Stavros Xarchakos was born in Athens, where he studied at the Athens Conservatoire. He has family origins from the Mani Peninsula. He emerged in the Greek music scene around 1963, composing music for the theatre and cinema. Among his collaborators was lyricist Lefteris Papadopoulos and singer Nikos Xylouris.
While he mainly composed in the style of Greek Popular music, Laïka, Xarchakos also composed in the classical music genre.
His musical output comprises 42 albums, 21 film scores and music for 15 TV productions.
Internationally he is known as the composer for the Rembetiko film score, and composing the music for the 1983 BBC TV mini series, The Dark Side of the Sun.
He served as director of the National Orchestra of Greek Music.
He was later involved in politics and was elected Member of the Greek Parliament twice, before becoming a Member of the European Parliament from 2000 to 2004.
He was again a candidate for the European Parliament with New Democracy, in the elections of 25 May 2014, but was not elected.
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