Haris Alexiou has been honoured with a Premio Galileo award for her lifelong
contribution to music. The Premio “Una Vita per la Musica” Giglio d’Oro award is
one of the most prestigious awards in Europe to recognise musical legends.
The ceremony took place recently at the Teatro della Pergola
in Florence, and the awards were presented by Chairman of the Fondazione Galileo
2000, Alfonso De Virgiliis. According to De Virgiliis, these awards represent
the fundamental values of Europe – peace, culture and freedom.
Galileo awards were established 14 years ago, to recognize major personalities
in Europe in the fields of politics, finance, sciences and arts for their
contribution to their fields. Previous prize winners include Ecumenical
Patriarch Bartholomew I, the ex-president of Poland and Nobel Prize winner, Lech
Walesa, Actress Claudia Cardinale, Director Roberto Benigni, Musical Director of
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Riccardo Muti, philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and
Japanese Filmmaker Takesi Kitano.
Haris Alexiou is considered one of the most popular singers in Greece and has been commercially successful since the 1970s. She has worked with important Greek songwriters and composers, has performed at top musical theatres all over the world and has received several awards. She has recorded over thirty albums and has been featured on albums of other musicians. According to the Greek discography researcher Petros Dragoumanos (2009). Alexiou holds the Number 1 female ranking and the Number 3 overall ranking with regards to the sale of the personal albums certified Gold or Platinum in Greek discography since 1970, behind the male singers George Dalaras and Yiannis Parios. Eight of her personal albums released between 1977 and 2003 have surpassed 100,000 sales, the only Greek female singer to do so. The fact that most of the above mentioned albums have been of a different music style, produced with different composers and released between constant time periods demonstrates her unique and indisputable figure in contemporary Greek music.