The Kokkalis Foundation, together with the North American Foundation for Modern Greek Arts, cosponsored the 75th Birthday Celebration of the life and work of Mikis Theodorakis, Greece’s leading composer.
The concert, which took place at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, featured music drawn from Theodorakis’ most popular score, the Zorba ballet, as well as orchestral and vocal arias showcasing the composer's ability to blend traditional Greek music with Western symphonic opera. Led by conductor Charles Dutoit, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed the celebrated compositions. Mikis Theodorakis himself attended the event.
Charles Dutoit arranged the three-hour musical extravaganza as a tribute to Theodorakis’ lifelong dedication to Greek art and culture and to his courageous stand in times of political crisis. Before the performance started, the President of the Kokkalis Foundation, Socrates Kokkalis, delivered an introductory speech honouring Theodorakis’ commitment to peace and democracy in Greece. This year, Theodorakis was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace as a result of the work that his Greek-Turkish Friendship Foundation has done in reducing tensions between the two nations.
A distinguished audience that included politicians, academics, and prominent members of the business community from both Greece and the United States enjoyed the musical event.