Mikis Theodorakis, Greek Composer and Marxist Insurgent, Dies at 96


The European authorities informed Greece it was violating its treaty on human rights and referred to as on the junta to finish torture, launch political prisoners and maintain free elections. The colonels rejected the enchantment, however they launched Mr. Theodorakis and despatched him and his household into exile in Paris, the place he was hospitalized and handled for tuberculosis.

Three months later, he performed the London Symphony Orchestra in his triumphant “March of the Spirit.” The group’s feelings spilled over. “It was as if Zorba himself had been conducting,” Newsweek wrote on the time. “When it ended, the viewers wouldn’t let him go away; extended applause, cheers, stamping toes and rhythmic cries of ‘Theodorakis! Theodorakis!’ introduced him again 5 instances.”

The live performance started Mr. Theodorakis’s four-year marketing campaign for a peaceable overthrow of the junta. Touring the world, he gave concert events on each continent to boost funds for the reason for Greek democracy. He received assist from cultural and political leaders. In Chile, he met the nation’s Marxist president, Salvador Allende, and the poet Pablo Neruda. He later composed actions to Neruda’s “Canto Normal,” his historical past of the New World from a Hispanic perspective.

He was acquired by President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, the Palestinian chief Yasir Arafat and President François Mitterrand of France. The Swedish chief Olof Palme, the West German chancellor Willy Brandt and his outdated pal Melina Mercouri, the actress who had turn into the Greek minister of tradition, pledged assist. Artists and writers world wide turned his allies.

By 1973, going through worldwide stress and a stressed civilian inhabitants, the junta’s maintain was shaky. A scholar rebellion in Athens escalated into open revolt. A whole bunch of civilians had been injured, some fatally, in clashes with troops. Colonel Papadopoulos was ousted, and martial regulation was imposed by a brand new hard-liner. In 1974, the junta collapsed when senior navy officers withdrew their assist.

Inside days, Mr. Theodorakis returned residence in triumph, welcomed by giant crowds, his music enjoying always on the radio. “My pleasure now is similar that I felt ready in a cell to be tortured,” he mentioned. “It was all a part of the identical wrestle.”

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