Makris had suffered from diabetes, according to the Post. He was 74.
Makris's works were performed by orchestras around the world. Many of them were commissioned by former NSO music director Mstislav Rostropovich, who told the Post in 1978, "In my opinion, Makris is a great composer." Among the pieces he wrote for the NSO were works marking Leonard Bernstein's 60th birthday and the 25th anniversary of the Kennedy Center.
Makris was born in Greece and studied at the National Conservatory in Athens; after moving to the United States, he studied at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma; the Kansas City Conservatory; Mannes College of Music in New York; and the Aspen Music Festival. He performed with the NSO from 1961 to 1989.