UNESCO honours Zorba the Greek composer


UNESCO awarded its International Music Prize 2005 to Zorba the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis for his contributions to understanding between cultures and the advancement of peace. The 80-year-old known to most Greeks simply as ‘Mikis’ accepted the award in Aachen saying he “could never have been anything else but a musician”. He was chosen among 40 nominees for the prize, initiated in 1975.

Theodorakis’ music ranges from opera to choral music and popular songs that won him acclaim both at home and abroad. Past recipients of the UNESCO music prize, which includes a medal and a cash award $2,960, include Dimitri Shost-akovich, Leonard Bernstein, Yehudi Menuhin.

After the ceremony in Aachen, an orchestra played works from Theodorakis before an audience of 1,300.