Greek patriot and world-renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis celebrates his 95th birthday on Wednesday.
Theodorakis was born on the Greek island of Chios on July 29, 1925 and spent his childhood years in different provincial Greek cities. His father, a lawyer and a civil servant, was from the small village of Kato Galatas on Crete and his mother, Aspasia Poulakis, was from an ethnically Greek family in Çeşme, in what is today Turkey.
Mikis, as he is affectionately known, is the greatest Greek composer of all time. He is also a visionary humanitarian. Starting out as a socialist, in his later years he tried to unite all the Greek people, regardless of their political affiliation.
Theodorakis suffered a great deal for his early idealism, even enduring torture multiple times, beginning when he was captured during the Italian occupation. He was later imprisoned and exiled for his beliefs, even after he had achieved acclaim as a composer.
But like all great creators, he transformed all his painful experiences into tremendously moving works of art. The end result was that Theodorakis made his personal history part of the musical history of the nation of Greece.
One cannot separate Theodorakis’ political activism from his compositions, because one is the reflection of the other. Even in his nineties, his creative spirit was strong, and he remained active in both fields. No Greek can forget his moving speech during the rally against the use of the term “Macedonia” by Greece’s northern neighbor, on February 4, 2018.
Happy Birthday Mikis!
Watch below as Mikis Theodorakis conducts an 1000-member choir on “Βρέχει στη Φτωχογειτονιά” at Panathenaic Stadium in Athens in June 2017 and gets a standing ovation by 50.000 spectators.
Mikis Theodorakis conducts an 1000-member choir on "Βρέχει στη Φτωχογειτονιά" at Panathenaic Stadium in Athens and gets a standing ovation by 50.000 spectators.
Posted by Greek Reporter on Tuesday, 20 June 2017