AKEL on the passing away of Kostis Kosteas, composer and poet, director of the renowned Folklore SYKALY group
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 28th February 2021, Nicosia
AKEL expresses its deep sorrow at the passing away of Kostis Kosteas, one of the most important popular creators of culture in Cyprus and a pioneering fighter of our people. A researcher and at the same time creator of Cyprus’ folklore traditions, a poet, composer, who with his talent, continuous and painstaking work, inspiring work, humanity and his immense kindness, left his indelible mark on our culture.
Kostis Kosteas took the initiative and was one of the founders and, at the same time, the soul of the historic Artists Ensemble SYKALY from the village of Lysi (occupied since 1974), the pioneering and active group of folk dances and music, honored with dozens of awards from both inside and outside Cyprus. The formation of SYKALY in 1961 and above all its activity, represented for Cypriot dimensions a completely new approach to the Cypriot music and dance tradition, but also a profound change in the cultural and social reality of that time.
The contribution of Kostis Kosteas to the cultural and political affairs of Cyprus was multidimensional and very significant. Although a self-taught composer, he set about composing Byzantine hymns and teaching Byzantine music to the young people of Lysi. He wrote music and directed a series of unforgettable dance dramas, such as “Romance and Marriage”, “Marble threshing floors ” and “Deep roots”. Together with SYKALY he took part in dozens of Festivals and events in Cyprus and abroad. Kostis Kosteas wrote music for a series of plays by the renowned Cypriot traditional poet Pavlos Liasides (“Love will conquer”, “Infatuated”, “Only son” and Michalis Pasiardis (“The Snake’s water”, “The Gatanin”, “On the soil of the Mesaoria plain”, “Our threshing floors in Pano Mahalades”). He also put to music works by numerous poets, including himself, while after the death of conductor Yiangou Souroullas he assumed the direction of the choir of “Yiangou Souroullas-Municipality of Lysis”. Equally important was his research and promotion of the work of important creators such as Pavlos Liasides, Michalis Pasiardis, Yiangos Souroullas and others.
The honorary distinctions awarded to Kostis Kosteas and SYKALY are remarkable, such as in 1968 with the award of the first Prize in the competition of the International Children’s Organization CIMEA with the poem “Freedom and Peace” in music by Mikis Theodorakis in 1984, the FVS Foundation of Hamburg award and in 1995, the “Tefkros Anthias-Theodosis Pierides” Award for Services to Culture of the Central Committee of AKEL.
As a member of AKEL and the Left People’s Movement of his village Lysi, Kostis Kosteas stood out for his progressive ideas, his continuous and consistent service and contribution to the people, his village of Lysi and Famagusta. As a refugee, he remained to the very end faithful to the idea of returning to his beloved Lysi, which he praised in many of his works, but he also remained faithful to the ideas of the Left, the ideas of social justice and humanism. Finally, he from time to time served as rotating Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Lysi.
AKEL expresses its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased, especially to his wife Panagiota and his children Kyriakos, Tasos and Mikis, as well as to the entire family of SYKALY.

Parikiaki extend their condolences to the family

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