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Greek Composer Stavros Xarchakos Gives Impromptu Concert in Taverna

Xarchakos stuns diners at a Syros taverna with an impromptu concert. Credit: Video screenshot

Greek composer Stavros Xarchakos stunned diners at a Greek taverna on the island of Syros at the weekend when he conducted a group of young musicians.

83-year-old Xarchakos displayed amazing energy and youthful spirit in directing the young group playing old “laika” favorites such as “Frangosyriani” written by the legend of rebetiko Markos Vamvakaris in 1935.

The video uploaded on social media has become viral. Some say how lucky the youngsters were to be taught by the great composer. Others note the enthusiasm displayed by Xarchakos.

Xarchakos has recorded 42 albums

Xarchakos was born in Athens, where he studied at the Athens Conservatoire. He has family origins from the Mani Peninsula. He emerged in the Greek music scene around 1963 at which time he composed music for the theatre and movie industry. Among his collaborators was lyricist Lefteris Papadopoulos and singer Nikos Xylouris.

In 1967, he went to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger. He stayed in Paris for four years and then studied with David Diamond at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He served as director of the National Orchestra of Greek Music.

While he mainly composed in the style of Greek popular music, Laïka, Xarchakos also composed in the classical music genre.

He has had 42 music albums while his music has been used in 21 movies and 15 TV productions. Internationally, he is known as the composer for the Rembetiko film score, composing the music for the Werner Herzog film Signs Of Life and the 1983 BBC TV mini-series, The Dark Side of the Sun.

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