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SNF Dialogues

The History of Rebetiko


A great number of friends of the event, which was open free and open to all, accompanied the SNF Dialogues in its first “escape” outside Athens, and traveled to Syros, the birthplace of Markos Vamvakaris. The visit to Syros took place in accordance with the event’s theme, which was dedicated to the history of rebetiko.

The event, which was hosted at the premises of the unique Syros Textile Factory, featured Dimitris Mistakidis, musician and teacher at the School of Arts in the Department of Traditional Music at the University of Ioannina, Giorgos Kokkonis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Music Studies at the University of Ioannina, and Karolos and Tanya Veanus Tsakirian, luthiers.

The speakers shared their rich knowledge of the roots and influence of Rebetiko on the world music scene, its sociological value, its relatively recent destigmatization, and the cultural trends that have transported it across the globe.

The event featured a presentation of the work of the tireless Rebetiko researcher , Panagiotis Kounadis. Mr. Kounadis has recently been developing, with the support of the SNF, a Virtual Museum dedicated to rebetiko. The project is implemented with scientific support from the University of the Aegean, which participates through its Department of Product & Systems Design Engineering, based in Syros. The Kounadis Archive is one of the best-organized archives, primarily featuring the urban folk music of 1900-1960. Established in 2007, it contains one of the richest collections of rebetiko music recordings and manuscripts, illustrating the uptick in creative musical composing during that era in Greece and abroad.

The evening continued with a live music program by Dimitris Mistakidis and his collaborators, in addition to students and teachers from the Syriot music school “En Chordais & Organois” (The Great School of Makros), which the SNF supports with a grant.

The DIALOGUES are curated and moderated by Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou.

*The opinions expressed by DIALOGUES participants are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) or the SNF DAILOGUES team. Speakers’ remarks are made freely, without prior guidance or intervention from the team.


Wednesday 27 March 2019


Syros Textile Factory
The SNF DIALOGUES series of monthly events took its first trip outside Athens.