Makis Matsas

Makis was born in Athens during World War II; he’s married to Zafira Nachman and has 2 children: Margarita and Minos. During those difficult times, and just at the age of two, he had to flee along with his family to the mountains of Evritania; in an area close to the greek guerrillas (resistance).

In 1944, after many adventures and unfortunate incidents, he walked with his parents from Karpenisi to Lamia where they were picked up by the British military and brought back to Athens which was finally free.

His family was financially ruined and had to make a new start. His father, Minos Matsas, opened with his father in law a small fabric store, it was an old style fabric business; and at the same time he managed to relaunch the record company Odeon-Parlophone. He also wrote, as he always did, lyrics for songs which many became big hits such as “Minore tis Augis”, “Ton Antoni ton Varkari”, “Sereti” and many others.

Makis Matsas, from a young age wanted to become a doctor. However, when he was 18, while he was getting ready to go to Paris to study medicine at the Sorbonne, his father suffered of a severe heart attack at the Columbia studios and this made Makis change his plans and stay in Athens.

He send his application to the University of Athens, School of Economics and Business, and is accepted among the top percentile of that year. He will finish his studies in Athens and Paris

His mentor in life was his father. From a very young age, he would observe him at the studio where he was working. He absorbed many things; he learned that a “hit” often depends on a small detail which one should have the capability to understand and use it adequately.

In 1960, the record company his father and another 12 partners had relaunched after the war was on the verge of collapsing. The debts were so high that Columbia was refusing to to continue delivering records to the indebted Odeon

Minos Matsas was disappointed from the music industry and wanted to quit, but Makis Matsas insisted and at 23 years old, he managed to negotiate and come to an agreement with the directors of the English company Columbia; they would continue to deliver records, and he and his father would repay all the debts of Odeon within 2 years. Therefore, in October 1960, the company "Minos Matsas & Son" was born and the difficult challenge of financial recovery had started.

During his long professional career, Makis Matsas has discovered and supported the first steps of many great artists, those who marked the greek discography world. There’s no important greek singer or composer, who did not collaborate exclusively with him (with few exceptions such as Dionisios Savvopoulos with whom they created together the famous album “Zito to Elliniko Tragoudi”)

In October 1990, Makis Matsas accepted the proposal of partnership from his big competitor EMI. The company is renamed “Minos EMI” and EMI decides to close down all its premises in Greece. Makis Matsas becomes the President and General Manager of the new record label.

In 2003, after 42 active years, Makis Matsas decides to retire from the company’s management and his daughter, Margarita Matsa-Frangogianni, becomes the 3rd generation to take the lead. She was already working as the company’s lawyer and Makis remains present as the president of the board.

The hard work, the talent and intuition of two generation, starting with Minos Matsas in 1930 and continuing with Makis Matsas in 1961, is now passed on to the hands of the new generation, his daughter Margarita Matsas. Three generations of the same family have served the Greek music for almost 80 years with a stable and a constant professional success while maintaining the first place in the Greek discography field.

A plethora of articles and interviews, related to the history, the course and personal successes of Makis Matsas have been published in the greek and international media.

Makis Matsas is a distinguished member of the Israeli community in Greece and one of the founders of the Jewish Museum of Greece of which he is currently the Chairman of the Board.

For 15 years he was the president of the Greek Federation of Phonographic Industry with an immense contribution. Today he remains as honorary president. He is a supporter of music organisations such as the Orchestra of Colors and the Maria Calas Academy of Lyric Arts among others.

His Vision today is to establish the Minos Matsas Foundation and create the Museum of Greek Discography at the historic Columbia building in Perissos.