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Other music institutions, 1900–45.


Although the magnificent Demotikon Theatron (City Theatre) in Corfu opened with Lohengrin in 1902, the centre of gravity for both opera and concerts had by then shifted to the capital, where concert life was dominated by the Athens Conservatory and the conservatory founded by Lottner. Other musical societies declined, with the exception of the composer Nikolaos Lavdas's “Athinaiki Mandolinata” (1900–43) which, unlike the relatively poor conservatory orchestra, was acclaimed abroad. In 1921 Ekonomidis founded the “Horodia Athinon” (Athens Chorus) which introduced to Greece many choral works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, Verdi and Berlioz, together with more recent works such as Stravinsky's “Symphony of Psalms”, Honegger's “Le roi David” and Kodaly's “Psalmus Hungaricus”. A similar choir, “Palladios Horodia” (Palladian Chorus) existed for a few years in the late 1930s. In 1938 the “Radio Orchestra” was founded in Athens, and the following year the “Ethniki Lyriki Skini” (National Opera) was established, opening on March 5th, 1940, with “Die Fledermaus”. Its repertoire initially favored operetta.

In 1942, during the German occupation, the Athens Conservatory SO was nationalized, becoming the “Athens State Orchestra”. It shared most of its players either with the Radio Orchestra or with the National Opera.

[Based on a text written by G. Leotsakos.  Editing by Kostas Moschos. Translation-Editing: Natalia Tsakmakidou]