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Marios Tokas was born in Limassol on June 8th, 1954. He had been involved with music ever since his school years by writing songs for his school’s performances and for his friends. He wrote his first songs at the age of 16. His song “O Polemos” (The war) was awarded the second prize in a composer’s contest held by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

In 1962 he joined the Limassol Municipality’s Philharmonic Orchestra and he soon started playing the clarinet for the orchestra. He also started attending piano lessons and he was awarded his first music certificate by the Athens’s National Academy of Music. 

When the Turkish invasion happened he was a soldier. Having strong political viewpoints, Marios Tokas began going from city to city giving concerts to boost his fellow-Cypriots’ morale and to raise money to relieve refugees.

After serving for 38 months, Marios Tokas was discharged from the army in 1975 and continued his studies in the National Music Academy and the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Athens.

Some important works of his dedicated to Cyprus are:

“Psihi te kai somati”. Poems written by the hanged EOKA fighter Evagoras Pallikarides, Andreas Zakos and others which have been turned into songs. “Foni Patridas” Poems written by Costas Montis, Theodosis Pierides and Neshie Yiazin which have been turned into songs. The songs “Anasikose tin plati Pentadaktyle” and “I diki mou I patrida” mark the heart of all Greek Cypriots. “Ammochostos Vasilevousa”, poem written by Kyriakos Charalambides.  

In 1978, Manolis Mitsias sings his first “laika” (popular) songs. The album is titled “Ta tragoudia tis pareas”.

A milestone in his career was the time he met with Greek National poet, Yiannis Ritsos, who entrusted him with unpublished poems titled “Pikrameni mou Genia” and which Marios Tokas used in order to publish an album in 1981.

Then came more musical works using poems written by Costas Varnalis, Costas Karyotakis, Costas Montis, Theodosis Pierides, Tefkros Anthias, Kyriakos Charalambides, Michalis Pashiardes, Alkis Alkaiou and others. Also important was Marios Tokas’ presence in writing the music soundtracks for several theatrical plays and films such as “Dona Rozita”, “Yerma” by Federico Garcia Lorca and “Thermophoriazusae” by Aristophanes.  

In 1980, he launches a children’s album. The lyrics of this album were written by Fontas Ladi and was sung by Tania Tsanaklidou. 

The end of the 80s marked the beginning of continuous successes. Songs such as “Annoula tou Hionia”, “S’ agapo san ton ilio tou Mai”, “I nihta myrizei yiasemi”, “San trelo fortigo”, “Exartatai”, “S’ anazitw sti saloniki”, “Ta ladadika”, “Thalasses”, “Didyma Feggaria” establish him as a successful composer and songwriter in the music industry. Marios’ songs “travelled” in concerts not only around Greece but everywhere in the world where Greeks live.  

His songs have been sung by the most important singers of Greece: Mitsias, Kaloyiannis, Mitropanos, Parios, Ntalaras, Terzis, Glykeria, Alexiou, Galani, Voskopoulos, Marinella, Dionysiou, Chalkias, Kanellidou, Kouka, Adamantides, Maria Alexiou, Costas Hadjichristodoulou, Vasilis Skoulas and more.

Another important milestone in his career is 1996, when he visited Agio Oros in Mount Athos where he wrote his symphony titled “Theogennitor Maria” after he shockingly studied the manuscripts of monk Mikrayiannanitis. The symphony was among others presented in Saint Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna in 2002 within the context of the induction of Cyprus to the European Union. That was the first time Greek music had even been played in that historical church.

Marios Tokas was received the “medal of excellent contribution to his country” by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides in 2001, a medal which constitutes the highest honour awarded by the Cypriot State. Among other awards, he also received the “Yiannos Kranidiotis” award in 2002.  

Marios Tokas was married to Amalia Petsopoulou and they had three children together, Chara, Costis and Aggelos. He died of cancer on August 27th 2008.

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