In particular, Mrs. Sakellaropoulou spoke of a cultural center in the heart of Athens,
The President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou tonight inaugurated the new premises of the Athens Conservatory, underlining that with the completion of the upgrading and modernization of its facilities, a fifty-year delay is definitively closed, and it is reconstituted as a cultural pole in a wider neighborhood, where the Byzantine Museum, the Aristotle High School, the National Gallery, the Goulandris Museum.
In particular, Mrs. Sakellaropoulou talked about a culture center in the heart of Athens, which allows the meeting and interaction of students, artists and the public and favors the creative osmosis of the various manifestations of artistic creation.
He also argued that “there are few institutions with a presence of more than one hundred and fifty years in the cultural life of our country and even fewer that played a key role in our musical and theatrical education” noting that “the Athens Conservatory, from its foundation in 1871 until today , was inextricably linked with the history of modern Greek civilization”.
Referring to the passion and energy of the Board of Directors of the historic Athens Conservatory, she noted that today it is heading towards the future with the best prospects and wished that its now upgraded building facilities would become a core of education, initiation into art, creative exchanges and fruitful interconnection with the cultural and social reality and emphasized that “its history dictates it, the challenges of our time require it”.
The following is the greeting of the President of the Republic at the opening of the new premises of the Athens Conservatory:
“There are few institutions with a presence of more than one hundred and fifty years in the cultural life of our country and even fewer that played a key role in our musical and theatrical education. The Athens Conservatory, from its foundation in 1871 until today, was inextricably linked with the history of modern Greek culture. It was here that Maria Callas charmed the solitaire teacher Elvira de Hidalgo “with the cascades of her voice, full of theatricality and emotion” and, while still her student, began her brilliant career. The international pianist Gina Bachauer studied here, from here Dimitris Mitropoulos excelled on the podium of major symphony orchestras. In this space, our great composers studied, from Spyridon Samaras and Nikos Skalkotas to Mikis Theodorakis, and dozens of our distinguished musical performers were nurtured in the threads of art. The school of Byzantine Ecclesiastical Music, since the time of Constantinos Psachos, continues to train and train cantors and teachers professionally, according to the tradition of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Higher School of Dramatic Art of the Conservatory, the oldest in the country, can be proud of the presence of teachers, such as Emilios Veakis, Dimitris Rontiris, Dimitris Myrat, Kostas Mousouris, who brightened its classes, and students who graced the younger generation Greek theater. And not to stay only in the past, the electronic music department that operates in collaboration with the historic Center for Contemporary Music Research and the jazz teaching department, relatively recent additions to the educational program, give the stamp of a modern educational institution that is actively in conversation with the newer currents of art.
All this long tradition of the Conservatoire’s artistic offering has had as its shell, since 1976, the emblematic building which today is handed over renovated to its students and the public. A reference point in the urban fabric of the capital, designed based on the principles of the modern movement but also with influences from classical architecture by the famous architect Ioannis Despotopoulos, a student of the founder of the Bauhaus school Walter Gropius, it unfortunately remained incomplete, with unused and dysfunctional spaces . Now, with the completion of the upgrade and modernization of its facilities, it finally closes a fifty-year backlog. Classrooms for music, dance and dramatic art, a magnificent auditorium that already hosts important artistic events, arts foyers, modernly equipped recording studios and a library, as well as the recently established Research and Documentation Center and College of Music of the Conservatory, make up a center of culture in the heart of Athens, which allows the meeting and interaction of students, artists and the public and favors the creative osmosis of the various manifestations of artistic creation.
After long-term processes, the historic Athens Conservatory, thanks to the passion and energy of its Board of Directors, is not just moving into a new phase, but is essentially being reconstituted as a cultural pole in a wider neighborhood where the Byzantine Museum, the Aristotle Lyceum, the National Gallery, the Goulandris Museum. It is not exactly the “Spiritual Center of Athens” as the pioneer Ioannis Despotopoulos had imagined and designed, emphasizing the social dynamics of the arts, but it nevertheless brings together leading institutions, important landmarks of a cultural walk in the heart of the city. Among them, the Athens Conservatory, pioneer of a new path, is today heading towards the future with the best prospects.
I wish that the now upgraded building facilities of the Conservatory will become a core of education, initiation into art, creative exchanges and fruitful interconnection with the cultural and social reality. Its history dictates it, the challenges of our time demand it.”
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