No one else has been able to interpret the Greek mentality in such an original way and make it known all over the world. Now the creator of the Sirtaki song, Mikis Theodorakis, has passed away.
The Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis died in Athens on Thursday at the age of 96 . This was announced by the Greek Ministry of Culture. Theodorakis was revered as a folk hero in his homeland. He achieved international fame not only as a musician – for example with his Sirtaki song – but also as a writer, politician and critical spirit.
After the news of the death of Theodorakis interrupted radio and television stations in Greece their programs to the music playing the composer and to remember him. For many Greeks, Theodorakis is still the “voice of the people”. His music was seen as a consolation, especially in historically difficult times such as the Greek military dictatorship from 1967 to 1974, but also as a sign of resistance.
Mikis Theodorakis was a resistance fighter in World War II
Born in 1925, Theodorakis was active as a resistance fighter during the Second World War and joined the Left in the civil war that followed (1946 to 1949), which is why he was later interned in a camp and severely tortured. He also resisted the military dictatorship, was arrested and tortured. He was then allowed to leave under international pressure and lived in exile in Paris until 1974.
Theodorakis had previously studied music in the French capital and in Athens in the late 1940s and early 1950s. After initially composing classical music, he returned to his roots in the 1960s and made Greek music popular. He provided the soundtrack for the film “Alexis Sorbas” with Anthony Quinn in the leading role – it made him known worldwide.