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In 1989 the political situation in Greece became unstable. Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, leader of the Socialist Party, was under attack from the opposition. Election succeeded election without the formation of a stable government. At that time Maria felt that she had to support the historic leader of the Socialist Party against what proved to be slanderous attacks. Responding to his invitation, she offered herself as a candidate for office and elected as a member of the opposition, she worked with Melina Mercouri and Stavros Benos on cultural issues.

Motherhood and politics could not keep her long from her art and in 1990 she worked with Cuban composer Leo Brouwer on a double album of international repertoire, including songs written especially for her voice by Vaggelis Papathanassiou.

Although her collaboration with Theodorakis has continued until today, including on his most recent works, Maria actively seeks out the new generation of young composers. For example, she sang The Diary for Passer-by at the End of the Century, by Pericles Koukos, a setting of the poetry of Christoforos Christofis at the Athens Music Hall in 1996. Three years later, seeking a creative new direction, she proposed collaboration with two of her younger colleagues, Savina Yiannatou and Elli Paspala. Supported by the musical arrangement of the pianist Takis Farazis and with the participation of musicians David Lynch and Haig Yazidjian, the show they put together was such an artistic and commercial success that they were able to keep it going for two years.

In 2000, after years of absence, the avant-garde composer Lena Platonos, who was regarded by many as the only significant descendant of Manos Hadzidakis, returned to the recording studio, and recorded exclusively with Maria. In August, 2001, when Athens had emptied for the summer vacation, Maria filled the Herod Atticus Odeon, performing with the Orchestra of Colours under the baton of the conductor Miltos Loyiadis in a program called A Century of Greek Song. In June, 2003, nine years after the death of Manos Hadzidakis, once again in the Roman Odeon, Maria sang in the completed version of his Amorgos, a setting of the poetry of Nikos Gatsos.

For the last ten years many of Maria’s performances abroad and in Greece have been supported by the German band Berliner Instrumentalisten including the musicians Henning Schmiedt (piano), Volker Schlott (saxophone/flute) and Jens Naumilkat (cello).  With this ensemble, Maria has given a new dimension to the traditional Greek rembetiko (traditional urban songs often likened to the Blues), to Byzantine music, to old and new Greek and international repertoire. At the same time she continues to reach out to international musical trends, such as ethnic music, as in her recent CD Mosaic but also in her collaboration with classical musicians, such as the distinguished pianist Yannis Vakarelis.

In November of 2002 a great man and artist attended her concert at Santa Barbara University – Charles Lloyd. The two artists felt very close to each other and a very good friendship was born. In July of 2004, when he came to Greece for a concert At the Lycabettus Hill, Charles asked her to join him in his song Blow Wind – this was a crucial moment at Maria’s career and a an extraordinary experience. The world of jazz opened to her and six years later Charles and Maria had their own concert in Herod’s Atticus Odeon – a concert that was recorded by Manfred Eicher and released by ECM as the Athens Concert.

On September 23rd, 2004, the President of the Greek Democracy, Mr. Constantine Stephanopoulos, recognized the contribution of Maria Farantouri to Greek song, awarding her the Gold Cross of the Order of the Phoenix.


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