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Q&A with Dimitris Basis

We chat with the internationally acclaimed singer about showcasing the music of celebrated Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis

2 min read

This 27 May 2022, we are excited to be welcoming internationally acclaimed singer Dimitris Basis back to our Concert Hall stage for Mikis Theodorakis, a concert highlighting the music of the renowned Greek composer.

Mikis Theodorakis’s songs and music are well known around the world. His film score for the 1964 movie, Zorba the Greek, brought him international fame and its instantly recognisable tune is well-known by people of all ages.

In addition to being known for his political stance and film scores, Theodorakis composed many operas, symphonies and songs that have been performed in major concert halls across the world.

Dimitris Basis has travelled to Australia from Greece, as he has done many times, to perform concerts nationwide.    

We caught up with him to find out more about his career and why he loves to perform the works of Mikis Theodorakis.

Dimitris Basis
Image supplied.

Dimitris’ love of music started from the age of eight, when he realized that what he wanted to become was a singer.

His grandfather was a musician, who loved playing the Thracian bagpipes at weddings and festivals. While Dimitris says he, unfortunately, didn’t know him, he believes he inherited the gene for his love of music from him.

Dimitris first met Mikis Theodorakis in 2001 and considers his acquaintance with him the “highest distinction of my career”.

“It was a blessing and a great honour that Mikis Theodorakis chose me as the main singer for his musical works for over 20 years.

“I had the good fortune to perform several concerts at the Herodeion theatre, but also at the Thessaloniki and Athens Concert Halls from 2001 to 2003,” he said.

Dimitris Basis singing
Image supplied.

When asked what is so special about the music of Theodorakis, Dimitris explains:

“The music of Mikis Theodorakis encapsulates the history of modern Greece. The songs of Mikis are musical memories that trace the change of government, and the people gaining greater access to education and freedom.”

Dimitris says he feels the same emotion and admiration for Greek people who live in Australia as he does for his countrymen back home.

“What I like most is that the Greeks in Australia have kept the customs and traditions of our homeland for several generations. You feel that there is a little piece of Greece here.”

Theodorakis passed away in 2021 at the age of 96. Considered one of the most important composers in Greek history, his international significance as a film composer was recognised at the recent Oscars Ceremony in the ‘In Memoriam’ section.

Dimitris says he is extremely proud that Theodorakis was honoured in this way.

“I think, for many reasons, my tour in Australia is the perfect opportunity to feature the wide range of music by Mikis Theodorakis – from symphonic works to folk songs. It’s a chance for people of all nationalities to come together and enjoy his music, and be moved by our concerts.”

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