European microphone. Theodorakis, the Greek

It all began on July 29, 1925, on the island of Chios, already a Greek island. From a Cretan father and a Greek mother from Asia Minor, MikisTheodorakis follows his parents to the rhythm of the changes of his civil servant father, throughout Greece. Music is his life, it is revealed to him very early on, and he conducts his first orchestra at the age of 17. In her family, there are no difficult ends of the month, Mikis can indulge in her passion. Physically, he is a Cretan, tall, powerful like a Cretan mountain, he also has the character, unwavering, resistant, rebellious.

In 1941, German troops occupied Greece with Italian troops. This occupation will be one of the worst along with that of Poland. The occupiers will be intractable with the Greeks, massacres, torture, famine; we will see orphans roaming the cities, starving, villages will be razed, the Jewish community of Thessaloniki will be murdered, deported.

But if the Italian army could not stand up to the Greek soldiers by calling Berlin for its help, in Greece resistance is organized, and the occupiers will have to fight against lions and lionesses, as the generals testified. Germans after the war. Faced with the occupation of his homeland, Mikis Theodorakis will also enter into resistance in the ranks of ELAS, the Liberation front; he will be tortured, will escape the firing squad and, in hiding, continue his musical studies.

But in Greece, the war will continue after 1945, it will be civil war. The brothers will confront each other, and Mikis Theodorakis will be violently beaten, left for dead, then deported three times to the islands, to Ikaria, then Makronissos, still tortured, then buried alive, it is in Makronissos that he will contract tuberculosis. .

Despite his release, thanks in part to his father, Mikis Theodorakis suffered for a long time from tuberculosis, and mentally retained the after-effects of the suffering inflicted on him. But Mikis Theodorakis is a creator, an artist, his life is above all music. In 1950, he graduated from the Athens Conservatory, harmony, counterpoint and fugue.

Mikis Theodorakis, May 23, 2005 during a gala concert in Athens.  Greece celebrated it on its island, Crete, for its 80th birthday on July 29, 2005. & nbsp;  (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP)

After Crete, where he will be the director of the Xania School of Music, where he will found his first orchestra, after Rome in 1953, and his first ballet Greek carnival, it will be Paris, which he will join in 1954 with his wife Myrto Altinoglou. Its creation will be amplified at the Paris Conservatory with its teachers Eugène Bigot for orchestral conducting and Olivier Messiaen for musical analysis.

Mikis Theodorakis composes in Paris, but the dark hours of the two wars, the psychological suffering always present, we find them in his works, and despite this past which sticks to his skin, it will be the gold medal in 1957, at the festival from Moscow, for his Suite No. 1 for piano and orchestra, whose president of the jury will be Dimitri Chostakovich.

Paris always, with success for its ballet music, Lovers of Teruel (nod to the Spanish Civil War and the Battle of Teruel), Fire in the powders (powder, war), Antigone (Sophocles’ plea against tyranny), and success also found in London. The path of Mikis Theodorakis will cross that of Darius Milhaud (The Ox on the Roof, Creation of the World, The Blue Train), Darius Milhaud will pave the way for Mikis Theodorakis as “Best European composer of the year” at the American Copley Music Price.

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Mikis Theodorakis will be recognized internationally. It was the time for him to turn to film music, Greek songs, to which he gave another musical path.

If the letter Z in ancient Greek means “he is alive”, everyone knows today this Z, that of the film by Costa-Gavras, taken from the book by Vassilis Vassilikos, the story of Grigoris Lambrakis, assassinated doctor and deputy by Greek nationalists in Thessaloniki in 1963.

The investigating judge of the case (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) will become President of the Republic of Greece, Khristos Sartzetakis from 1985 to 1990. If the music for the film is signed Mikis Theodorakis, he will create the Democratic Youth, Lambrakidès, citizen, political, cultural movement, 50,000 members and 200 cultural centers in Greece. With this Lambrakides movement, Mikis Theodorakis will become deputy in 1964. But the dream ends in 1967, the military junta takes power, and Mikis Theodorakis, he, his wife and his children will find their way back to prison, to supervised residences. , banishment, deportation, and tuberculosis will return.

Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber will obtain the release of Mikis Theodorakis by intervening with Colonel Papadopoulos, the head of the junta, because an international solidarity movement was campaigning for his release, including Dimitri Shostakovich, Harry Belafonte, Arthur Miller, Leonard Bernstein .

Thus, Mikis Theodorakis and his family found Paris and his group of Greek resistance fighters, Melina Mercouri, Costa-Gavras, Vassilis Vassilikos, Irène Pappas. Mikis Theodorakis was on his way back to the hospital in April 1970. In May, his family will join him. But Mikis Theodorakis is Mikis Theodorakis, he will found in Paris the National Council of Resistance, fighting the junta, still standing against injustice, ardent defender of freedom, Mikis Theodorakis will tread the soil of Greece on July 24, 1974.

Mikis Theodorakis, 86, February 12, 2012, in Greece in Athens, (gray hair in the center) during a demonstration alongside the mayor of Athens Apostolos Gletsos, to his right, during a demonstration against the program of austerity of the Greek government. & nbsp;  (WASSILIS ASWESTOPOULOS / DPA / MAXPPP)

Mikis Theodorakis’s work is immense, from songs to symphonic music, from chamber music to cantatas, from oratorios to film music, from hymns to ballets, from operas to the theater…

From Canto General by Pablo Neruda, at Romancero Gitano by Federico Garcia Lorca in Zorba, Mikis Theodorakis met the whole world and the world wanted to know, meet Mikis Theodorakis. He was a minister, yes, but Mikis will always remain Mikis. When he sang Sto Perigiali to Grifo (the secret coast) popular song that sings all Greece, when Mikis Theodorakis sang it wherever he was, the crowd accompanied him, and we heard: “Well done Mikis! …”.

Mikis Theodorakis was Greece, and modern Greece has always been reflected in Mikis Theodorakis, that giant who always took to the streets to say, “No”. On February 12, 2012, he and Manolis Glezos, the two figures of Greek resistance, these two octogenarians, demonstrated in front of the Parliament in Athens against the measures imposed on Greece by the Troika. And the young police officers gassed and clubbed Manolis Glézos and Mikis Theodorakis, they did not know they were clubbing Greece! …

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