Theodorakis - Chronology (V)

Paris 1954-1960

 by Guy Wagner and Asteris Koutoulas

Based on Ole Wahl Olsen
Structure and pictures: Guy Wagner




November  Theodorakis at last is allowed to go to study in Paris with a bursary he received in 1953. He becomes a student of Olivier Messiaen for musical analysis and of Eugène Bigot for conducting at the Conservatoire, while Myrto finishes her studies as a radiologist at the Curie-Institute.



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Olivier Messiaen


August  Theodorakis presents his Sonatina for piano at the Cortot-Room of the »École Nationale de Musique«.

 05.10. After Papaghos' death, King Paul appoints a young politician called Constantin Karamanlis (ERE) as the new Prime Minister. »The next eight years under Karamanlis were to seem calm, but the islands and prisons were still crammed with political prisoners. The seeming democracy is mercilessly crushing all its opponents«. (Olsen)



Résultat de recherche d'images pour "»Ill Met by Moonlight«"Dirk Bogarde in »Ill Met by Moonlight«

Theodorakis' first commission for a foreign film: he writes the music for Powell and Pressburger's Ill Met by Moonlight (Night on Crete). He buys his first car, an Opel.


24.02. Creation of the First Suite for Orchestra and Piano with Jean Viguet as a soloist.Theodorakis is a member of the Greek delegation to the Moscow youth festival and in Moscow he receives a gold medal for this work.

 Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Philoktitis ikonomidis"Philoktitis Ikonomidis

December: Death of Philoktitis Ikonomidis. Theodorakis dedicates »Oedipus Tyrannos« to his teacher.


Theodorakis finishes his Piano Concerto and composes the Suites No.2 and 3, the Sonatina for Violin and Piano and the songs of »O Kyklos«. One evening, while Myrto does the shopping, Mikis is sitting in his Opel reading »Epitafios«, a collection of poems by Yannis Ritsos. By the time she gets back he has written music for eight of the poems.

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Ludmilla Tcherina

This is the turning point in his career as a composer. In this year, his international prestige is growing rapidly. He is commissioned to compose three ballets: »Antigone« for Covent Garden in London, and »Les Amants de Téruel« and »Le Feu aux Poudres« for Ludmilla Tchérina in Paris.

»Antigone«, choreography: John Cranko

They achieve great success at Covent Garden (19.10.1959) and at the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt (also in 1959).

 Theodorakis is awarded the »Copley Music Prize« as best young composer.

 30.11. His daughter, Margarita, is born. The family visits Greece, where Theodorakis renews old contacts and makes new ones.



05.05. Theodorakis' son, Yorgos, is born in Paris.

Two records of »Epitafios«, are issued in Greece, on by the composer Manos Hadjidakis who directs his own orchestra and Nana Mouskouri as the soloist, the other one by Theodorakis with Grigoris Bithikotsis as soloist.


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Grigoris Bithikotsis

© Guy Wagner & Asteris Koutoulas. All rights reserved