Dormant for nearly two thousand years, Greek music underwent a musical rebirth in the 19th cent. with the works of the opera composers Nikolaos Mantzaros (1795–1872), Spyridion Xyndas (1812–96), and Spyros Samaras (1861–1917). Elements of nationalism are prevalent in the folklike songs of George Lembalet (1875–1945) and Manos Hadjidakis (1925–94). Introduced in Greece by Nikos Skalkottas (1904–49), serial music has been composed by Yorgos Sicilianos and by Iannis Xenakis, who also writes electronic music. During the late 20th cent. Greece's most popular composer was probably Mikis Theodorakis (1925–), whose opposition to military rule during the 1960s and 70s cost him several years of imprisonment and precipitated the banning of his operas, symphonic works, film scores (most notably for Zorba the Greek ), and hundreds of songs.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.