The Athens Conservatoire
17-19 Vassileos Georgiou B
Athens 106 75 tel.: 210 724 0673
The Athens Conservatoire is the oldest educational institution for the performing arts in modern Greece, founded as a non-profit organization in 1871. From the very beginning, the institution played a significant role in the advancement of music studies in Greece. Some of the most renowned Greek musical personalities have graduated from the Athens Conservatoire including Spyros Samaras, Dimitiris Mitropoulos, Nikos Skalkottas, Maria Callas, Gina Bachauer, Alexandra Triantis, Mikis Theodorakis, Dimitris Sgouros, etc., as well as many members of the Athens State Orchestra, the National Theater, the Athens Choir etc.
Meanwhile, the first Drama School in Greece, also founded in 1871, has had a pivotal role in the advancement of theatrical studies in the country and many prominent theater personalities were included among its teaching staff, such as, Thomas Oikonomou, Emilios Veakis, Dimitris Rontiris, Kostas Mousouris, Dimitris Myrat and others. Today, the Drama School of the Athens Conservatoire is included among the select few top drama schools in Greece, officially recognized by the Ministry of Culture. The school students and its staff regularly stage cutting edge performances and cooperate with leading drama schools abroad, like the Russian Academy of Theatrical Studies (GITIS).
Today, the Athens Conservatoire is expanding into new areas within performing arts: The new and already successful Dance School complements the performing arts disciplines, the new Jazz Music School includes leading musicians among its teaching staff and has already gained significant momentum, while various specialized seminars in all disciplines broaden our role and appeal in the contemporary culture scene.
Finally, the institution is invited by other major arts organizations to participate in leading events like, for example, the “Metamorphosis” cultural events of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre in which the Athens Conservatoire participated with three innovative musical performances, Terry Riley’s In:C, John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit and Peter Shapiro’s Jazz & Colors, curated and largely performed by our staff and student members. A new collaboration between the Athens & Epidaurus Festival and the Athens Conservatoire was launched in 2018, with two events which will were held at the Conservatoire. The first, was Young Greek Classics, Tribute to Debussy and the second, Aqua Jazz Athens, a three-day music event, in collaboration with the Jazz and Mediterranean Music Lab of the Ionian University.
The Athens Conservatoire’s premium location at the heart of Athens and its iconic “bauhaus” building, make it a unique and enviable cultural hub for various contemporary arts and cultural events. The main building is a short walking distance from the Greek National Gallery, the National Gardens, the Presidential Mansion and the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first contemporary Olympic Games took place, and near the Zappeion Megaron, where the European Greek Presidency took place in 2014. The building was designed by Greek architect Ioannis Despotopoulos (1903-1992) who holds a prominent position within the modernist architectural movement of the 1930s and the Bauhaus movement in which he actively participated. His work for the Athens Conservatoire is the only completed part of an ambitious large-scale cultural complex commissioned in 1959 by the then government for Athens, for which he earned the top architectural prize of its time. Today, the building is undergoing a process of gradual transformation and renovation and is well sought after by leading arts organizations.
The NEON cultural organization undertook financially the renovation of a major space within the building, transforming it into an art exhibition space which hosted two innovative and very successful projects, The Ideas City, and the Flying over the Abyss art exhibitions. The Athens Conservatoire was one of the main partner venues of the documenta 14, the prestigious art exhibition which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany, but it was also held in Athens as part of the artistic concept conceived for 2017. Finally, the Athens Conservatoire lent their premises to El Sistema Greece, for the annual Sistema Europe Summer Residency and the rehearsals of the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra (SEYO), for a great concert that took place at the mythical Odeon of Herodes Atticus theater, as the closing event of the Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2017.