The Olympic hymn is another name for the Olympic anthem. Kostis Palamas was a Greek poet and short story writer. Samaras was born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1863 and died in Athens in 1917. In 1896, the anthem was performed during the first modern Olympics. It has been sung at every Games since then, except when Greece was at war.
Palamas's poem was originally written in iambic trimeters but it has been set to music mainly in duple meter. The music was written by various composers including Vitsentzos Kornaros and Mikis Theodorakis.
Theodorakis was a popular Greek composer who became famous all over the world. His songs are still played today on radio and television throughout Greece. He also won an Oscar for his score from 1987 film Dancing on the Moon.
Kornaros was a prominent musician and composer of his time. He was one of the founders of the first conservatory in Greece and he taught Aristoxenus, who later became one of the most important philosophers of ancient Greece.
Both men lived around 250 B.C. and they were great contributors to their country and culture. They have been called the "Orpheus and Plato of Greece" because both were highly regarded teachers as well as musicians.
Who came up with the Olympic anthem? Spiros Samaras wrote the music for the Olympic song to words by Kostas Palamas for the inaugural Games in Athens in 1896. Several musical arrangements were later played at the opening ceremony. The original piece was a march called "To Athlone", after the town where the International Olympic Committee is located. It was later re-used as the World War I memorial march "The Lost Legions of Old Europe".
After the Olympics, Samaras's music was used again for the ceremonial opening of each new Olympiad (Games festival), until 1964. He also arranged other pieces for various occasions during his career. He died in 1952 aged only forty-seven.
Today, the Olympic anthem is sung at all Olympic ceremonies and during the opening and closing ceremonies. It is one of the few anthems that are officially designated as such by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Why does the Olympic anthem matter? The Olympic anthem is important because it represents the joint effort of many musicians and poets to express their love for sport and its benefits for humanity. Moreover, it is a great honor for Greece to have been chosen by others to represent them at these Summer Games.
What makes the Greek anthem unique? There is no other country's national anthem that uses music from several different composers.
Samaras, Spiros Spiros Samaras wrote the music for the Olympic song to words by Kostas Palamas for the inaugural Games in Athens in 1896. He also conducted the orchestra that played it.
His songs have been performed at many a celebration since then, including at the end of the World War I and II. In addition, his songs are often heard during Greek national celebrations such as Independence Day and Earth Science Day.
He was born on April 5th, 1865 in Limassol (then part of the British Empire) and he died on August 28th, 1955 in Athens. After finishing school, he studied law but gave this up to write songs. His first poem was published when he was only 18 years old. Within a few years, he became one of the leading poets of Greece. During the 20th century, his poems were widely read throughout Europe and America. He received several awards for his work including the Nobel Prize for Literature posthumously in 1958.
His songs have been covered by many singers including Anna Vissi, Antonis Papadopoulos, Giorgos Zambios, Thodoris Skordalos and Despina Vandi among others.