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.