Resistance fighters, musicians, free spirits: the death of Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis has aroused international concern. In Greece, a three-day state mourning has been ordered.
Athens (dpa) – “Today we have lost a piece of the Greek soul” – with these words Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni confirmed the death of Mikis Theodorakis.
The world-famous composer died on Thursday at the age of 96 in his home in Athens. The Greek government ordered a three-day state mourning, and parliamentarians observed a minute’s silence. Many radio and television stations in the country have suspended their programs to pay tribute to the great Greek and to broadcast his music.
“His voice fell silent – and with it all Greeks around the world,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said. “We forgot he was mortal. But he leaves us his songs as a legacy. “Mitsotakis also paid tribute to the Greek folk hero as a political actor who raised his voice in critical historical moments.” He gave new meaning to the term ‘freedom’, ” Left-wing opposition politician Alexis Tsipras tweeted.
Born in 1925, Theodorakis was a resistance fighter during World War II and fought with the left in the civil war that followed (1946 to 1949), which is why he was subsequently interned in a camp and severely tortured. He also resisted the military dictatorship and was arrested and tortured. He was then allowed to leave under international pressure and lived in exile in Paris until 1974.
Famous by “Alexis Sorbas”
Theodorakis had already studied music in Paris and Athens in the late 1940s and early 1950s. After first composing classical music, he returned to his roots in the 1960s and popularized Greek music. He provided the soundtrack for the movie “Alexis Sorbas” with Anthony Quinn in the lead role – this made him famous around the world.
In Germany, too, many people liked his music; he also received recognition and support in his resistance to the military dictatorship. “Mikis Theodorakis was a great musician, an impressive anti-fascist and leftist. His music, his actions will live on, ”tweeted former Linke boss Bernd Riexinger.