Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021)

The Greek composer and left wing political activist who fought against his country’s military dictatorship has died at the age of 96.

The renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, who scored the 1964 classic film Zorba the Greek and was an icon of resistance to the former military junta, has died in Athens, aged 96.

A prolific talent and political maverick, Theodorakis was revered in his home country for his inspirational music and defiance during the junta that ruled from 1967 to 1974.

After the news of his death on Thursday, the Greek flag was flown at half mast at the Acropolis while parliament observed a minute’s silence.

But Theodorakis was perhaps best-known around the world for his film title scores, which also included Z in 1969 and Serpico in 1973. His work ranged from operas to choral music and popular songs, providing a soundtrack to the life of his country.

This is the memorable ending from the film Zorba the Greek where an uptight Englishman played by Alan Bates asks freewheeling Zorba, played by Anthony Quinn, to teach him the traditional sirtaki dance. (Quinn was actually a Mexican-American, one of the earliest Latinos to gain prominence in American films, and was active in civil rights and social movements.)


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Theodorakis composed more than 1000 pieces of music, the most famous one just happen to be folk music.
    He spent time in Sweden and many of his songs have been translated.

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