At its headquarters at the intersection of Vassileos Constantinou Avenue and Rigillis Street in the heart of the capital, the Athens Conservatory is making ambitious plans for the future.
Under the leadership of chief conductor Nikos Tsouchlos, the institution has hammered out a realistic feasibility study that could elevate this emblematic, if incomplete, white modernist structure designed by Greek architect Ioannis Despotopoulos into a state-of-the art cultural hub. The study foresees a combination of self-funding, private donations and funding from the European Union’s National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).
Sitting in his office filled with artifacts and memorabilia amassed over the institution’s rich history, Tsouchlos speaks in a sober, substantiated manner that makes ideas sound cozy and feasible. He gives the impression that in spite of the numerous obstacles that have until now plagued the conservatory, it is about to flex its muscles and play a more influential role in the country’s musical education, the arts and – why not? – help bolster the capital’s image in the process.
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[Panos: Both my children have studied at the Athens conservatory. My daughter Marianna is now taking opera performing lessons there]