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.

Terlikkas has been singing since childhood. His life in a primarily rural community, his contact with people living in villages before the war, 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, Terlikkas met the late poet and singer Andreas Mappouras. The two recorded three cassette tapes together, featuring Cypriot oral improvised couplets (tsiattistá), produced by Lambrophone label. 

Between 1981 and 1983 Terlikkas took lessons in Byzantine ecclesiastical chant under Theodoulos Kallinikos, a leading Greek Orthodox cantor, collector and interpreter of Cypriot traditional music.

In 1983 Terlikkas joined the Adoulotoi–Shakallis refugee folk association as a singer. He remained with the group for a number of years, and was accompanied by well-known folk instrumentalists such as Georgios Averof, Michalis Poullos, Demetris Katsaris, Christodoulos Pipis, Neophytos Roussos and others. 

Around 1985 he began giving concerts of Cypriot traditional music as a solo singer with some of the musicians named above. At the same time, inspired by Theodoulos Kallinikos, Terlikkas began his own research into Cypriot traditional music, by recording – first on audio and later on film too – elderly people from all over the free areas of Cyprus. Working for several years, he slowly managed to accumulate an important personal archive of Cypriot music. 

His experience of collecting as well as the collected material itself, his memories of older, authentic performers in the area where he grew up, and the performances of older, accomplished performers of Cypriot traditional music are the source from which he draws his own performing style. 

Since 1990, Terlikkas has led the Mousa music troupe, which uses solely traditional Cypriot instruments and gives concerts both in Cyprus and abroad.

Terlikkas has appeared on a number of radio and television programmes in Cyprus and abroad, while he has also taken part in many folk music festivals and 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 and dissertations. He has also written several studies of Cypriot demotic song.

In August 2017, I.G.F. – World Folklore Union awarded Terlikkas the I.G.F GOLD STAR EX OSCAR for his work in promoting the values of traditional folk culture on an international level. 


  1. Personal Albums:
  1. Kypraia Foni – Paradosiaka tragoudia tis Kyprou (Cypriot Voice – Traditional Songs of Cyprus); vinyl (1991)
  2. Ton Gennon tzai tis Lambris (Christmas and Easter Songs. Cypriot and Other Greek Carolos, Religious Songs of Cyprus and Hymns); CD (1998)
  3. Kypraia Foni – St’ Agnarka ton Tzairon (Cypriot Voice – Tracing Back Through the Years); double CD, with booklet in four languages (Greek, English, French, German; 2002)
  4. Kypraia Foni – Kalos Irtan Oi Xenoi Mas (Cypriot Voice – A Welcome to Our Guests); double CD, with booklet in Greek and CD-ROM in four languages (English, Turkish, French and German; 2008)
  1. Guest Participations:
  1. Stes ákres tis psyshís mou Michalis Mozoras 2001
  2. To katechómeno chorkón mas 

tzai i chará tou gyrismoú Larkos Chr. Larkou 2003

  1. Nostá p’ agapithíkamen Young Volunteers 2006
  2. Paralogés/Folk Fables in Song Domna Samiou Greek 

Folk Music Association 2008

  1. To próto ’do vasíleio eíhan 

Theoí to ktísei Larkos Larkou 2011

  1. Sta monopáthkia tis parádosis

Koúrri kai Xyloúrikou Yiannis Zavros 2011

  1. Eipa na kámo tin arkín Antama group 2015
  2. Ton Akritón kai ton antreioménon/

Epic Songs of Warriors and Heroes Domna Samiou Greek 

Folk Music Association 2015

  1. Angáthin Monsieur Doumani 2018
  2. Ta óneira tou tembéli drákou George Hadjipieris 2021


To chróman tis anatolís tzoimátai manichón tou… Poetry collection 2018

Theatre – Cinema – Television

Terlikkas’s first appearance in theatre was in 1987, in Giorgos Neophytou’s play The Kingdom of Cyprus, directed by Nicos Shafkalis. Since then he has collaborated with various theatrical troupes (Cyprus Theatre Organisation, Theatro Ena, Satiriko, ACT), always receiving favourable reviews.

He has also participated in the Three Islands Project, organised by Kneehigh Theatre in Cornwall, UK, in collaboration with the Cyprus Theatre Organisation and St James Cavalier of Malta, for a number of theatre workshops and performances given in Cyprus (May 2003 and May 2004), Malta (September–October 2003), and Cornwall (July–August 2005).

He has also held roles in Andreas Pantzis’s films The Slaughter of the Rooster and The Offering, in Theodoros Nikolaidis and Adonis Florides’s short film Espresso, as well as in a documentary by Giannis Ioannou. For his role as fisherman-poet in Panicos Chrysanthou’s film Akamas, Terlikkas 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 in Cyprus.

Since 2014 Terlikkas has worked as a scriptwriter for several period TV dramas in the Cypriot dialect of Greek, as well as writing his own theatre plays. His plays, adaptations and/or translations have been performed by professional theatre groups in Cyprus. 

Participation in international events

2017 Leposavić, Kosovo: I.G.F. – World Folklore Union. I.G.F Gold Star Ex Oscar Award.

2017 Ourense, Spain: I.G.F. Folklore Caravan. International Festival.

2013 Novosibirsk, Russia: Eighth Youth Delphic Games. Representative of the Cyprus National Committee for the Delphic Games and participation in the jury for the “Traditional Music” field. 

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’s 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’s presidency of the European Union.

2012 Warsaw, Poland: Music Gardens Festival. Organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, and the Music Garden Festival’s authorities. Cultural events on the occasion of Cyprus’s presidency of the European Union.

2011 Chania, Crete, Greece: International conference on the Folk Culture of Cyprus and Crete. Speaker and concert performance. Organisers: Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, and Kapsomenos Foundation.

2010 Granada, Spain: University of Granada. Cultural events on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.

2010 Cádiz, Spain: Festival de Música Española de Cádiz. Cultural events on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.

2010 Athens, Greece: University of Cyprus Theatre Group and National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation. Theatre performance: To Asma tou Giofyriou and Conference: Paralogés. 

2010 Catania, Italy: Cooperation between the Technical University of Cyprus (TEPAK) and the University of Catania. Theatre performance: To Asma tou Giofyriou and concert.

2009 Gergeri, Crete, Greece: Rouva Municipality. Two-day symposium: “Flutes and Pipers”. Presentation: “The Cypriot pithkiávlin”.

2009 Krems Stein, Austria: Volkskulture Europa – House of Regions Concert: “Traditional Music of Cyprus”.

2009  Athens, Greece: House of Cyprus at Athens. Presentation of music album Kypraia Foni – Kalos Irtan Oi Xenoi Mas (Cypriot Voice – A Welcome to Our Guests).

2009  London, UK: Concert “Cyprus – Asia Minor – Aegean” at the Hellenic Centre in London, in collaboration with the music group “Epea Pteroenta” (organised by the Cyprus High Commission).

2008  Torino, Italy: International Gastronomic Meeting “Salone del Gusto” and “Terramadre” (organised by “Slow Food” and “Slow Food – Cyprus Department”) 

2008  Gergeri, Crete, Greece: Rouva Municipality – Music Festival “Poiménes Agravloúntes”.

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 Music, and the Scoop Organisation).

2005 Brussels, Belgium: European Parliament, Belgium Macedonian 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’s accession to the EU

2004  Paeania, Greece: “Ta Mesogeia” Cypriot Cultural Association and Paeania Municipality.

2004  Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, Australia: Event for Cypriot expatriates, organised by the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2003  Birmingham, UK: 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 and 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 tzai tis Lambris (Christmas and Easter Songs. Cypriot and Other Greek Carolos, Religious Songs of Cyprus and Hymns).

1997  Martigues, France: Festival de Martigues .

1996 Manila, 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 (Cypriot Voice). 

1990 Beijing and Huhehot, China: Cultural exchanges between Cyprus and China. 

1990 Billingham and Lancaster, UK: International Folklore Festival. 

1989 Toronto and 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.