Composer, ex-minister Mikroutsikos dies

Composer and former Culture Minister Thanos Mikroutsikos has died at the age of 72 after a long bout with cancer.

Mikroutsikos died at Athens’ Metropolitan Hospital of cardiac arrest, the hospital announced.

Mikroutsikos studied both music and mathematics and came of age as a composer in the mid-70s, when explicitly political songs were the flavor of the day, following the collapse of the 1967-74 military dictatorship. Mikroutsikos did not confine himself to this genre, however, and even in his popular song albums one could find experiments in electronic and atonal music. He also composed many pieces for theater and chamber music.

A lifetime militant of the left, Mikroutsikos nonetheless was respected and popular across the political spectrum, helped by his success as a composer.

He was Alternate Culture Minister in 1993-94 and Culture Minister in 1994-96, succeeding Melina Merkouri, who herself died of cancer.

Mikroutsikos’ funeral will take place at 2:30 p.m. Monday at Athens’ First Cemetery, in a civilian ceremony, per his wishes.

Theodorakis ‘pained and embittered’ by Mikroutsikos’ death

Mikis Theodorakis, undoubtedly the greatest of living Greek composers, says he was “pained and embittered” by the death of fellow composer Thanos Mikroutsikos.

His comment was posted in a Facebook page called “Page for Mikis Theodorakis’ Work,” in English and Greek, late Saturday.

“In the difficult struggle to create and propagate Greek song, Thanos Mikroutsikos οψψθπιεσ one of the most prominent positions. His loss is not only causing pain to his friends, collaborators and admirers, but is also a deep wound for Greek music and, more generally, cultural affairs. Because Thanos Mikroutsikos, besides the fact that he was a complete composer, talented, inspired and with a rich, original and important output, departed at an age of great blossoming, maturity and an incredible desire to contribute to modern Greek culture, something the Greek people so urgently need today,” Theodorakis, 94, said about his colleague who died Saturday, aged 72, after a long bout with cancer.

“I say farewell to him, pained and embittered by the great injustice of his end coming at such a moment,” Theodorakis added.

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