Eleni Karaindrou (Greek: Ελένη Καραΐνδρου) (born 1941) is a Greek composer, born in the village of Teichio in Phocis, Central Greece, on November 25, 1941. She is best known for scoring the films of Greek director Theo Angelopoulos.
Karaindrou moved with her family to Athens when she was eight years old, and she studied piano and theory at the Hellenikon Odeion (Hellenic Conservatory). She also attended history and archaeology classes at the university. With the Greek military junta of 1967-1974 she moved to Paris in 1967, where she studied Ethnomusicology and Orchestration, and improvised with Jazz musicians. Then she began to compose popular songs.
In 1974 she returned to Athens where she established a laboratory for traditional instruments and collaborated with the department of Ethnomusicology of the radio. In 1976 she discovered ECM Records, and appreciated the creative freedom offered by the label. This was a period of high productivity for her; she was also introduced to music for the theater and the cinema. Karaindrou has stated that her own personal style emerged in working on soundtracks, and that the relationship between images and movements created a new space for her to express emotions.
Her first soundtrack album was released in 1979 for the movie Periplanissi by Chistoforos Christofis. In 1982 she won an award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and was noticed by Theo Angelopoulos, who was serving as president of the jury. Karaindrou collaborated with the Greek director on his last eight films, over the period 1984 to 2008.
Karaidrou is very prolific. By 2008 she had composed music for 18 full-length movies, 35 theatrical productions and 11 TV series and television movies. Among the screen directors she has worked with are Chris Marker, Jules Dassin and Margarethe von Trotta. In 1992 she received the Premio Fellini award.
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