Manos Hatzidakis

Today I would like to introduce to you a magnificent Greek composer and poet, which was along with Mikis Theodorakis one of the main movers of the “Έntechni” music.
He lived from the 23rd October 1925 until the 15th June 1994 and had a life full of self created music, of which the most pieces count today as classical ones.


Manos Hatzidakis was born in Xanthi and lived there until 1932.
After the divorce of his parents he went with his mother to Athens.
In his early childhood he had a very musical education since he studied to play the piano, the violin and the accordion.
1938 with the start of the Second World War and the death of his father in an aircraft accident a time with a lot financial difficulties begins.
The young Manos Hatzidakis starts to earn his livelihood as a docker in the port, an ice seller, an employee in a photography shop and an assistant nurse in a military Hospital. Even so he does not stop to work on his musical knowledge and studies advanced music theory with Menelaos Pallandios from 1940 to 1943.
At the same time he also studies Philosophy, which he never finished.
It’s the time he starts creating connections with different musicians, writers and intellectuals like Nikos Gatsos, Georgis Seferis, Odysseas Elytis and others.
An important friendship of his develops in the end of the Greek occupation. In this time he participates actively in the national resistance through the lines of the EPON, part of the EAM and meets there Mikis Theodorakis.   
His musical career starts in 1944, when he composes his first piece “Paper Moon” for Karolos Koun’s Art Theatre of Athens with only 19 years. But this collaboration does not finish there, it continues for 15 years. In this time Hatzidakis creates also in the year 1946 his cinema film “unsubdued slaves”.
Simultaneous he starts his work with the “Rempetika” songs. He is the first one who studies them deeply and understands their value.
1950 he is a founding member and art director of the Greek ballet by Rallou Manou.
In the following time he writes further on musical works and pieces for the theatre and the cinema and gets also several awards like the first prize in the Thessaloniki song festival or the Oscar for the best original song for his song “The children of Piraeus” or the second place at the festival of Greek music.
An interesting thing he said when he got the Oscar award was: “For me the Oscar is not a crowning for a career but it is my real start.”
1964 he creates and directs the experimental orchestra of Athens.
At the time he stays in New York he creates in cooperation with the “New York Rock and Roll Ensemble” the album “Reflections”. Simultaneously, he records “The smile of Tsokonta”, a well known orchestral album.
And he does not end there, he composes until his death on the 15th June 1994 a lot more art pieces, directs also a newspaper and another orchestra.
So it is not wrong to say that he had a life full of music - a life full of music, which I really love. So if you are interested to hear one of his songs, I linked under my article one he created with Aris Dabarakis "Η μπαλάντα των αισθήσεων και των παραισθήσεων" “The ballad of sensations and illusions”.

I hope you liked it!

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