Michael "Mikis" Theodorakis (Greek: Μιχαήλ (Μίκης) Θεοδωράκης [ˈmicis θeoðoˈɾacis]; born 29 July 1925) is a Greek songwriter and composer who has written over 1000 songs.


Michael "Mikis" Theodorakis (Greek: Μιχαήλ (Μίκης) Θεοδωράκης [ˈmicis θeoðoˈɾacis]; 29 July 1925 – 2 September 2021) is a Greek songwriter and composer who has written over 1000 songs.

He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He composed the "Mauthausen Trilogy" also known as "The Ballad of Mauthausen", which has been described as the "most beautiful musical work ever written about the Holocaust" and possibly his best work. He is viewed as Greece's best-known living composer. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

Politically, he is associated with the left because of his long-standing ties to the Communist Party of Greece. He was an MP for the KKE from 1981-90. Nevertheless, in 1989 he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party, in order for the country to emerge from the political crisis that had been created due to the numerous scandals of the government of Andreas Papandreou, and helped establish a large coalition between conservatives, socialists and leftists. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a government minister under Constantine Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continued to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek–Turkish–Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq. He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the 1967–74 Greek junta, which imprisoned him. He died from cardiac arrest at his home in Athens on 2 September 2021, at the age of 96.


His song cycles are based on poems by Greek authors, as well as by Lorca and Neruda: Epitaphios, Archipelagos, Politia A-D, Epiphania, The Hostage, Mykres Kyklades, Mauthausen, Romiossini, Sun and Time, Songs for Andreas, Mythology, Night of Death, Ta Lyrika, The Quarters of the World, Dionysos, Phaedra, Mia Thalassa, Os Archaios Anemos, Ta Lyrikotera, Ta Lyrikotata, Erimia, Odysseia. Theodorakis released two albums of his songs and song cycles on Paredon Records and Folkways Records in the early seventies, including his Peoples' Music: The Struggles of the Greek People (1974).

Symphonic works

  • 1952: Piano Concerto "Helikon"
  • 1953: First Symphony ("Proti Simfonia")
  • 1954–1959: 3 Orchestral Suites
  • 1958: Piano Concerto
  • 1981: Symphony No 2 ("The Song of the Earth"; text: Mikis Theodorakis) for children's choir, piano, and orchestra
  • 1981: Symphony No 3 (texts: Dionysios Solomos; Constantine P. Cavafy; Byzantine hymns) for soprano, choir, and orchestra
  • 1983: Symphony No 7 ("Spring-Symphony"; texts: Yannis Ritsos; Yorgos Kulukis) for four soloists, choir, and orchestra
  • 1986–1987: Symphony No 4 ("Of Choirs") for soprano, mezzo, narrator, choir, and symphonic orchestra without strings
  • 1995: Rhapsody for Guitar and Orchestra
  • 1996: Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra
  • 2008: Rhapsody for Trumpet and Orchestra (for Piccolo Trumpet, orchestrated by Robert Gulya)
  • 2010: "Andalusia" for Mezzo and Orchestra

Chamber music

  • 1942: Sonatina for piano
  • 1945: Elegy No 1, for cello and piano
  • 1945: Elegy No 2, for violin and piano
  • 1946: To Kimitirio (The Cemetery), for string quartet
  • 1946: String Quartet No 1
  • 1946: Duetto, for two violins
  • 1947: Trio, for violin, cello and piano
  • 1947: 11 Preludes, for piano
  • 1947: Sexteto, for piano, flute and string quartet
  • 1949: Study for two violins and cello
  • 1952: Syrtos Chaniotikos, for piano and percussion
  • 1952: Sonatina No 1, for violin and piano
  • 1955: Little Suite, for piano
  • 1955: Passacaglia, for two pianos
  • 1959: Sonatina No 2, for violin and piano
  • 1989: Choros Assikikos, for violoncello solo
  • 1996: Melos, for piano
  • 2007: East of the Aegean, for cello and piano

Cantatas and oratorios

  • 1960: Axion Esti (text: Odysseas Elytis)
  • 1969: The March of the Spirit (text: Angelos Sikelianos)
  • 1971–82: Canto General (text: Pablo Neruda)
  • 1981–82: Kata Saddukaion Pathi (Sadducean-Passion; text: Michalis Katsaros) for tenor, baritone, bass, choir and orchestra
  • 1982: Liturgy No 2 ("To children, killed in War"); texts: Tassos Livaditis, Mikis Theodorakis) for choir
  • 1982–83: Lorca, for voice, solo guitar, choir, and orchestra (based on Romancero Gitano, text: Federico García Lorca, translated by Odysseas Elytis)
  • 1992: Canto Olympico, for voice, solo piano, choir, and orchestra (texts: Dimitra Manda, Mikis Theodorakis)


  • 1970: Hymn for Nasser
  • 1973: Hymn for the Socialist Movement in Venezuela
  • 1973: Hymn for the Students. dedicated to the victims of Polytechnical School in Athens (18.11.)
  • 1977: Hymn of the French Socialist Party
  • 1978: Hymn for Malta
  • 1982: Hymn of P.L.O.
  • 1991: Hymn of the Mediterranean Games
  • 1992: "Hellenism" (Greek Hymn for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games of Barcelona)


  • 1953: Greek Carnival (choreography: Rallou Manou)
  • 1958: Le Feu aux Poudres (choreography: Paul Goubé)
  • 1958: Les Amants de Teruel (choreography: Milko Šparemblek)
  • 1959: Antigone (choreography: John Cranko)
  • 1972: Antigone in Jail (choreography: Micha van Hoecke)
  • 1979: Elektra (choreography: Serge Kenten)
  • 1983: Sept Danses Grecques (choreography: Maurice Béjart)
  • 1987–88: Zorba il Greco (choreography: Lorca Massine)


  • 1984–85: Kostas Karyotakis (The Metamorphosis of Dionysos)
  • 1988–90: Medea
  • 1992–93: Elektra
  • 1995–96: Antigone
  • 1999–01: Lysistrata

Music for the stage

Classical tragedies

  • 1959–60: Phoenician Women (Euripides)
  • 1960–61: Ajax (Sophocles)
  • 1965: Trojan Women (Euripides)
  • 1966–67: Lysistrata (Aristophanes)
  • 1977: The Suppliants (Aeschylus)
  • 1979: The Knights (Aristophanes)
  • 1986–88: Oresteia: Agamemnon, Choephorae, Eumenides (Aeschylus)
  • 1987: Hecuba (Euripides)
  • 1990: Antigone (Sophocles)
  • 1992: Prometheus Bound (Aeschylus)
  • 1996: Oedipus Rex (Sophocles)
  • 2001: Medea (Euripides)

Modern plays

  • 1960–61: To Tragoudi tou Nekrou Adelfou (Ballad of the Dead Brother), Musical Tragedy (text: Mikis Theodorakis)
  • 1961–62: Omorphi Poli (Beautiful City), revue (Bost, Dimitris Christodoulou, Christofelis, et al.)
  • 1963: I Gitonia ton Angelon (The Quarter of Angels), Music-drama (Iakovos Kambanelis)
  • 1963: Magiki Poli (Enchanted City), revue (Mikis Theodorakis, Notis Pergialis, Michalis Katsaros)
  • 1971: Antigoni stin Filaki (Antigone in Jail), drama
  • 1974: Prodomenos Laos (Betrayed People), music for the theatre (Vangelis Goufas)
  • 1975: Echtros Laos (Enemy People), drama (Iakovos Kambanelis)
  • 1975: Christophorus Kolumbus, drama (Nikos Kazantzakis)
  • 1976: Kapodistrias, drama (Nikos Kazantzakis)
  • 1977: O Allos Alexandros ("The Other Alexander"), drama (Margarita Limberaki)
  • 1979: Papflessas, play (Spiros Melas)

International theatre

  • 1961: Enas Omiros (The Hostage), drama (Brendan Behan)
  • 1963: The Chinese Wall, drama (Max Frisch)
  • 1975: Das Sauspiel, tragicomedy (Martin Walser)
  • 1979: Caligula, drama (Albert Camus)
  • 1978: Polites B' Katigorias (Second-Class Citizens), drama (Brian Friel)
  • 1980: Perikles, tragedy, (William Shakespeare)
  • 1994: Macbeth, tragedy (William Shakespeare)

Principal film scores

  • 1960: Ill Met by Moonlight (Director: Michael Powell)
  • 1960: Honeymoon (Luna de miel) (Director: Michael Powell, Choreography: Léonide Massine)
  • 1960: Faces in the Dark (Director: David Eady)
  • 1961: Shadow of the Cat (Director: John Gilling)
  • 1961: Phaedra (Director: Jules Dassin)
  • 1962: The Lovers of Teruel (Director: Raymond Rouleau)
  • 1962: Five Miles to Midnight (Director: Anatole Litvak)
  • 1962: Electra (Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis)
  • 1964: Zorba the Greek (Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis)
  • 1966: A Bullet Through the Heart (Director: Jean-Daniel Pollet)
  • 1967: The Day the Fish Came Out (Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis)
  • 1969: Z (Director: Constantin Costa-Gavras)
  • 1971: Biribi (Director: Daniel Moosman)
  • 1971: The Trojan Women (Director: Michael Cacoyannis)
  • 1972: State of Siege (Director: Constantin Costa-Gavras)
  • 1973: The Battle of Sutjeska (Director: Stipe Delić)
  • 1973: Serpico (Director: Sidney Lumet)
  • 1974: The Rehearsal (Director: Jules Dassin)
  • 1976: Actas de Marousia (Director: Miguel Littín)
  • 1977: Iphigenia (Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis)
  • 1980: The Man with the Carnation (Director: Nikos Tzimas)
  • 2013: Recycling Medea (Director: Asteris Kutulas)

Reference: Guy Wagner. Chairman of the International Theodorakis Foundation FILIKI. List of works based on the research of Asteris Koutoulas, published in O Mousikos Theodorakis.

Info: Greek songwriter and composer
Index: 6.9
Type: Person Male
Period: 1925.7.29 - 2021.9.2
Age: aged 96
Area :Greece
Occupation :Composer
Periods :Modernist Music


Update Time:2021-09-04 21:38 / 2 years, 9 months ago.