Mikis Theodorakis

Mikis Theodorakis – born on July 29, 1925, in Chios, Greece – was a classical music and film composer and political activist best known for scoring films such as Zorba the Greek (1969) and Serpico (1973) and for composing over 1,000 original works. Inspired at a young age by Greek folk music, he took his first music lessons and, at the age of 17, gave his first concert. After serving in the reserve unit of ELAS (the Greek People’s Liberation Army) and being captured, tortured, and exiled, he continued his music studies at the Athens Conservatoire from 1943 to 1950. After studying and conducting in Paris, France in the early 1950s, he began to present his own compositions in ballet productions, symphonies, and piano concertos. While he had achieved great success in Greece, he did not achieve international success until 1964 when he composed the score for the film Zorba the Greek. Mikis Theodorakis then collaborated with director Costa-Gavras and scored his 1969 film Z. He had to flee Greece in 1970 to escape the repression of the dictatorial regime of the Greek Colonels. Relocating to France, Mikis Theodorakis became a symbol of the resistance of his people and composed works of a political nature. He returned to Greece in 1974 and continued his musical career. Having become a politician in his turn, Mikis Theodorakis continued to compose themed work and prestigious commissions such as Canto Olympico for the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. Mikis Theodorakis died on September 2, 2021, at the age of 96.

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