Hatzidakis Manos

Hatzidakis Manos

Born: 23-10-1925
Died: 15-06-1994
Web site: www.hadjidakis.gr
From: Greece, Xanthi


Manos Hadjidakis was born in Xanthi in 1925. His father was from Crete and his mother from Andrianoupoli. In 1938 they moved to Athens and Manos grow up in Pagrati. From the age of four he started studying the piano and from 1940 to 1943 he studied higher theoretical with Menelaos Pallantios which was one of the most signifying shapes of the Greek national music school. One of his schoolmates was Mikis Theodorakis. He started lessons on music in the musical academy but he gave them up after the command. The war, the command and the bread-winning needs which where created made him to change direction. He worked as a workman in F.I.X, he was a servant at the photographic studio in Megalokonomos, he also worked as a male nurse. He studied philosophy at the University of Athens, while he was nurtured by artists and intellectuals of the generation of the mean war (Seferis, Elytis, Tsarouhis, Gatsos, Sikelianos). He became a member of the school of the Theatre of Art by karolos Koun on purpose to become an actor. Finally he abandoned this new idea and he rested a collaborator of the Theatre of Art and of the National Theatre. He wrote music for many ancient tragedies and comedies and also for works of modern repertories: Mideia, Congregations, Ornithes, Othellos, Antigoni, Lysistrati, Vakhes and for many others. He wrote many light and folk songs. In 1948 he reinstated in seasonality songs from "rebetika" with the excellent lecture in the Theatre of Mousouri. In this way, his works “ Six folk paints”, “Lilacs from the dead land” and “The hard April in ‘45” they become the starting-point for the revival of the folk songs. He collaborated with Vassilis Tsitsanis in the song called “ The month has thirteen”. Manos Hadjidakis didn’t write songs only for the theatre, but for ballet ant for cinema. In 1949 with Rallou Manou and with the painter Spiros Vassilliou established the Greek Ballet and with this he introduced his four ballets: Marsias (1949), Six folk paints (1950), The cursed snake (1950) and Desert (1957).

In 1953 with another range of lectures whose the subject was the contemporary and classical composers, he exposed Koplant, Prokopief, Sostakovits, Menoti and others which where unknown that period to the Greek audience which had been isolated due to the second World War and to the difficult after war conditions. From 1946 Manos Hadjidakis parallel with the theatre composed music for 80 Greek and foreign movies: Stella (1955), The dragon (1956), America - America (1963), Blue (1967), and for 2 documentaries by Z. Kousto. In 1960 they awarded him with the OSCAR for the music of the movie by Zyl Dassin called “Never on Sunday”. Two years later he raised in Athens the “ Street with dreams”, stage director was Solomos and the scenery was by M. Argyrakis. By the time 1966-72 he lived in New York for official reasons because he owed 3,5 million to the government, he returned when he repaid. In New York he wrote his most signifying works: Rythmology (work for the piano), The Big Erotic (a circle of songs based on poems by ancient and new poets) and many others. In America he started a music chronicle of his life called “The age of Melissanthi”. Manos Hadjidakis had a multilateral and multidimensional personality, except for the synthesis he had many others artistic activities: he established and managed the Experimental Orchestra of Athens (1964-67), The Ingenious (1972) a music cafe in Plaka where he presented his works and the works by new people, The musical August in Irakleio of Crete (Festival 1979), The musical races in Corfu (1981), The Fourth (cultural magazine 1982), the record Company of Seirios (1985). This company was publishing works of his and also works of new artists who couldn’t find a way out in business discography, The Orchestra of Colors (orchestra of symphonic music, 1989) and in 1975 he became director of radio programs in ERT but his renovating plans couldn’t found a suitable ground so he resigned a year later. In 1977 he returned in ERT to undertake the Third Program. There he accomplished his vision, in the next five years he managed to attract the attention of a big audience something very difficult for such a station, also managed to create expressive islands of civilization. He published four books with poems and comments of his: Mythology, Second Mythology, The comments of the third, The mirror and the knife. His spontaneous inspiration in combination with his concern for the development and the attribution of the melody, the seriousness of his choices in proportion with the facts of his period and his temper to “play” with it’s reality begin a course which unquestionable constitute central part of report for anyone who passes the same way.

He died the afternoon of the 15th of June in 1994. He constituted unquestionable one of the most important Greek composers.