Com­poser re­jects anti-Semite dig

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Vet­eran com­poser Mikis Theodor­akis on Satur­day re­acted an­grily to a de­ci­sion by the Aus­trian par­lia­ment last week to can­cel a sched­uled per­for­mance of his song tril­ogy “Mau­thausen” dur­ing the coun­try’s an­nual me­mo­rial event for Nazi vic­tims of the Mau­thausen con­cen­tra­tion camp over com­ments by the com­poser deemed to be anti-Semitic.

In an open lat­ter to the pres­i­dent of Aus­tria’s par­lia­ment, Bar­bara Prammer, Theodor­akis wrote: “I re­gard as a dirty worm any­one who dares again to of­fend the most sen­si­tive as­pect of my char­ac­ter.” The out­spo­ken 86-year-old added that op­po­si­tion to racism and to anti-Semitism “was an in­te­gral part of my up­bring­ing and the fo­cus of my strug­gles.”

Prammer can­celed last Thurs­day’s per­for­mance, cit­ing Theodor­akis’s “re­peated anti-Semitic state­ments in past years.”

The tril­ogy, a com­po­si­tion from the mid-60s, sets to mu­sic the works of writer Iakovos Kam­banel­lis, a friend of Theodor­akis, who re­counts his own ex­pe­ri­ences as a sur­vivor of Mau­thausen.

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