Manos Hadjidakis

Composer, songwriter
He was born in Xanthi on 23/10/1925. He took piano lessons at a young age. In 1932 he settled in Athens. He studied advanced music theory with the composer Melenaos Pallandios (1940-43). He participated at the National Resistance where he met Mikis Theodorakis. He became a friend with important poets, artists and intellectuals, among them: Gatsos, Seferis, Elytis, Sikeliano, Tsarouchis. He first began composing in 1943. He composed music for Rallou Manou’s Elliniko Chorodrama: Marsyas, Six Folklore Paintings [Exi Laikes Zografies], The Accursed Serpent [To Katarameno Fidi] (1949-1950). He worked with the Greek Art Theater Karolos Koun (Theatro Technis) and the National Theater. He composed music for eight performances of ancient drama (1950-1959). He played a chief role in the movement for the recognition of the rebetika songs (1949). He funded the composition contest at the Doxiadis Technological Institute through which Iannis Xenakis and Anestis Logothetis (1962) were awarded. He founded and directed the Athens Experimental Orchestra (1964-1967) and prremiered fifteen works of contemporary Greek composers. He composed the scores for films and won the Oscar for his music in the Jules Dassin’s film Never on Sunday [Pote tin Kyriaki] (1961). He worked with Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th century (Ornithes, 1965). He composed numerous recordings of songs and instrumental works thus having a significant influence on greek song. He organized the Musical Festivities at Anoyia in Crete (1979), the Musical August Festival in Herakleion (1980), the Music Contests in Corfu (1981-82) and founded the record company “Sirius” (1985). He was a close friend of the prime minister Constantinos Karamanlis. He was General Director of the Athens State Orchestra (1975-1982), Director of the Third Porgramme of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (1975-1982), member of the artistic committee of the Athens Festival (1974-1977) and director of the magazine “Tetarto” (1985-86).He founded and directed the Orchestra of Colors (Orchistra ton Chromaton) (1989). He was Deputy General Manager of GNO during the first three-year long directorship of Dimitris Chorafas (1975-1977) a post through which he contributed to the modernization of its dramaturgy. // Last update of the biography: December 2016.