Mikis Theodorakis

Active - 1954 - 2001  |   Born - Jul 29, 1925   |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis' best-known film score is that of Michael Cacoyannis' Zorba the Greek (1964). Educated at the Conservatory of Patras, Athens Conservatory, and the Paris Conservatoire, he began his career in Paris writing orchestral music and writing scores for ballets, stage productions, and films. A civil servant's son, he was raised on the island of Khios and began his musical training when he was quite young. The family moved to Tripolis when he was a young teen. Shortly after enrolling at the Athens Conservatory, Theodorakis began what would become a lifetime of political activity when he joined the resistance efforts against invading Germans and Italians. At that time, Theodorakis was a committed leftist and staunch Greek patriot. His efforts in the political arena had a negative effect upon his career. He became no stranger to jail, torture, and exile. It was during his 1953 exile that he moved to Paris. He did not return to Greece until 1961. Once home, he became the leader of the Lambrakis youth movement. He then was elected to Parliament. He was arrested again in 1967 during a military coup and was imprisoned until 1970. Following his release, Theodorakis returned to France. Two years later, he left the Communist party. He returned to Greece and resumed his musical career in 1974.

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