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Mikis Theodorakis
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    (July 29, 1925- )
    Born in Chios, Greece
    Symphonic works include ‘Proti Simfonia (First Symphony),’ ‘Symphony #2 (The Song of the Earth),’ and ‘Symphony #7 (Spring-Symphony)’
    Chamber music includes ‘To Kimitrio (The Cemetery),’ ‘11 Preludes,’ and ‘Syrtos Chaniotikos’
    Cantatas and oratorios include ‘To children, killed in War’
    Operas include ‘The Metamorphosis of Dionysus
    Song cycles include ‘18 Short Songs of the Bitter Land' and ‘Songs of the Exile’
    Film scores include ‘Zorba the Greek,’ ‘Z,’ ‘State of Siege,’ and ‘Serpico’
    Greek Member of Parliament (1981–1985, 1990–1993)
    Co-founder of the Greek-Turkish Friendship Society (with Zulfu Livaneli)
    Founder of ‘Spitha: People’s Independent Movement’ (2010)
    Until the late 1980s, he identified heavily with the left wing (which caused him to be blacklisted by the cultural establishment).
    During the Greek Civil War, he was arrested, exiled to one island, and deported to another to be (twice!) tortured and buried alive.
    Shortly after the right wing junta Regime of the Colonels took power in a coup d’etat, when he went underground, the regime published ‘Army Decree Number 13’ — which did not allow broadcasting (of) or listening to his works.
    Exiled again in 1967, after military dictator Georgios Papadopoulos seized power, he set up shop in Paris and would not return for several years (he would return to Paris after six years).
    He was a doctor honoris causa (‘for the sake of the honor’) at numerous universities — including in Montreal.
    He called Americans ‘detestable ruthless cowards and murderers of the people of the world.’
    Yanni doesn’t have a thing on this guy!
    He stood just a drop under six-foot-five (1,95 m).
    In exile – when, among others, he became friends with Francois Mitterrand – he was the face and voice of resistance against Greek dictatorship.
    Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Miller were key supporters during his exile in the Papadopoulos period.
    The Greek Communist Party nominated him as a mayoral candidate for Athens (1978).
    He was elected to the Greek Parliament in three non-consecutive terms.
    He was a vocal critic of the invasion of Iraq (2003) — just in case you’re wondering why he referred to Americans as ‘these barbarians.’
    At an assembly in the capital, attended by some 10,000 citizens, he openly criticized the Greek government for the loan debt taken out of the International Monetary Fund.
    His works – more than a thousand songs and song-cycles in toto – have become integral to the nation’s musical heritage.

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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