One of the most influential Greek composers of recent decades, Thanos Mikroutsikos passed away on Saturday at the age of 72, after losing his battle with cancer.
In one of his last messages he posted on Facebook on the 8th December, the composer wrote “I never hid. Messages are coming from lots of friends asking about the condition of my health. For a month and a half now I have been in a hospital room struggling with a persistent fever. I am writing to you today because I feel stronger and I am sure to meet you soon…”
Thanos Mikroutsikos was born on the 13th April 1947, in Patra. He studied piano at the Philharmonic Society of Patras and at the Hellenic Conservatory. He also studied Mathematics at the University of Athens.
Thanos began composing at the end of the 1960s but only officially debuted in 1975, with the release of his album ‘Politika Tragoudia’ (Political Songs). He continued on this compositional path, setting music to the poems of Giannis Ritsos, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Manos Eleftheriou and Bertold Brecht, among others.
His album, ‘Stavros tou Notou’ (Southern Cross), set to the poetry of Nikos Kavvadias, has been one of the musical landmarks of modern Greece.
Furthermore, he worked with many renowned singers including Maria Dimitriadi, Haris Alexiou, Manolis Mitsias, Dimitris Mitropanos, Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Christos Thibaios and Giannis Koutras, among others.
He was also involved in politics since the 1960s and during the turbulent years of the military junta (1967–1974), he was persecuted for his anti-dictatorial ideology and activities.
After the October 1993 elections, he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Culture by the new Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) government, serving alongside the late Melina Merkouri who was Minister of Culture. He was appointed to Merkouri’s position when she died in 1994, a position he kept until 1996.