Born in Greece in 1925, Mikis Theodorakis resolutely devoted his life to fighting for freedom and justice, searching for valid and comprehensible forms of musical expression, and pursuing the significance of art. This long journey ended in Athens on Thursday morning of 2 September in Athens.
In 1962, Mikis Theodorakis composed a dramatic synthesis based on The Dead Brother's Song named The Ballad of the Dead Brother which referred to the Greek Civil War and the then oppressive political situation in Greece.
The lasting legacy of Mikis Theodorakis in Greece and beyond is found not only his struggle for freedom, even in the face of personal torture and exile, it is in his flawless coupling of art with the voice of the people. What could be a more pertinent example than his perhaps most famous composition: the dance melody for Michael Cacoyannis’ legendary film Zorba the Greek, which has become an unofficial Greek national anthem. The significance of this melody for the people of Greece echoes the power of Verdi’s Va pensiero, and the melody that first inspired Theodorakis to become a composer, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.*
*Details are correct at time of publication.