Maria Farantouri was born in Athens and has been singing since she was a small child. While immersing herself in the Society of Friends of Greek Music, she refined her voice and met lifelong friend and collaborator Mikis Theodorakis at the age of only 16. Known for her full and rich contralto voice, together with Theodorakis’s music, she influenced an entire generation with their sounds of peace. Albums such as The Ballad of Mauthausen, The Hostage, Romancero Gitano, and Canto General became well-known messages across Greece. The duo’s important themes of love and harmony still inspire new generations through their melodic poetry.
Internationally renowned, Farantouri has performed with a myriad of influential musicians, including world-famous guitarist John Williams, saxophonist and jazzman Charles Lloyd, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. With the Israel Philharmonic, she appeared at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and UNESCO’s millennium celebration in Paris, as well in Israel in 2014.
On September 23, 2004, Greek President Constantine Stephanopoulos, recognizing Farantouri’s contribution to Greek culture and music, awarded her the Gold Cross of the Order of the Phoenix. In 2014, she was honored with the “Premier Tenco” in San Remo, Italy; three years later, she was awarded the Liberpress International Award in Girona, Spain.
Through a career that spans more than 40 years, Farantouri has shared her talent around the world. From humble beginnings to the grandeur of Carnegie Hall, she is more than just a voice of a generation; she continually provides a hope that spans time and worldly borders.