The History

eik 1-Alexandra Trianti

Young Lied singer Alexandra Trianti experiences the rich and vibrant Viennese musical life in the Musikverein Concert Hall. Once back home, she is determined to act: Athens is in need of a proper place for concerts. She will devote her life to this cause.

The Friends of Music Society is founded, with the objective to promote the construction of a concert hall. It is supported by the most influential intellectuals and politicians of the time. Among them is 19-year-old Christos Lambrakis, the man whose name will be identified with the establishment and the flourishing of Megaron.

TRIANTI-LAMBRAKIS 1953 - site
Δημήτρης Μητρόπουλος

Dimitri Mitropoulos conducts the New York Philharmonic in Athens for the first time. The concert’s proceeds are offered as financial assistance to The Friends of Music Society.

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Model of the building by the architect Emmanouil Vourekas

Recommended by Herbert von Karajan, German acoustics expert Heinrich Keilholtz collaborates with architect Emmanouil Vourekas to complete the building’s construction design and plans.

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Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis lays the cornerstone of the building.

THE BEGINNING

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Leonidas Kavakos (violin) and Janis Vakarelis (piano) inaugurate the Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall with a recital

Megaron is inaugurated. The elegant luxury of its interiors and the technological innovation of its installations, the attention to detail, and –above all– the superior acoustics of its halls, make it a landmark that will forever change the city’s image.

06-yuri bashmet 1991-programme

The first concerts

Three symphonies mark the opening of Megaron: Violinist and conductor Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists and the Athens State Orchestra under the baton of Alexandros Symeonidis, inspire the public in the sold out concerts in the Friends of Music Hall – now Christos Lambrakis Hall – that welcomes 1,961 spectators.

Extroversion becomes a Megaron trademark, and Athens reaches the status of an international cultural centre: famous orchestras, chamber music orchestras, opera productions, great recitals fascinate the audience. Classical music in all its forms and eras is presented through original themes and seasons.

 

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Sir Neville Mariner was artistic director of Camerata, Friends of Music Orchestra, between 2000 – 2001

Camerata – Friends of Music Orchestra

The Athens Camerata (Friends of Music Orchestra) –internationally acclaimed as Armonia Atenea– is founded in 1991 at the initiative of Christos Lambrakis. It has since evolved into a dynamic ensemble, with a rich artistic and educational output and award-winning recordings under the baton of Alexandros Myrat, Sir Neville Marriner and Christopher Warren-Green. Today the orchestra continues under the direction of George Petrou.

MEGARON PLUS

Megaron Plus hosts charismatic speakers from Greece and abroad, in events that promote constructive public debate, tackling modern-day concerns about political, social, scientific, environmental and cultural issues. This forum for critical thinking is particularly popular among young audiences.

Rem Koolhaas was the first speaker of Megaron Plus.

 

Rem Koolhaas Lecture Jan 2005 c Akriviadis

Interactions

In the course of its 30 years in operation, Megaron has welcomed over 15 million spectators and visitors. Impressive as this number may be, its true value can only be appreciated if multiplied by the sense of elation that each and every one of us feels, when the beauty and power of art offer us a view of the world from above.

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Janis Vakarelis, soloist and Christoph Eschenbach, director of Orchestre de Paris (2002)
ENGΜάνος-Χατζιδάκις-3-4-1991©Αφοί-Αναγνωστόπουλοι-site-1400x959
Manos Hatzidakis, Orchestra of Colours (1991) ©Anagnostopoulos Brothers
ENGSviatoslav-Richter-18-10-1993-©Αφοί-Αναγνωστόπουλοι-micro-1400x971
Sviatoslav Richter (1993) ©Anagnostopoulos Brothers
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Seiji Ozawa, 1998 ©Akriviadis
ENGPollini-25-Ιανουάριος-1999-c-Χάρης-Ακριβιάδης-micro-1400x1109
Maurizio Pollini, 1999 ©Akriviadis
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Daniele Gatti, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (2015) ©Akriviadis
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Yuri Temirkanov, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (2012) ©Akriviadis
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Mikis Theodorakis, St. Petersburg Choir Chapel Symphony Orchestra, ©Anagnostopoulos Brothers
ENGΘόδωρος-Αντωνίου-8002-56-©Ακριβιάδης-1400x994
Theodoros Antoniou © Pappas
ENGClaudio-Abbado-Φιλαρμονική-Βερολίνου-2-5-98-©Ακριβιάδης-1400x1112
Claudio Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker (1998) ©Akriviadis
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Ivan Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra (2015) ©Akriviadis
ENG16662_622p-12019.01.25_Balthasar_Neumann_Ensemble_Fotos©Akriviadis-1400x934
Thomas Hengelbrock, Balthasar Neumann Ensemble and Choir, 2019 ©Akriviadis
16083_0881p-2017.03.07_MusicAeterna_Fotos©Akriviadis
Teodor Currentzis and MuwsicAeterna (2017) ©Akriviadis
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Joshua Bell, 2010 ©Pappas
ENG2019.05.20_Anne_Sophie_Mutter©Akriviadis-1
Anne-Sophie Mutter, Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin (2019) ©Akriviadis
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Renée Fleming, 2011©Akriviadis
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Marlis Petersen, DER SWERG (2007), by Alexander von Zemlinsky © Stefanos
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Costa Gavras, Lydia Koniordou, Yorgos Patsas, Yorgos Dalaras, preparing the production “With Light and Death, never ending” (1994)
ENGLeonidas Kavakos ©Marco Borggreve
Leonidas Kavakos ©Marco Borggreve
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Mstislav Rostropovich (1992)
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Dionyssis Savopoulos – Eleni Vitali, Megaron Garden (2016) ©Akriviadis
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Dimitris Sgouros (1992) ©Αlex Vetoulis
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LA TRAVIATA (2004), Giuseppe Verdi, costume: Nikos Georgiadis ©Yannis Bournias
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LA TRAVIATA (2004), Giuseppe Verdi, costume: Nikos Georgiadis ©Yannis Bournias
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Jonas Kaufmann (2011) ©Pappas
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Ζubin Mehta, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (2016) ©Akriviadis
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Melina Merkouri & Irini Karaianni, PYLADIS (1992), by George Kouroupos, dir. Dionysis Fotopoulos ©Takis Diamantopoulos
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Yannis Markopoulos (2007) ©Akriviadis
ENG13765-035p-2015.09.04_Thanos_Mikroutsikos©Akriviadis (1)
Thanos_Mikroutsikos (2015)©Akriviadis

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