Category: Mikis Theodorakis
A Legend called Mikis Theodorakis

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Legend called Mikis Theodorakis

Mikis Theodorakis, 91, conducting his song “Arnisi” (Denial) at the end of an emotional concert at Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. An one-thousand-member choir, numerous musicians, soloists, opera singers, actors and 50,000 spectators paid tribute to Greece’s legendary composer.
A musical genius, Mikis Theodorakis made a decisive contribution to the cultural renaissance of postwar Greece. His cultural contribution, his music- dressed by the poetry of some of the leading Greek and foreign poets, such as Yannis Ritsos, Odysseus Elytis, Pablo Neruda, Giorgos Seferis was always entwined with the heroic struggles and concerns of the Greek people. 
Both in difficult times, during periods of people’s tough fights against fascism, capitalism, imperialist wars and interventions and military coups, as well as in times of upsurge of the people’s movement, of endless heroism, the music of Mikis has always been a source of inspiration in the struggle for a better future.
The Secretary General of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas greets
Mikis Theodorakis at the concert.
Stinging criticism by composer Mikis Theodorakis against Greek PM Tsipras
| January 17, 2017 | 7:24 pm | Cuba, Fidel Castro, Greece, Mikis Theodorakis, Syriza | No comments
Sunday, 04 December 2016 21:35


Tsipras (right), whose popularity is collapsing, as far as opinion polls over the last few months are concerned, was the only European head of government to travel to Cuba for the Castro memorial service.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was again the target of stinging criticism over the weekend, although this time the source of ridicule was none other than well-known Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, a nonagenarian leftist “icon” in the country.

In an “open letter” addressed to Tsipras and posted on Theodorakis’ website, the latter takes aim directly at the Greek prime minister’s visit, presence and statements in Havana last week, where he travelled to pay homage to the late Fidel Castro. This time, however, criticism against Tsipras was aimed from a distinctly leftwing angle.

Tsipras, whose popularity is collapsing, as far as opinion polls over the last few months are concerned, was the only European head of government to travel to Cuba for the Castro memorial service.

“Comrade Alexis, I have to hand it to you, you are crafty; the craftiest bloke in Greece since 450 BC until today; because you do as you please without considering anyone. You use your personal (corporate) jet, fill it with friends and head off for Cuba, leaving the bill, 300,000 USD, left to be paid by the suckers, who get paid 300 euros a month, at best,” was the beginning of the uncharacteristically harsh reaction towards Tsipras, whom Theodarakis once praised.

“You speak from the Plaza de la Revolucion, where Fidel spoke as a genuine and tough revolutionary … you act the part of revolutionary and when you return (to Greece), you again become what you were, a child that runs the errands of Merkel, Obama and Juncker, the ones who you pilloried in Havana…”

When Fidel Castro Invited Mikis Theodorakis to Havana
| November 27, 2016 | 8:33 pm | Fidel Castro, Mikis Theodorakis | No comments

“My beloved Fidel…”: Greece’s legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis farewells his friend, Fidel Castro
| November 27, 2016 | 8:26 pm | Fidel Castro, Mikis Theodorakis | No comments

Monday, November 28, 2016

“My beloved Fidel…”: Greece’s legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis farewells his friend, Fidel Castro

“My beloved Fidel, 

you left us 
and this is the first time 
I disagree with you”.

– Mikis Theodorakis, 26/11/2016.
With the above laconic phrase published in his personal website the internationally-renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, 91, expressed his farewell to the emblematic Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro. 

Theodorakis, composer of numerous masterpieces such as Canto General (Poetry by Pablo Neruda), Axion EstiSerpico and Zorba, whose musical genius made a decisive contribution to the cultural renaissance of postwar Greece, had the opportunity to meet with Fidel in Cuba and become a friend of the Cuban leader. 
Below, we share abstracts from an article published on Greek Reporter which describes the special bond between Mikis Theodorakis and Fidel Castro:
The Greek composer met Castro in 1962, when he visited Cuba as a parliamentary member of United Democratic Left (EDA) along with another EDA MP, Evanhegelos Sakellaris, as guests of the revolutionary government. It was the time when the whole island was singing and dancing to the sounds of “Luna de miel”, a Theodorakis composition that had become very popular. 
At the time, the revolutionary government of Cuba was making an effort to get rid of bureaucracy and had invited delegations of leftist parties around the world. They had stayed for a week, when Theodorakis explained that he wanted to leave because he was in bad health at the moment and the humid climate of Havana was bad for him.
Theodorakis later said that Che Guevara told him: “You are not going anywhere. We have mountains with fresh air. Tomorrow I’m going to the Sierra Maestra and I will come by the hotel to pick you up and take you with me.”
Despite the objections, Guevara was adamant. The next morning they got into a big, comfortable car and spent “a memorable week with Che Guevara,” Theodorakis said. Theodorakis became friends with Castro and the two men exchanged letters.

On July 29, 1981, Theodorakis gave a concert in Havana, Cuba. He was invited by Castro himself. The composer presented one of his greatest works, Canto General, based on the poem by Pablo Neruda, the work was played by a Cuban orchestra accompanied by Greek singers Maria Farantouri and Giorgos Dalaras.

Castro appeared unexpectedly at the concert at Cathedral Square of Havana, flanked by guards. It was a time when the Cuban leader was hardly making any public appearances because he was fearing assassination attempts. The audience cheered “Viva Fidel!”
By the end of the concert, Castro embraced Theodorakis praising his work. The two men were acquainted and shared a mutual respect. Castro embraced Theodorakis and said, “Music is more difficult than politics. That’s why there are more politicians than musicians.”
And Castro continued: “And there are even less revolutionary artists. Even though artists want revolution, there are many politicians who are not revolutionary. But to be a revolutionary artist is more significant than being a politician.”