Remembering Hadjidakis on his birthday

«Manos didn’t like memorial services and celebrations. He made fun of them. That is why we chose to remember him in a ritual celebration on the day of his birthday,» said Spyros Sakkas at a recent press conference, regarding next Monday’s upcoming concert at the Rex-Kotopouli stage. The concert, sponsored by the Athens Municipality Cultural Organization and the National Theater, is under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture. Sakkas and Giorgos Kouroupos, in collaboration with the Workshop of Vocal Art and Research, will present a series of songs that Hadjidakis himself had chosen and presented in more than 250 concerts with Sakkas. «Manos has left his mark on everyone’s life and music. Those who were close to him are obliged to safeguard his work,» said Sakkas, explaining why over the 10 years since the great composer’s death no similar concert had been organized. It should be noted that three poems by Archilochus, in Ancient Greek, melodized by Giorgos Kouroupos, are to be presented for the first time. The orchestration for «Paides epi Kolono» was carried out by Kornilios Selamsis especially for this tribute. On the night, Lefteris Voyiatzis, Reni Pittaki, Irini Levivi, Menis Koumantareas, Dimitris Maronitis, Nikos Koundouros, Giorgos Chronas and Dimitris Kraniotis will read out poems and extracts from texts by Hadjidakis. Admission is free, but it is necessary to obtain invitations from the theater box office from 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily. Nitsa Loule, president of the Athens Municipality Cultural Organization, voiced her complaints that the Ministry of Culture did not keep its promise of financially supporting the tribute. On Sunday, the day that would have been Hadjidakis’s 80th birthday, three more concerts of his works will take place at the New Wing of the Benaki Museum: guitar duo Vangelis Boudounis and Maro Razi will play at noon; Aliki Kayaloglou, Despina Stefanidou, Margarita Syngeniotou and Nelli Semitekolo will interpret voice and piano works at 6 p.m.; and Giorgos Moutsios, Dora Bakopoulou and Theodoros Kotepanos will perform at 8.30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Papagrigoriou-Nakas store at 39 Panepistimiou.