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Mikis Theodorakis

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Title: Mikis Theodorakis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Music of Greece, A Bullet Through the Heart, Maria Dimitriadi, Giannis Poulopoulos, Zorba the Greek (film)
Collection: 1925 Births, 20Th-Century Classical Composers, 21St-Century Classical Composers, Commandeurs of the Légion D'Honneur, Greek Classical Composers, Greek Classical Musicians, Greek Composers, Greek Exiles, Greek Film Score Composers, Greek Mps 1981–85, Greek Mps 1990–93, Greek Prisoners and Detainees, Greek Resistance Members, Greek Socialists, Lenin Peace Prize Recipients, Living People, Male Film Score Composers, Members of the Lambrakis Democratic Youth, Officers of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Opera Composers, People Associated with the Anti-Austerity Movement, People from Chios, Pupils of Olivier Messiaen, Resistance to the Greek Military Junta of 1967–74
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mikis Theodorakis

Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis in 2004
Background information
Born (1925-07-29) 29 July 1925
Chios, Greece
Genres 20th century classical Greek music
Years active 1943-present
Labels Paredon Records
Folkways Records

Michael "Mikis" Theodorakis ([4][5][6][7][8][9] He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He is viewed as Greece's best-known living composer.[6][8][10][11][12][13] He is awarded the Lenin Peace Prize [14]

Politically, he is identified with the left because of the long time connection with the Communist Party of Greece. He was an MP for the KKE from 1981 to 1990. Nevertheless, in 1989 he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party, 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[15] and helped to 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 Constantine Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continues to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek-Turkish-Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq.[16][17] He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the Greek junta 1967-1974, which imprisoned him.[18]


  • Biography 1
    • Early years 1.1
      • Studies in Paris 1.1.1
      • Notable works up to 1960 1.1.2
    • Back to Greek roots 1.2
      • Main works of this period 1.2.1
    • During the dictatorship 1.3
      • Main works under the dictatorship 1.3.1
    • Resistance in exile 1.4
      • Main works written in exile 1.4.1
    • Return to Greece 1.5
      • Main works after 1974 1.5.1
  • Political views 2
    • Views of the United States 2.1
    • 2010–2011: Calling for revolution 2.2
  • Work 3
    • Songs and song cycles 3.1
    • Symphonic works 3.2
    • Chamber music 3.3
    • Cantatas and oratorios 3.4
    • Hymns 3.5
    • Ballets 3.6
    • Operas 3.7
    • Music for the stage 3.8
      • Classical tragedies 3.8.1
      • Modern plays 3.8.2
      • International theatre 3.8.3
    • Principal film scores 3.9
  • Scores 4
  • Internationally-available CD releases 5
  • Selected Bibliography 6
  • Published written works 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Early years

Mikis Theodorakis was born on the Greek island of Chios and spent his childhood years in different provincial Greek cities such as Mytilene,[19] Cephallonia,[19] Patras,[20][21] Pyrgos,[22][23] and Tripoli.[23][24] His father, a lawyer and a civil servant, was from the small village of Kato Galatas,[25][26] in Crete and his mother, Aspasia Poulakis, was from an ethnically Greek family in Çeşme, in what is today Turkey.[10][27][28][29][30] He was raised with Greek folk music and was influenced by Byzantine liturgy; as a child he had already talked about becoming a composer.[31][32] Theodorakis's fascination with music began in early childhood; he taught himself to write his first songs without access to musical instruments. In Patras[20] and Pyrgos[22] he took his first music lessons, and in Tripoli, Peloponnese,[24] he gave his first concert at the age of seventeen.

He went to Athens in 1943, and became a member of a Reserve Unit of ELAS, and led a troop in the fight against the British and the Greek right in the Dekemvriana.[33] During the Greek Civil War he was arrested, sent into exile on the island of Icaria[34] and then deported to the island of Makronisos, where he was tortured and twice buried alive.[35]

During the periods when he was not obliged to hide, not exiled or jailed, he studied from 1943 to 1950 at the Athens Conservatoire under Filoktitis Economidis.[36] In 1950, he finished his studies and took his last two exams "with flying colours".[37] He went to Crete, where he became the "head of the Chania Music School" and founded his first orchestra.[38] At this time he ended what he has called the first period of his musical writing.

Studies in Paris

Mikis Theodorakis in Paris

In 1954 he travelled with his young wife Myrto Altinoglou to Paris where he entered the Conservatory and studied musical analysis under Olivier Messiaen[39] and conducting under Eugene Bigot.[40] His time in Paris, 1954–1959, was his second period of musical writing.

His symphonic works: a Piano concerto, his first suite, his first symphony, and his scores for the ballet: Greek Carnival, Le Feu aux Poudres, Les Amants de Teruel, received international acclaim. In 1957, he won the Gold Medal in the Moscow Music Festival; President of the Jury was Dmitri Shostakovitch. In 1959, after the successful performances of Theodorakis's ballet Antigone at Covent Garden in London, the French composer Darius Milhaud proposed him for the American Copley Music Prize - an award of the "William and Noma Copley Foundation",[41] which later changed its name to "Cassandra Foundation" - as the "Best European Composer of the Year". His first international scores for the film Ill Met by Moonlight and Luna de Miel, directors: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, were also very successful: The Honeymoon title song became part of the repertoire of The Beatles.

Notable works up to 1960

  1. Chamber Music: Four String Quartets; Trio four piano, violin, cello; Little Suite for piano; Sonatina for piano; Sonatinas No.1 and No.2 for violin and piano;
  2. Symphonic music: Assi-Gonia (symphonic movement; Piano Concerto "Helicon"; Symphony No.1 (Proti Simfonia); Suites n° 1, 2 et 3 for orchestre; La Vie et la Mort / Live and Death (for voice and strings); Œdipus Tyrannos (for strings; later for quartet and symphony orchestra); Piano Concerto;
  3. Ballets: Greek Carnival; Le Feu aux Poudres; Les Amants de Teruel; Antigone;
  4. Filmscores: The Barefoot Battalion (Greg Tallas); Ill Met by Moonlight and Honeymoon (Powell and Pressburger); Faces in the Dark (David Eady).

Back to Greek roots

Mikis Theodorakis shortly after his return to Greece, 1961,with Nicholas G. Constantin, Athanasios G. Konstantinopoulos, and Bill Vanech on his right, in his club called MYRTIA

In 1960, Theodorakis returned to Greece and his roots in genuine Greek music: With his song cycle Epitaphios he started the third period of his composing and contributed to a cultural revolution in his country.[42] His most significant and influential works are based Greek and world poetry – Epiphania (Odysseas Elytis), Axion Esti (Odysseas Elytis), Mauthausen (Iakovos Kambanellis), Romiossini (Yannis Ritsos), and Romancero Gitano (Federico García Lorca) – he attempted to give back to Greek music a dignity which in his perception it had lost. He developed his concept of "metasymphonic music" (symphonic compositions that go beyond the "classical" status and mix symphonic elements with popular songs, Western symphonic orchestra and Greek popular instruments).

He founded the Little Orchestra of Athens and the Musical Society of Piraeus, gave many, many concerts all around Greece and abroad... and he naturally became involved in the politics of his home country. After the assassination of

  • Official Web Site
  • Κίνησης Ανεξάρτητων Πολιτών (Independent Citizens Movement Off. site)
  • Official Site (Schott Music) with non-proprietary audio files, discography, recent performances and news
  • Lilian Voudouri Library
  • Alexia - Mikis Theodorakis MySpace page
  • Nicolas Mottas, Mikis Theodorakis: A Legend for Greece - American Chronicle, July 28, 2009.
  • Mikis Theodorakis speech against International Monetary Fund and Greek government, May 31, 2011 on YouTube
  • film scores
  • complete discography
  • Interview with Mikis Theodorakis by Bruce Duffie, May 19, 1994

External links

  1. ^ Newsweek. Newsweek, Incorporated. 1973. Retrieved 1 November 2012. Mikis Theodorakis, the famous Greek composer, is one of the most vocal exiles. Imprisoned but released due to the intervention of French publisher-politician Jean-Jacques Servan- Schreiber, Theodorakis believes that the regime is a puppet 
  2. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (7 June 1997). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 92–.  
  3. ^ Yaakov Zipper (2 April 2004). The Journals of Yaakov Zipper, 1950-1982: The Struggle for Yiddishkeit. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. pp. 276–.  
  4. ^ Vassos Georghiou (31 May 2005). The Unrepentant: A Marxist Journalist Confronts the Cia's Greek Junta. AuthorHouse. pp. 13–.  
  5. ^ John Chrysochoos, Ph.d. (17 November 2010). Ikaria - Paradise in Peril. Dorrance Publishing. p. 24.  
  6. ^ a b Maura Ellyn; Maura McGinnis (1 August 2004). Greece: A Primary Source Cultural Guide. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 86.  
  7. ^ Athensnews Interview: Theodorakis’ call to arms Famous composer Theodorakis addresses protesters during a rally against a new austerity package, outside the University of Athens, in 2011
  8. ^ a b Mike Gerrard (3 March 2009). National Geographic Traveler: Greece, 3rd Edition. National Geographic Society. pp. 47–.  
  9. ^ Embassy of Greece International conference honors renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis' 80th birthday An international conference dedicated to the work of famous music composer Mikis Theodorakis in honor of his 80th birthday, kicked off on Friday in Hania, Crete.
  10. ^ a b Dimitris Keridis (28 July 2009). Historical Dictionary of Modern Greece. Scarecrow Press. pp. 150–.  
  11. ^ abc news Archived July 24, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ winnipegfreepress Quote: Greece's best-known living composer Mikis Theodorakis has drawn a crowd of more than 20,000 people at a rally against austerity measures.
  13. ^ Highbeam: Associated press Greece's best-known living composer Mikis Theodorakis has drawn a crowd of more than 20,000 people at a rally against austerity measures. The 85-year-old composer of "Zorba the Greek" called the terms of the €110 billion ($158 billion) bailout loan deal a "national betrayal" and urged opposition parties not to back the …
  14. ^ Yearbook of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (in Russian). Moscow: Sovetskaya Enciklopediya. 1983
  15. ^ Theodorakis: Οι δρόμοι του αρχάγγελου V / The Ways of the Archangel, Autobiography, Volume V, p. 331 sq
  16. ^ "Official Web Site". 2004-07-27. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  17. ^ "Official Web Site". 2005-09-15. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  18. ^ Theodorakis: Journal of Resistance
  19. ^ a b Γιωργος ΑρΧιμανδριτης (2007). Σε πρωτο προσωπο: Μικης Θεοδωρακης. Ελληνικα Γραμματα.  
  20. ^ a b Theodorakis: Οι δρόμοι του αρχάγγελου Ι / The Ways of the Archangel, Autobiography, Volume I, p. 72 sq.
  21. ^ Mikis Theodorakis (1997). Μελοποιημενη ποιηση. Υψιλον/Βιβλια. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Theodorakis, op. cit., p. 82 sq.
  23. ^ a b Μικης Θεοδωρακης; Γιαννης Κουγιουμουτζακης; Ιδρυμα ΤεΧνολογιας και Ερευνας (Greece) (2007). Συμπαντικε αρμονια, μουσικη και επιστημη: στον Μικη Θεοδωρακη. Πανεπιστημιακες Εκδοσεις Κρητης.   ... Σύρος και Αθήνα (1929), Γιάννενα (1930- 1932), Αργοστόλι (1933-1936), Πάτρα (1937-1938), Πύργος (1938-1939), Τρίπολη
  24. ^ a b Theodorakis, op. cit., Chapter II, p. 95 sq.
  25. ^ Gail Holst; Gail Holst-Warhaft (1980). Theodorakis: myth & politics in modern Greek music. Hakkert. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  26. ^ George Giannaris (1972). Mikis Theodorakis: music and social change. Praeger. Retrieved 3 November 2012. For nearly six months, Mikis remained on the island of Crete trying to put the past behind, and become a human being ... For too long, he had been a drain on hisfather who was finding it difficult to practice his profession in the tiny village of KatoGalata, or even the larger town of Cha- nia. There was no dearth of lawyersestablished in the area for years, and even though Yiorgos had been born there, his 
  27. ^ The New York Times Biographical Service. New York Times & Arno Press. April 1970. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  28. ^ Bernard A. Cook (2001). Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 939–.  
  29. ^ Sir Compton Mackenzie; Christopher Stone (2005). The Gramophone. C. Mackenzie. Retrieved 3 November 2012. MIKIS THEODORAKIS AT 80 Mikis Theodoralris celebrated his 80th birthday on July 29 this year. ... His mother had moved to the Greek islands from Asia Minor just before the Lausanne Peace Conference in 1923 obliged 1.5 million other 
  30. ^ Journal of Modern Hellenism. Hellenic College Press. 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2012. While there is no record of a young Mikis Theodorakis being subjected to any serious direct personal physical or psychological trauma, he did grew up in ... Hismother, Aspasia Poulakis, was a refugee form Tsemes, a coastal city in Asia Minor 
  31. ^ Mikis Theodorakis Biography
  32. ^ Mikis Theodorakis (1973). Journals of resistance. Hart-Davis McGibbon.  
  33. ^ Theodorakis: Οι δρόμοι του αρχάγγελου ΙI / The Ways of the Archangel, Autobiography, Volume II, Ch. 3, p. 11 sq; cf. also p. 174sq; Mikis Theodorakis, Τα δικά μου Δεκεμβριανά / My December '44, 1944: Ο Μοιραίος Δεκέμβριος / The Fateful December, special supplement of newspaper 'Vima', Sunday, 5 December 2010, p. 54.
  34. ^ Theodorakis, op. cit., Ch. 4, p. 95 sq, .
  35. ^ Theodorakis: Οι δρόμοι του αρχάγγελου IIΙ / The Ways of the Archangel, Autobiography: Read the complete, deeply moving Volume III ("The Nightmare")
  36. ^ "Mikis Theodorakis - The Home Page - About the Trio". 2004-07-30. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  37. ^ George Giannaris: Mikis Theodorakis. Music and Social Change, p. 81
  38. ^ Theodorakis: Οι δρόμοι του αρχάγγελου IV / The Ways of the Archangel, Autobiography, Volume IV, p. 259 sq
  39. ^ Jean Boivin, 'Messiaen's Teaching at the Paris Conservatoire: A Humanist Legacy', in Siglind Bruhn, Messiaen's Language of Mystical Love (New York, Garland, 1998), p.10
  40. ^ George Giannaris, op. cit., p. 90 sq
  42. ^ George Giannaris, op. cit., p. 118 sq
  43. ^ Gail Holst: Mikis Theodorakis. Myth & Politics in Modern Greek Music, p. 74 sq
  44. ^ Mikis Theodorakis: Journal of Resistance, (Dictionary), p. 328
  45. ^ Gail Holst, op. cit., p. 78
  46. ^ cf.
  47. ^ """Mikis Theodorakis - The Home Page - On "Axion Esti. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  48. ^ Mikis Theodorakis: Journal of Resistance, p. 71 sq
  49. ^ Mikis Theodorakis, op. cit., p. 169 sq
  50. ^ Mikis Theodorakis, op. cit., p. 263 sq
  51. ^ Mikis Theodorakis, op. cit, p. 280sq
  52. ^ The story of this rescue in French, cf. Guy Wagner: Mikis Theodorakis. Une vie pour la Grèce, p. 387 sq.; in German, cf. Guy Wagner: Mikis Theodorakis. Ein Leben für Griechenland, p. 420 sq
  53. ^ "Mikis Theodorakis - The Home Page - Manos Eleftheriou". 2004-08-21. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  54. ^ François Mitterrand: Je peux me dire son ami (Preface to: Mikis Theodorakis: Les Fiancés de Pénélope
  55. ^ Gail Holst, op. cit, p. 206 sq
  56. ^ Gail Holst, op. cit, p. 271 sq
  57. ^ """Mikis Theodorakis - The Home Page - "I Gitonies tou Kosmou. 2004-08-24. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  58. ^ "Mikis Theodorakis - The Home Page - 1988-1996". Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  59. ^ "Mikis Theodorakis". Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  60. ^ Composer Mikis Theodorakis Awarded Korngold Prize 1 July 2002 archived from
  61. ^ "Art and Exhibition Hall - International Biennal For Film". 2002-06-28. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  62. ^ "Mikis Theodorakis - The Home Page - 20.10.07: Lifetime Achievement Award". 2007-09-23. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  63. ^ "Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-03-20". Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  64. ^ Zorba the Greek' composer: I’m anti-Semitic"'". 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  65. ^ "Mikis Theodorakis - About the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia 16-6-2013". Youtube. 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  66. ^ A NATION AT WAR: PROTEST; Anti-Americanism in Greece Is Reinvigorated by War New York Times 7 April 2003
  67. ^ - interactive web. "Κίνηση Ανεξάρτητων Πολιτών - Επίσημη ιστοσελίδα". Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  68. ^ "Η ΟΜΙΛΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΜΙΚΗ ΘΕΟΔΩΡΑΚΗ ΣΤΑ ΠΡΟΠΥΛΑΙΑ 31-5-2011". YouTube. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  69. ^ Theodorakis Discography at Smithsonian Folkways


See also

  • Για την ελληνική μουσική (About Greek music)
  • Το τραγούδι του νεκρού αδελφού
  • Το μανιφέστο των Λαμπράκηδων
  • Ζητείται αριστερά
  • Δημοκρατική και συγκεντρωτική αριστερά
  • Οι μνηστήρες της Πηνελόπης
  • Περί τέχνης (Essays and articles about art)
  • Πού πάμε; (Where are we going?, Gnosis Publishing House, Athens 1988)
  • Ανατομία της μουσικής (Anatomy of the Music, 1983)
  • Οι δρόμοι του αρχάγγελου Ι-V (Mikis Theodorakis, Paths of the Archangel (Autobiography), Kedros Publishing House, Athens 1986-88)
  • Αντιμανιφέστο (Antimanifest, Gnosis Publishing House, Athens 1998)
  • Μελοποιημένη Ποίηση Ι -III (Poetry & textes of his musical works)
  • Πού να βρω την ψυχή μου... A' - Γ' (Where can I find my soul (Essays & Articles), Livanis Publishing House, Athens 2002)
  • Να μαγευτώ και να μεθύσω
  • Μάνου Χατζιδάκι εγκώμιον (About Manos Hatzidakis, Ianos Publishing House, Thessaloniki 2004)
  • I had Three Lives (Poetry by Mikis Theodorakis in English, translated by Gail Holst)
  • Σπίθα. Για μια Ελλάδα ανεξάρτητη και δυνατή, Ianos Publishing House, Thessaloniki, 2011

Books in Greek by Theodorakis

Published written works

  • Jean Boivin, Messiaen's Teaching at the Paris Conservatoire: A Humanist Legacy, in Siglind Bruhn, Messiaen's Language of Mystical Love (New York, Garland, 1998), 5-31: 10
  • George Giannaris: Mikis Theodorakis. Music and Social Change, Foreword by Mikis Theodorakis. G. Allen, London, 1972
  • Gail Holst: Myth & Politics in Modern Greek Music, Adolf M. Hakkert, Amsterdam, 1980
  • Mikis Theodorakis: Journals of Resistance. Translated from the French by Graham Webb, Hart-Davis MacGibbon, London, 1973
  • Mikis Theodorakis: Music and Theater, Translated by George Giannaris, Athens, 1983
  • Asteris Koutoulas: O Mousikos Theodorakis / Theodorakis the Musician (in Greek). "Nea Synora - A. A. Livami, 1998. ISBN 978-960-236-916-6
  • Guy Wagner: Mikis Theodorakis. Mia Zoi yia tin Ellada. Typothito - Giorgos Dardanos, 2002. ISBN 960-402-008-0 (The biography exists also in French: Mikis Theodorakis. Une Vie pour la Grèce. Editions Phi, Luxembourg, 2000; and in German: Mikis Theodorakis. Ein Leben für Griechenland. Editions Phi, Luxembourg, 1995)
  • George Logothetis: Mikis Theodorakis: the Greek soul, translated from the Greek by Phillipos Chatzopoulos, Agyra editions 2004, ISBN 960-422-095-0. The Chinese version has been published by Shanghai Baijia Publishing House in 2008, ISBN 978-7-80703-861-0.
  • Asteris Kutulas: Mikis Theodorakis. A Life in pictures (in German), Coffee-table book with 1 DVD & 2 CDs. Schott Music, Mainz 2010, ISBN 978-3-7957-0713-2
  • Arja Saijonmaa: En ung naken kvinna : mötet med Mikis (A young naked woman - the meeting with Mikis), ISBN 978-91-642-0345-8 (bound) Stockholm : Piratförlaget, 2011 Swedish 443 pages, [16] picture pages + 1 CD with four songs by Mikis Theodorakis.

Selected Bibliography

  • Mikis Theodorakis & Zülfü Livaneli — Together (Tropical)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — First Symphony & Adagio (Wergo/Schott)
  • Maria Farantouri — Poetica (Songs by Theodorakis) (Peregrina)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Mikis (Peregrina)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Symphony No. 4 (Wergo/Schott)
  • Maria Farantouri — Asmata (Songs by Theodorakis) (Peregrina)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Symphony No. 7 (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Requiem: For soloists, choir and symphonic orchestra (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Symphonietta & Etat de Siege (Wergo/Schott)
  • Maria Farantouri & Rainer Kirchmann — Sun & Time: Songs by Theodorakis (Lyra)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Mauthausen Trilogy: In Greek, Hebrew and English (Plaene)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Carnaval — Raven (for mezzo and symphonic orchestra) (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Resistance (historic recordings) (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — First Songs (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Antigone/Medea/Electra (3-Opera Box) (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — The Metamorphosis of Dionysus (Opera) (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — Rhapsodies for Cello and Guitar (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis — East of the Aegean (for cello and piano) (Wergo/Schott)
  • Mikis Theodorakis & Francesco Diaz — Timeless (Wormland White)

Internationally-available CD releases

  • Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra
  • March of the spirit (Oratorio, Full Score)
  • Axion esti (Oratorio Full Score)
  • Zorbas Ballet (Suite - Ballet, Full Score)
  • Carnaval (Suite - Ballet Full, Score)
  • Adagio (Full Score) & Sinfonietta (Full Score)
  • Epiphania Averof (Cantata)
  • Canto Olympico (Oratorio)
  • Les Eluard
  • Ο κύκλος
  • 20 τραγούδια για πιάνο και αρμόνιο
  • Η Βεατρίκη στην οδό Μηδέν
  • Μια θάλασσα γεμάτη μουσική
  • Τα λυρικώτερα
  • Τα λυρικώτατα
  • Τα πρόσωπα του Ήλιου
  • Φαίδρα
  • Λιποτάκτες
  • Θαλασσινά φεγγάρια
  • Ασίκικο πουλάκη
  • Romancero Gitano (για πιάνο - φωνή)
  • Τα Λυρικά
  • Ταξίδι μέσα στη νύχτα
  • Μικρές Κυκλάδες
  • Διόνυσος
  • Επιφάνια
  • Επιτάφιος
  • Μπαλάντες. Κύκλος τραγουδιών για πιάνο και φωνή
  • Χαιρετισμοί. Κύκλος τραγουδιών για πιάνο και φωνή
  • Ένα όμηρος


Reference: Guy Wagner. Chairman of the International Theodorakis Foundation FILIKI. List of works based on the research of Asteris Koutoulas, published in O Mousikos Theodorakis.

Principal film scores

International theatre

  • 1960–61: To Tragoudi tou Nekrou Adelfou (Ballad of the Dead Brother), Musical Tragedy (text: Mikis Theodorakis)
  • 1961–62: Omorphi Poli (Beautiful City), revue (Bost, Dimitris Christodoulou, Christofelis, et al.)
  • 1963: I Gitonia ton Angelon (The Quarter of Angels), Music-drama (Iakovos Kambanelis)
  • 1963: Magiki Poli (Enchanted City), revue (Mikis Theodorakis, Notis Pergialis, Michalis Katsaros)
  • 1971: Antigoni stin Filaki (Antigone in Jail), drama
  • 1974: Prodomenos Laos (Betrayed People), music for the theatre (Vangelis Goufas)
  • 1975: Echtros Laos (Enemy People), drama (Iakovos Kambanelis)
  • 1975: Christophorus Kolumbus, drama (Nikos Kazantzakis)
  • 1976: Kapodistrias, drama (Nikos Kazantzakis)
  • 1977: O Allos Alexandros ("The Other Alexander"), drama (Margarita Limberaki)
  • 1979: Papflessas, play (Spiros Melas)

Modern plays

Classical tragedies

Music for the stage

  • 1984–85: Kostas Karyotakis (The Metamorphosis of Dionysos)
  • 1988–90: Medea
  • 1992–93: Elektra
  • 1995–96: Antigone
  • 1999–01: Lysistrata


  • 1953: Greek Carnival (choreography: Rallou Manou)
  • 1958: Le Feu aux Poudres (choreography: Paul Goubé)
  • 1958: Les Amants de Teruel (choreography: Milko Šparemblek)
  • 1959: Antigone (choreography: John Cranko)
  • 1972: Antigone in Jail (choreography: Micha van Hoecke)
  • 1979: Elektra (choreography: Serge Kenten)
  • 1983: Sept Danses Grecques (choreography: Maurice Béjart)
  • 1987–88: Zorba il Greco (choreography: Lorca Massine)


  • 1970: Hymn for Nasser
  • 1973: Hymn for the Socialist Movement in Venezuela
  • 1973: Hymn for the Students. dedicated to the victims of Polytechnical School in Athens (18.11.)
  • 1977: Hymn of the French Socialist Party
  • 1978: Hymn for Malta
  • 1982: Hymn of P.L.O.
  • 1991: Hymn of the Mediterranean Games
  • 1992: "Hellenism" (Greek Hymn for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games of Barcelona)


Cantatas and oratorios

  • 1942: Sonatina for piano
  • 1945: Elegy No 1, for cello and piano
  • 1945: Elegy No 2, for violin and piano
  • 1946: To Kimitirio (The Cemetery), for string quartet
  • 1946: String Quartet No 1
  • 1946: Duetto, for two violins
  • 1947: Trio, for violin, cello and piano
  • 1947: 11 Preludes, for piano
  • 1947: Sexteto, for piano, flute and string quartet
  • 1949: Study for two violins and cello
  • 1952: Syrtos Chaniotikos, for piano and percussion
  • 1952: Sonatina No 1, for violin and piano
  • 1955: Little Suite, for piano
  • 1955: Passacaglia, for two pianos
  • 1959: Sonatina No 2, for violin and piano
  • 1989: Choros Assikikos, for violoncello solo
  • 1996: Melos, for piano
  • 2007: East of the Aegean, for cello and piano

Chamber music

  • 1952: Piano Concerto "Helikon"
  • 1953: First Symphony ("Proti Simfonia")
  • 1954–1959: 3 Orchestral Suites
  • 1958: Piano Concerto
  • 1981: Symphony No 2 ("The Song of the Earth"; text: Mikis Theodorakis) for children's choir, piano, and orchestra
  • 1981: Symphony No 3 (texts: Dionysios Solomos; Constantine P. Cavafy; Byzantine hymns) for soprano, choir, and orchestra
  • 1983: Symphony No 7 ("Spring-Symphony"; texts: Yannis Ritsos; Yorgos Kulukis) for four soloists, choir, and orchestra
  • 1986–1987: Symphony No 4 ("Of Choirs") for soprano, mezzo, narrator, choir, and symphonic orchestra without strings
  • 1995: Rhapsody for Guitar and Orchestra
  • 1996: Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra
  • 2008: Rhapsody for Trumpet and Orchestra (for Piccolo Trumpet, orchestrated by Robert Gulya)
  • 2010: "Andalusia" for Mezzo and Orchestra

Symphonic works

His song cycles are based on poems by Greek authors, as well as by Lorca and Neruda: Epitaphios, Archipelagos, Politia A-D, Epiphania, The Hostage, Mykres Kyklades, Mauthausen, Romiossini, Sun and Time, Songs for Andreas, Mythology, Night of Death, Ta Lyrika, The Quarters of the World, Dionysos, Phaedra, Mia Thalassa, Os Archaios Anemos, Ta Lyrikotera, Ta Lyrikotata, Erimia, Odysseia. Theodorakis released two albums of his songs and song cycles on Paredon Records and Folkways Records in the early seventies, including his Peoples' Music: The Struggles of the Greek People (1974).[69]

Theodorakis has written more than 1,000 songs and song-cycles, whose melodies have become part of the heritage of Greek music: Sto Perigiali, Kaimos, Aprilis, Doxa to Theo, Sotiris Petroulas, Lipotaktes, Stis Nichtas to Balkoni, Agapi mou, Pou petaxe t'agori mou, Anixe ligo to parathiro, O Ipnos se tilixe, To gelasto pedi, Dendro to dendro, Imaste dio, Asma Asmaton, O Andonis...

Songs and song cycles


On 1 December 2010 Mikis Theodorakis founded "Spitha: People's Independent Movement", a non-political movement which calls people to gather and express their political ideas. The main goal of "Spitha" is to help Greece stay clear of its economic crisis.[67] On 31 May Mikis Theodorakis gave a speech attended by approximately 10,000 Greeks in the center of Athens, criticising the Greek government for the loan debt it has taken from the International Monetary Fund.[68] It was also the first time in many decades that he called for revolution.

2010–2011: Calling for revolution

During the invasion of Iraq, Theodorakis called Americans "detestable, ruthless cowards and murderers of the people of the world." He said he would consider anyone who interacted with "these barbarians" as his enemy.[66]

Views of the United States

Theodorakis, like many Greeks, greatly supported Serbia during the Yugoslav wars, in support of the Serbs he participated in a charity concert protesting the NATO bombings of Serbia in 1999.[65]

Theodorakis has spoken out against the Iraq war and Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West Bank has condemned Greek Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was guilty, he said, of "war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza."[64]

Political views

  1. Song cycles: Ta Lyrika; Dionysos; Phaedra; Beatrice in Zero Street; Radar; Chairetismoi (Greetings); Mia Thalassa (A Sea Full of Music); Os archaios Anemos (Like an Ancient Wind); Lyrikotera (The More-Than-Lyric Songs); Lyrikotata (The Most Lyric Songs); Erimia (Solitude); Odysseia;
  2. Music for the Stage: Orestia (dir.: Spyros Evangelatos); Antigone (dir.: Minos Volanakis); Medea (dir.: Spyros Evangelatos)
  3. Film scores: Iphigenia (M. Cacoyannis), The Man with the Carnation (Nikos Tzimas)
  4. Oratorio: Canto General in 13 Sections, completed in 1981 (Pablo Neruda)
  5. Oratorios: Liturgia 2; Missa Greca (Thia Liturgia); Requiem;
  6. Symphonic music and cantatas: Symphonies no 2, 3, 4, 7; According to the Sadducees; Canto Olympico; Guitar Rhapsody; Cello Rhapsody; Trumpet Rhapsody (dedicated to Otto Sauter, 2008); Rhysody for Strings (Mezzo-Sopran or Baryton ad lib.)
  7. Operas: "The Metamorphosis of the Dionysus" (Kostas Karyotakis); Medea; Elektra; Antigone; Lysistrata.

Main works after 1974

A final set of songs entitled: Odysseia was composed by utilizing poetry written by Costas Kartelias for lyrics. In 2009 he composed a Rhapsody for Strings (Mezzo-Soprano or Baryton ad lib.)Created on 30 January 2013, Theodorakis achieved the distinction of producing one of the largest works by any composer of any time.[63]

Now he lives in retirement, reading, writing, publishing arrangements of his scores, texts about culture and politics. On occasions he still takes position: in 1999, opposing NATO's Kosovo war and in 2003 against the Iraq War. In 2005, he was awarded the Sorano Friendship and Peace Award, the Russian International St.-Andrew-the-First-Called Prize, the insignia of Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of Luxembourg, and the IMC UNESCO International Music Prize, while already in 2002 he was honoured in Bonn with the Erich Wolfgang Korngold Prize for film music at the International Film Music Biennial in Bonn[60] (cf also: Homepage of the Art and Exhibition Hall Bonn).[61] In 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the distribution of the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent.[62]

Theodorakis holding hands with George Papandreou

Theodorakis is Doctor honoris causa of several universities, including Montreal, Thessaloniki, and Crete.

For a period of 10 years, Alexia Vassiliou teamed up with Mikis Theodorakis and his Popular Orchestra. During that time, and as a tribute to Theodorakis’s body of work, Vassiliou recorded a double album showcasing some of the composer’s most consummate musical creations, and in 1998, Sony BMG released the album entitled Alexia–Mikis Theodorakis.

In 1989, he started the fifth period, the last, of his musical writing: He composed three operas (lyric tragedies) Medea, first performed in Bilbao (1 October 1991), Elektra, first performed in Luxembourg (2 May 1995) and Antigone, first performed in Athens' Megaron Moussikis (7 October 1999). This trilogy was complemented by his last opera Lysistrata, first performed in Athens (14 April 2002): a call for peace... With his operas, and with his song cycles from 1974 to 2006, Theodorakis ushered in the period of his Lyrical Life.

From 1981, Theodorakis had started the fourth period of his musical writing, during which he returned to the symphonic music, while still going on to compose song-cycles. His most significant works written in these years are his Second, Third, Fourth and Seventh Symphony, most of them being first performed in the former German Democratic Republic between 1982 and 1989. It was during this period that he received the Lenin Peace Prize. He composed his first opera Kostas Kariotakis (The Metamorphoses of Dionysus) and the ballet Zorba the Greek, premièred in the Arena of Verona during the Festival Verona 1988. During this period, he also wrote the five volumes of his autobiography: The Ways of the Archangel (Οι δρόμοι του αρχάγγελου).

He is committed to heightening international awareness of human rights, of environmental issues, and of the need for peace and for this reason he initiated, together with the Turkish author, musician, singer, and filmmaker Zülfü Livaneli the Greek–Turkish Friendship Society.[59]

[58] He was later elected several times to the Greek Parliament (1981–1986 and 1989–1993) and for two years, from 1990 to 1992, he was a minister in the government of [57], he had "stirred up the Greek political life. His proposal for the unification of the three parties of the former United Left – which had grown out of the National Liberation Front (N.L.F.) – had been accepted by the Greek Communist Party which later proposed him as the candidate for mayor of Athens during the 1978 elections." (Andreas Brandes)For a United Left Wing At the same time he participated in public affairs. In 1978, through his article [56] After the fall of the Colonels, Mikis Theodorakis returned to Greece on 24 July 1974 to continue his work and his concert tours, both in Greece and abroad.

Theodorakis on a visit in East Germany, May 1989.

Return to Greece

1. Song cycles: 18 lianotragouda tis pikris patridas (18 Short Songs of the Bitter Land, Yiannis Ritsos), Ballades (Manolis Anagnostakis), Tis exorias (Songs of the Exile)
2. Oratorio: Canto General, Sections 3 to 6 only (Pablo Neruda)
3. Film scores: The Trojan Women (M. Cacoyannis); State of Siege (Costa-Gavras); Serpico (Sidney Lumet)

Main works written in exile

He met Pablo Neruda and Salvador Allende and promised them to compose his version of Neruda's Canto General. He was received by Gamal Abdel Nasser and Tito, Yigal Allon and Yasser Arafat, while François Mitterrand,[54] Olof Palme and Willy Brandt became his friends. For millions of people, Theodorakis was the symbol of resistance against the Greek dictatorship.[55]

Mikis Theodorakis at a concert in Caesarea, Israel, in the 1970s.

While in exile, Theodorakis fought during four years for the overthrow of the colonels. He started his world tours and gave thousands of concerts on all continents as part of his struggle for the restoration of democracy in Greece.

Resistance in exile

  1. Song cycles: Ta Laïka (The Popular Songs, Manos Elefteriou);[53] O Ilios ke o Chronos (Sun and Time, Theodorakis); Songs for Andreas (Theodorakis); Arcadies I-X; Nichta Thanatou (Nights of Death, Manos Elefteriou);
  2. Oratorios: Ephiphania Averoff Edgar Allan Poe);
  3. Film score: Z (Costa-Gavras).

Main works under the dictatorship

[52] on a boat.Italy to France via Greece. They arrived from France Myrto Theodorakis, Mikis's wife and two children joined him a week later in [51].tuberculosis. Theodorakis was immediately hospitalized because he suffered from lung Jules Dassin and Melina Mercouri, Costa Gavras where he met Le Bourget Airport. Theodorakis arrived at Athens owned private airport outside Onassis on 13 April 1970. Theodorakis's flight left very secretly from an Paris, Theodorakis was allowed to go into exile to Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber demanded to get Theodorakis freed. On request of the French politician Harry Belafonte, and Arthur Miller, Leonard Bernstein, Dmitri Shostakovich An international solidarity movement, headed by such personalities as [50].Oropos of concentration camp Later he was interned in the [49] On 21 April 1967 a

Photo of Mikis Theodorakis
M. Theodorakis (1971)

During the dictatorship

  1. Song cycles: Epitaphios (Nobel Prize 1963), Mikres Kyklades (Odysseas Elytis), Chrysoprasino Fyllo (Golden-green leaf), Mauthausen (Iakovos Kambanellis), Romiossini (Yannis Ritsos), Thalassina Feggaria (Moons of the Sea)
  2. Oratorio: To Axion Esti[46] (Odysseas Elytis, Nobel Prize 1979), cf. Theodorakis on Axion Esti[47]
  3. Music for the Stage: The Hostage (Brendan Behan); Ballad of the Dead Brother (Theodorakis); Omorphi Poli (Beautiful City); Maghiki Poli (Magical City); I Gitonia ton Angelon(The Angels' Quarter, Iakovos Kambanellis)
  4. Film scores: Phaedra (Jules Dassin), The Lovers of Teruel (Raymond Rouleau), Five Miles to Midnight (Anatole Litvak), Electra and Zorba the Greek (Michalis Cacoyannis), To Nisi tis Afroditis (Harilaos Papadopoulos)

Main works of this period

During 1964, he wrote the music for the Michael Cacoyiannis film Zorba the Greek, whose main theme, since then, exists as a trademark for Greece. It is also known as 'Syrtaki dance'; inspired from old Cretan traditional dances.

[45]. Because of his political ideas, the composer was black-listed by the cultural establishment; at the time of his biggest artistic glory, a large number of his songs were censored-before-studio or were not allowed on the radio stations.EDA Following the 1964 elections, Theodorakis became a member of the Greek Parliament, associated with the left-wing party [44]

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