photo: Photo: Guy Wagner, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis has died at the age of 96. For many Greeks, he is considered “The Voice of the People”, as he was also politically engaged and critically voiced during Greece’s chequered history, which was marked by war, dictatorship and austerity measures. Theodorakis was considered the best-known Greek composer of the 20th century. Especially his film scores for Alexis Zorba (with Sirtaki), Z and Serpico as well as the setting of the Canto General after verses by Pablo Neruda made him famous worldwide. His output of over 1000 works includes symphonic compositions and a large number of songs. In addition, he became known for his political commitment.

Born in 1925, Theodorakis was a resistance fighter during the Second World War and fought with the leftists in the subsequent civil war (1946 to 1949), which is why he was later interned in a camp and severely tortured. He also went into resistance against the military dictatorship and was arrested and tortured. He was then allowed to leave the country under international pressure and lived in exile in Paris until 1974. Theodorakis had previously studied music in Paris and also in Athens in the late 1940s and early 1950s. After initially composing classical music, he turned to his roots in the 1960s and popularised Greek music. He composed the film music for the film “Alexis Zorba” with Anthony Quinn in the leading role, which made him famous worldwide. (Source: DW Euromaxx/Wikipedia/Kurier)

Works by Mikis Theodorakis for Wind/Symphonic Orchestra

….for Symphony Orchestra

….for choir

….for vocal