Manos Hadjidakis (as his name is usually spelled in English) is perhaps modern Greece's greatest composer and songwriter, rivaled only by Mikis Theodorakis for the title. Hadjidakis helped usher in a new era of Greek music in the post-WWII era, elevating the earthiest strains of Greek folk and popular song into respected art forms. In the process, he found tremendous popular success in his home country, chiefly through his work as a pop songwriter, and became familiar to international audiences through his movie soundtracks, winning an Oscar in 1960. He also composed contemporary classical pieces for ensembles small and large, often inspired by Greek poetry, and wrote for theater and ballet. Many of his songs, larger compositions, and recordings are considered classics in Greece, and cornerstones of the country's modern popular music. He remained a highly respected intellectual and cultural figure in Greece up until his death in 1994.