1925
Died2 September 2021(2021-09-02) (aged 96)
Athens, Greece
  • Composer
  • political activist
Political partyCommunist Party of Greece
Other political
New Democracy (1989–1993)
Myrto Altinoglou
(m. 1953)
Musical career
Genres20th-century classical music
Years active1943–2021
Member of the Hellenic Parliament
In office
In office
In office
Minister of State
In office
11 April 1990  1 April 1993
Prime MinisterKonstantinos Mitsotakis

He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He composed the "Mauthausen Trilogy", also known as "The Ballad of Mauthausen", which has been described as the "most beautiful musical work ever written about the Holocaust" and possibly his best work.[7] Up until his death, he was viewed as Greece's best-known living composer.[3][5][8] He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.[9]

Politically, he was associated with the left because of his long-standing ties to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). He was an MP for the KKE from 1981 to 1990. Despite this however, he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party in 1989, in order for the country to emerge from the political crisis that had been created due to the numerous scandals of the government of Andreas Papandreou.[10] He helped establish a large coalition between conservatives, socialists and leftists. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a government minister under Konstantinos Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continued to speak out in favour of leftist causes, Greek–Turkish–Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq.[11][12] He was a key voice against the 1967–1974 Greek junta, which imprisoned him and banned his songs.[13]