The Athenaeum International Cultural Centre is a non profit music organisation. It was founded in 1974 by a group of artists, intellectuals as well as personalities of public life who shared in common the aspiration of regenerating the Greek musical education as well as the cultural life of the country.

To achieve this, Athenaeum cooperated with several cultural counterparts abroad, carrying out invitations as well as interchanging young artists, giving international master classes, concerts, e.t.c., thus strengthening the intercultural relations of Greece with musically advanced countries.

a. In 1974 the Athenaeum International Cultural Centre set up its conservatory, which soon made a name of its own, owing to the regenerating spirit it brought to the music education of Greece.

b. It enacted, in 1975, the International Music Competitions of Greece in Opera-Oratorio -Lied, and the Piano, which are held annually in Athens, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture, and were also included in UNESCO’S Fédération Mondiale de Concours Intérnationaux de Musique.

c. In 1977 the International Music Competitions of Greece, were dedicated to the memory of Maria Callas, whose death in that year was a great loss in the operatic world.

n. In 2005 Athenaeum was nominated for the Conseille de Musique Award by UNESCO’S International Committee.

The cultural life of Greece was hard hit by the recent recession. Athenaeum, too, had its own losses, which mostly had to do with a) the cancellation – owing to a lack of subsidies – of the aforementioned concert in commemoration of Maria Callas, and b) the two-year suspension of the Maria Callas International Grand-Prix in Opera – Piano.

The entire project is part of the NSRF 2007-2013 Programme for Development, which concerns these two International Grand Prix. Athenaeum hopes for a permanent conduct of both the International Grand Prix Maria Callas and the commemorative concert in the immediate future.

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