Famed Greek Composer Mikis Theodorakis Dies at Age 96

Famed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, who is best known for scoring the 1964 classic film Zorba the Greek, has died in Athens at the age of 96.

“It is with great sorrow and emotion that we were informed this morning of the passing of Mikis Theodorakis, who lived a full life of contribution, but also of recognition,” Greek Parliament President Constantine Tassoulas said in a statement on Sept. 2.

“A composer, a writer, a politician, he has been linked to our country and our people more than anyone else, he showcased Greece and beguiled Greece more than anyone else,” Tassoulas further said.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared three days of national mourning and called Theodorakis “a symbol of Greece.”

Theodorakis, who completed his music studies in the Paris Conservatory, was revered in his home country for his spirited music that was always deeply political.

Theodorakis also joined the resistance against the Nazi occupation of Greece during the Second World War when he was only 17 years old.

Years later, Theodorakis became a member of the Greek Parliament in 1964 when he scored Zorba the Greek.

Theodorakis was among the first leftwing politicians to be arrested during the 1967 military coup and led the resistance against the military.

Paying tribute, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said that Theodorakis’ music served as “encouragement, as consolation, as protest, as support in the gloomy periods” of Greek history.

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