Ladies and gentlemen,
Since 1978 we have counted 35 International Festivals, a number that gives us the right to count the festival as an establishment and one of the most historic guitar festivals in the world.
This year, we should have celebrated 45 years of active presence, but almost always in great long term events, there are postponements or even cancellations.
This year's 36th festival is a turning of a page in its history. A history that is full of knowledge, emotions, memories, but above all progress and creation. The most important soloists and teachers from all over the world in the last 50 years have come!!! Students who became soloists and teachers, some of them at the forefront of popularity, both Greek and also foreign. Children and students from all over Greece who became teachers, having in their guitar quiver knowledge coming from all over the world.
Today in Greece, even in small towns, we have brilliant guitarists students and even third generation teachers who grew up playing guitar at the festival. To date, we count more than 10,000 students from all over the world.
The turning of the page is that from this year, this great guitar event is hosted in the renovated building of the most historic musical institution in the country, the Athens Conservatory 1871 (the year of its foundation).
For the first time in the history of the Athens Conservatory, the department of university studies (collegeofmusic.athensconservatoire.gr) will also operate and co-organize the 36th Athens International Guitar Festival.
And at this point, I have to say a few words about why I feel deeply moved.
In 1976, when our Conservatory was first established in this building, its director, Academician Menelaos Pallantios, founded the guitar school in this Conservatory and gave me the great honour of entrusting me with the responsibility of teaching. I was then 19 years old. This assignment gave me such great strength of mind that I started with drive and confidence both in my soloist career, which of course had already existed, and in my teaching career, which was then beginning.
In 1978 the Volos International Guitar Festival began. Today, with the creation of the University Department (I feel blessed to live it in reality), - what I have been waiting for so many years -, the current President of the Foundation, Nikos Tsouhlos, welcomes my spiritual child (the Festival) and adds new possibilities for even greater success, but above all, continuity in its history under the roof of the Athens Conservatory 1871. To these two people I was, am and will be deeply grateful.
The only thing that remains is that I would really love, this year, in this new beginning, to meet people I remember in all the years that have passed (believe me I have a long memory), to see new people, the new generation that loves the guitar and has the same dreams and values that we all had and to live new moments, listening to these excellent recitals by this year's guest teachers and soloists. But also to experience that wine after each concert as we always have!
36ο International Guitar Festival
Andronoglou Giannis, Kontaxakis Michalis,
Kotronakis Dimitris, Koufoudakis Antonis, Mitsalas Thanos,
Mouzourakis Alexis, Michailangelos Niarchos
Nousis Yorgos, Aniello Desiderio, Zoran Dukic,
Prieto Susana, Ricardo Gallen, Tamayo Marco.
EGTA - Hellas / ACCM - Ωδείο Αθηνών
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