All-star concert to honor singer Grigoris Bithikotsis

Two popular singers, as different as they can be in age and style, are in the news this week. First and foremost is the melancholic Grigoris Bithikotsis, Greece’s «bard» of the second half of the 20th century, who has made famous many of the epic songs composed by Mikis Theodorakis – such as «Epitaphios» to a poem by Yiannis Ritsos and «Axion Esti» by Nobel laureate Odysseas Elytis, as well as many others, from works by Nikos Gatsos and Giorgos Seferis, another Nobel prize winner, to music by Manos Hadjidakis. Bithikotsis is being honored at a concert on Monday, March 11 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Faliron. «Sir Bithi,» as he is affectionately called, told a press conference on Thursday, attended by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, how touched he was by the honor. «The concert being staged by my colleagues has filled my heart and soul and the memory will stay with me as I spend the rest of my life alone,» he said. A veritable galaxy of stars has assembled for the event to sing to the accompaniment of Nikos Kouris’s band: Everyone from Haris Alexiou, Giorgos Dalaras, Polly Panou, Dimitra Galani, Dimitris Mitropanos, Manolis Mitsias, Antonis Kaloyiannis, Vassilis Papaconstantinou and Yiannis Parios to Lavrentis Machairitsas, Yiannis Kotsiras, Costas Makedonas and many more. Since the death of that other singing legend, Stelios Kazantzides, Bithikotsis has felt very lonely, and was at one time plagued by ill health, from which he has now recovered. With his wavy hair carefully combed back and dressed, Bithikotsis is an «eagle without wings,» as one of his songs goes, although the prospect of Monday’s concert brought a smile to his face, particularly when asked whether he himself would sing, or whether his son would do so on his behalf. «If I am well, I’ll sing something,» he said. Bithikotsis’s crystal clear voice, even if now somewhat cracked, is still unique. Greece’s headline inflation in February dropped to 3.4 percent year-on-year from 4.4 percent in January, beating market expectations.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.