Greek Artists Ancient and Modern – BALKAN NEWS MAGAZINE

 we are all

We are all Greeks and the history of the Greeks goes way, way back, back to the time of the ancients, thousands of years, thousands of Great Greeks, how do you choose any of them?

The Greeks Who Made Us Who We Are, gave us civilization, they were the father’s of democracy, mathematics, history, healing and much more, and they’re still at it, taking the world by storm..

The Arts

1 Maria Callas


Maria Callas, one of the best known opera singers of the 20th century, also known for her passionate love affair with Aristotle Onassis, which is said to have carried on even after he married Jackie Kennedy.

2. Melina Mercouri

Melina Mercouri

Passionate (Well she was Greek!), Greek actress (The Film “Never on a Sunday” to name but one), singer and Politician, right up until her death, she never stopped trying to have the Parthenon Marbles, stolen by Lord Elgin, and now residing in The British Museum,  returned to their rightful place; Greece.

3.Irene Pappas

Irene Pappa

Another wonderful Greek actress, a strong-minded, Greek woman, known for her parts in the ancient Greek comedies and tragedies, she has given many excellent performances at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus.

4. Aristotelis “Telly” Savalas ; Kojak 


Battle of the Bulge (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Scalp hunters (1968), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Kelly’s Heroes (1970)Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971), Inside Out (1975), and Escape to Athena (1979),
Although Telly Savalas has had parts in some great films; he’s best known in the seventies for his role as Kojak, the lollipop-sucking detective, with his catch phrase’ “Who loves you baby”, with his side kick, Stavros, who, in real life, happened to be his brother.

5. Nana Mouskouri 

Nana Mouskouri
Nana Mouskouri, an international singer, is one of the best selling artists in the world, with more than 200 best-selling albums, in over ten languages, to her name.October 13, 1934 (age 82) Nana came to fame with her song ‘’The White Rose of Athens” in 1969, her first record to sell over a million copies.

6. Mikis Theodorakis

Mikis Theodarakis

 Mikis Theodorakis, a songwriter and composer who has written over 1000 songs.29 July 1925. He is most famous for the music for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), (1969), and Serpico (1973), and is Greece’s best-known living composer.

7. Nikos Kazantzakis

Kazantzakis (1)
Well-loved Greek author, with works including Zorba the Greek,1946,, Christ Recrucified 1948, Captain Michalis 1950, translated ‘Freedom or Death), and The Last Temptation of Christ, 1955.18 February 1883 – 26 October 1957) He also wrote plays, travel books, memoirs and philosophical essays such as The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises.

8. Elia Kazan

Kazan 2

A Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York Times as “one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history”.Born Elias Kazantzoglou, September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003. Istanbul, Turkey. Elia Kazan’s iconic films include; A Streetcar Named Desire, East of Eden, On the Waterfront, and America America.

9. El Greco

El Greco
Born Doménikos Theotokópoulos, El Greco was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance.1541 – 7 April 1614. Doménikos Theotokópoulos was nicknamed  “El Greco” (“The Greek”) owing to his Greek origin. Born in Chania, Crete, El Greco, after studying art in Crete, moved to Europe, as did most artists of his time, first to Italy, and later to Spain, where he lived until his death.

10. Demis Roussos

Demis Rousos (1)

A Greek singer who had international hit records as a solo performer in the 1970s, after having been a member of Aphrodite’s Child, a progressive Greek rock group that also included Vangelis (Evangelos Papathanassiou).15 June 1946 – 25 January 2015. Remembered, not only for his international hits, such as “For Ever and Ever”,  “My Friend the Wind”, “Lovely Lady of Arcadia”, and his first UK hit in 1975,  “Happy to Be on an Island in the Sun”, Demis Roussos was also remembered for his kaftans and rather large figure.

11. Vangelis Papathanassiou.

Vangelis (1)

Vangelis is a composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, and orchestral music.29 March 1943, known professionally as Vangelis. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Blade Runner, Missing, Antarctica, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Alexander.

12. Vassilis Tsitsanis

Tsitsanis (1)

Vassilis Tsitsanis was a Greek songwriter and bouzouki player.18 January 1915 – 18 January 1984. Tsitsanis was a leading Greek composer of his time who is regarded as one of the founders of modern REBETIKO, and Laiko music. Tsitsanis wrote more than 500 songs and is still remembered as an extraordinary composer and bouzouki player.In 1938, he moved to Thessaloniki, served his military time, and stayed there throughout the German occupation, keeping up the Greek moral, with his ever popular songs. There, in Thessaloniki, Tsitsanis opened an ouzeri, married and wrote many of his best songs, which were recorded after the end of the War.By the time the Germans had shut down the record company’s occupation in 1941, he had already recorded about 100 of his own songs and played on many recordings of other composers.