Michalis Terlikkas 
Ιnterpreter – researcher of Cypriot traditional music

Michalis Terlikkas was born in the currently occupied village of Kapouti near Morphou in 1955, where he lived until the 1974 Turkish Invasion. He graduated from the First Gymnasium of Morphou and then studied electronics in Athens (1976-80). Since then, he has been living – and creating – in Cyprus.

Singing since childhood, his life in a par excellence rural community, his contact with simple folk, his authentic aural and life experiences, all helped form a solid foundation and motive for him to busy himself systematically with the traditional songs of Cyprus.

In 1979, while still a student, he met the late Andreas Mappouras, and the two recorded three cassette tapes with Cypriot couplets (tchattismata) produced by the Lanbrophone.

Between 1981 and 1983, he took lessons in Byzantine Music under leading Greek Orthodox cantor, researcher and interpreter of traditional Cypriot music, Theodoulos Kallinikos.

In 1983 he joined the “Adhoulotoi”-Shakallis refugee folk association with which he sang for a number of years, accompanied by well-known folk instrumentalists such as Yeorgios Averof, Michalis Poullos, Demetris Katsaris, Christodoulos Pipis and others.

In parallel, and around 1985, he began giving concerts of Cypriot traditional music at a personal level through collaboration with the aforementioned as well as with folk violinist Koullis Phylaktou.

Since 1991, he has been leading the “Mousa” musical troupe, which performs solely on traditional Cypriot instruments and gives concerts both in Cyprus and abroad.

He has appeared on a number of radio and television programmes in both Cyprus and abroad, while he has also taken part in many folk music festivals as well as in other international events. He has further participated as a speaker in various conferences, both in Cyprus and abroad.

He has collaborated, and continues to do so, with many students of musicology and related fields within the scope of their theses. He has also carried out several studies of Cypriot demotic song.


Personal recordings:

  • “Kypraia Foni” (Cyprus Voice) – traditional Cypriot songs – 1991 (vinyl).
  • “Ton Yennon dje tis Lambris” (Of Christmas and Easter) – Cypriot and other Greek carols, religious songs of Cyprus and hymns – 1998 (CD).
  • “Kypraia Foni – St’ahnarka ton Djeron” (Cyprus Voice – Tracing back through the Years) 2002. A double CD, accompanied by a booklet in four languages (Greek, English, French, German)
  • “Kypraia Foni – Kalos Irtan I Xenoi mas” (Cyprus Voice – Welcome to our Guests) 2008. A double CD, accompanied by an insert in Greek and a CD-ROM in English, Turkish, French and German.


  • “Stes Akres tis Psyshis mou” Michalis Mozoras 2001
  • “Our Occupied Village…” Larkos Larkou 2003
  • “Nosta p’Agapithikamen” Young Volunteers 2006
  • “Paraloges” Domna Samiou 2008

The sources from which he draws his songs and their interpretation are:

  • His personal aural experiences, as heard from authentic performances in the area in which he was raised.
  • The interpretations of other older, acknowledged performers of traditional Cypriot music.
  • Recordings of songs performed by the few remaining elders still singing, which he himself makes within the scope of his research activities.

Theatre – Cinema – Television

Michalis’ first appearance in theatre was in 1987, in Yiorgos Neophytou’s play “The Kingdom of Cyprus”, directed by Nikos Shafkallis. Since then he has collaborated with various theatrical troupes (THOK, Theatro Ena, Satiriko, ACT) always with the most favourable of reviews.

He has also participated in the “Three Islands Project” organized by the “Kneehigh Theatre” of Cornwall, UK, in collaboration with THOK of Cyprus and “St. James Cavalier” of Malta, through theatre workshops and performances given in Cyprus (May 2003), Malta (September-October 2003), Cyprus (May 2004) and Cornwall (July-August 2005).

He has also played in Andreas Pantzis’ films “The Slaughter of the Rooster” and “The Offering”, in Theodoros Nikolaides and Adonis Florides’ short “Espresso”, as well as in a documentary by Yiannis Ioannou. For his role of the fisherman-poet in Panikos Chrysanthou’s film “Akamas”, he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Award at the 47th Thessaloniki Film Festival (2006).

He has also played in a number of TV series shown on various Cypriot channels.

Participation in international events

  • 2012 Athens, Greece: An evening of traditional Cypriot music at the House of Cyprus, within the scope of cultural events held on the occasion of Cyprus’ presidency of the European Union.
  • 2012 Pretoria, South Africa: A reception held by the High Commissioner of Cyprus on the occasion of celebrations for the anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus. Cultural events on the occasion of Cyprus’ presidency of the European Union.
  • 2012 Warsaw, Poland: Music Gardens Festival. Organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Music Garden Festival’s authorities. Cultural events on the occasion of Cyprus’ presidency of the European Union.
  • 2011 Chania in Crete, Greece: International conference on the Folk Culture of Cyprus and Crete. Speaker and concert. Organisers: Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture, and Kapsomenos Foundation.
  • 2010 Granada, Spain: University of Granada. Cultural events on the occasion of the 50thanniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • 2010 Cadiz, Spain: Festival de Musica Espaniola de Cadiz. Cultural events on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • 2010 Catania, Italy: Co-operation between the Universities of Cyprus (TEPAK) and Catania. Theatrical presentation and concert.
  • 2009 Gergeri, Crete, Greece: RouvaMunicipality. Two-day symposium “Flutes and Pipers” Presentation: “The Cyprus Flute”
  • 2009 Krems Stein, Austria: Volkskulture Europa – House of Regions Concert: “Traditional Music of Cyprus”
  • 2009 Athens, Greece: House o fCyprus at Athens. Presentation of music album “Kypraia Foni – Kalos Irtan I Xenoi mas”
  • 2009 London, Britain: Concerts “Cyprus – Asia Minor – Aegean” at HellenicCentre in collaboration with the music group “Epea Pteroenta” (organised by the High Commission of Cyprus in London)
  • 2008 Torino, Italy: International Gastronomic Meeting “SalonedelGusto” and “Terramadre” (organised by: “SlowFood” and “SlowFood – Cyprus department”)
  • 2008 Gergeri, Crete, Greece: Rouva Municipality – Music Festival “Pimenes Agravloundes”
  • 2007 Salento, Italy: “Canti di passione” (Religious Songs of the Divine Passion, organised by the Greek-speaking communities of Lecce)
  • 2006 Tunis, Tunisia: International Festival “Musiqat 2006” (organised by the Centre for Arab and Mediterranean Musicand theScoop Organisation)
  • 2005 Brussels, Belgium: European Parliament, Belgium Macedonia Union, European School
  • 2005 Kasos, Greece: Participation in the project “Thrace – Aegean – Cyprus”
  • 2005 Cornwall, Britain: Three Islands Project (Collaboration among Kneehigh Theatre, Cornwall, Cyprus Theatre Organisation and St. James Cavalier, Malta)
  • 2005 London, Britain: Wine Festival (organised by “Paroikiaki” newspaper)
  • 2004 M.C. Vredenburg – Utrecht, Netherlands: “Sfera” Cultural Foundation
  • 2004 Paris, France: Cypriot expatriates – Events marking Cyprus’accession to the EU
  • 2004 Paeania, Greece: “Mesogeia” Cypriot Cultural Association and Paeania Municipality
  • 2004 Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane, Australia:Event for Cypriot expatriates, organised by the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 2003 Birmingham, Britain: Event for Cypriot expatriates, organised by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (Grammi 1088)
  • 2003 Verona, Italy: Cultural presentation of the ten new EU member-states by the Italian EU Presidency (Cyprus delegation)
  • 2003 Malta: Three Islands Project (Collaboration among Kneehigh Theatre, Cornwall, Cyprus Theatre Organisation and St. James Cavalier, Malta)
  • 2003 Rethymno, Crete, Greece: Two-day Philological Literature Conference
  • 2002 New York & Boston, USA: World Music Institute.
  • 2001 Mykonos, Greece: Cultural exchanges between Cyprus and Greece, organised by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.
  • 2001 Moscow,Russia: Cultural exchanges between Cyprus and Russia
  • 1998 Münster, Germany: University Centre for Cypriot Interdisciplinary Studies
  • 1998 Athens, Greece: House of Cyprus at Athens. Presentation of music album “Ton Gennon dje tis Lambris”
  • 1997 Martigues, France: Festival de Martigues
  • 1996 Philippines: ITI – GICOS (International Theatre Institute – Global Indigenous Culture Olympics and Summit)
  • 1995 Athens, Greece: Herod Atticus Amphitheatre, Cultural exchanges between Cyprus and Greece
  • 1994 Dortmund, Germany: Cultural exchanges between Cyprus and Germany
  • 1993 Egypt: Cultural exchanges between Cyprus and Egypt
  • 1992 Portugalete, Spain: International Folklore Festival
  • 1992 France: Pyrénées International Folklore Festival
  • 1992 Athens, Greece: House of Cyprus at Athens. Presentation of music album “Kypraia Foni”
  • 1990 Beijing & Huhehot, China: Cultural exchanges between Cyprus and China
  • 1990 Billingham & Lancaster, Britain: International Folklore Festival
  • 1989 Toronto & Montreal, Canada: Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs mission for Cypriot expatriates
  • 1988 New York, USA: Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs mission for Cypriot expatriates
  • 1988 North Carolina, USA: International Folklore Festival
  • 1986 Dijon, France: International Folklore Festival
  • 1984 Lefkada, Greece: International Folklore Festival
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