Moscow, July 31 (RIA Novosti, Olga Lipich) - Well-known Greek composer and anti-Nazi Resistance member Mikis Theodorakis has been awarded the International St. Andrew the First Called Prize established by the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation. According to the Foundation's officials, the award ceremony will be held on July 30 on Crete Island during the celebrations to mark the composer's 80th birthday.
Guests from all over the world will attend the ceremony. Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, Russian Railroads President Vladimir Yakunin will head the Russian delegation.
The international St. Andrew the First Called Prize is a non-governmental, non-party, non-church and non-political award. This annual prize was established in 1992. The winner receives a Two-Headed Eagle and a Star decorations made of precious metals and diamonds, and also an icon of St. Andrew the First Called
Among the previous winners of the award are UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch Paul of Serbia, Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Latvian President Valdas Adamkus, and others.
During World War II, Mikis Theodorakis was actively involved in the Greek resistance against Nazi Germany.
When a fascist regime seized power in Greece in 1967, Theodorakis founded a Patriotic Front. His music was banned in Greece and he was sent to a concentration camp. He was later released by the regime by demand of an international solidarity movement headed by Dmitri Shostakovich, Arthur Miller and Leonard Bernstein.
Exiled composer performed more than a thousand concerts around the world and became a symbol of the resistance against the Greek dictatorship.
In 1983, he was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize.