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News > World

Greeks Mourn Left-Wing Composer and Activist Theodorakis

  • Mikis Theodorakis directing an orchestra.

    Mikis Theodorakis directing an orchestra. | Photo: EFE

Published 6 September 2021

The composer, who died on Sept.2, affirmed his willingness to "leave this world as a Communist".

On Monday, hundreds of people gathered around the burial chamber of the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, installed in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens.

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Theodorakis died on Sept. 2 in Athens at 96 after spending a lifetime dedicated to music and political activism. A crowd of people waited for hours for his coffin, which arrived in the early afternoon and was greeted with applause and other signs of condolence.

His mortal remains will be deposited in the Galatas cemetery, where his father and brother are also buried, under the composer's wishes.

Internationally, people know him best for 'Zorba the Greek', a soundtrack which became famous through the Michael Cacoyannis's film in 1964.

Theodorakis' musical production, however, was very varied as it included not only soundtracks for movies but also operas.

His trajectory as a political activist began when he joined the Greek National Liberation Front (EAM) to combat the Nazi occupation. Later, during the Greek Civil War (1946-1949), he was arrested and exiled on the Icaria Island and then deported to the Makronisos Island.

Theodorakis had long-standing links with the Greek Communist Party (KKE), of which he was a lawmaker from 1981 to 1990. In a letter addressed to the KKE leader published after his death, the composer affirmed his willingness to "leave this world as a Communist."

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