Katerina Sakellaropoulou Awards the Order of Honour to Stavros Xarchakos


The Order of Honour was awarded to composer Stavros Xarchakos in a special ceremony by the President of the Republic. In her address, Katerina Sakellaropoulou noted, “Your songs are on the lips of every Greek. To mention just two milestone works in your long career, you stirred the democratic sentiment of our people with your music for ‘Our Big Circus,’ the legendary performance by Karezi-Kazakos during the dictatorship, with songs that became symbols of the struggle against the junta, and you musically reinterpreted the rebetiko song, brilliantly conveying its ethos in your music for the film ‘Rebetiko’ by Kostas Ferris. At the same time, as an active citizen, you contributed through public positions, always maintaining the independence of your thought and the autonomy of your choices.”

The President of the Republic stated, “With this medal, the State honors a personality who has left an indelible mark on Greek music over many decades, making a significant contribution to the field of artistic creation.”

Here is Katerina Sakellaropoulou’s full address:

“With great joy and emotion, I award you today, Mr. Xarchakos, the Order of Honour, as the highest recognition for your rich and multifaceted work. A body of work that has shaped Greek music, drawing from our inexhaustible tradition, from folk and rebetiko songs, church hymns, operettas, and cantatas, as well as from Western symphonic music and opera.

Your studies, alongside Nadia Boulanger in Paris and later at the Juilliard School in New York, your fruitful collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, endowed you with knowledge and inspiration, which you channeled into every area of your activity. Tireless and restless creator, you ventured into all genres and served them in all capacities; as a composer, conductor, leader of small or large musical ensembles, supporter of the new forces of Greek song, always present in a dynamic and substantial relationship of deep communication with the public.

Your songs are on the lips of every Greek. To mention just two milestone works in your long career, you stirred the democratic sentiment of our people with your music for ‘Our Big Circus,’ the legendary performance by Karezi-Kazakos during the dictatorship, with songs that became symbols of the struggle against the junta, and you musically reinterpreted the rebetiko song, brilliantly conveying its ethos in your music for the film ‘Rebetiko’ by Kostas Ferris. At the same time, as an active citizen, you contributed through public positions, always maintaining the independence of your thoughts and the autonomy of your choices.

With this medal, the State honors a personality who has left an indelible mark on Greek music over many decades, making a significant contribution to the field of artistic creation.”



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