The Corfu Philharmonic Association “Kapodistrias” was founded in 1980 and is one of the main and largest music-cultural associations of Corfu, aiming to preserve, improve and disseminate the cultural elements of the island. The creation of this particular philharmonic is essentially due to a partial severance in the ranks of another philharmonic of the city of Corfu, the “Corfu Philharmonic Society“. This split resulted in the departure of a group of musicians and the search for the creation of a new music institution, which received the support of notable Corfiot citizens. At the first general assembly which took place on October 20, 1979 in the event hall of the “Pontikonisi Hotel” in the Perama area, all the Members present (forty eight in number), by unanimous vote, voted and signed the constitutional rules of the association; thirty three articles in total. The official recognition of the provisions of the statute and its final approval took place under no. 50 / 18-4-1980 decision of the Corfu Court of First Instance, which is considered the official date of establishment of the Philharmonic. According to this statute, the Corfu Philharmonic Association “Kapodistrias” operates autonomously, as a non-profit organization.
Its operation at all levels, although it seems, it has nothing to do with the other existing associations that serve the same purpose, as it is neither a Philharmonic Society nor a Municipal Philharmonic.
The income for the fulfillment of the obligations of the philharmonic comes mainly from the annual contribution of its members, it must of course be mentioned, the extremely important financial contribution of its “Great Benefactors”. These are institutions that co-operate with their financial sponsorships, which include funds to support operating costs, programs, the purchase of instruments and the creation of uniforms, as well as the purchase and restoration of the Philharmonic building.
The first chief musician of the Philharmonic was Mr. Charilaos Maniatopoulos who was one of the pioneers who created the new institution and was literally recruited to contribute his experience and skills to the needs of the Philharmonic. After two months of operation, the new philharmonic orchestra was fortunate to receive in its ranks another experienced and renowned chief musician, Mr. Georgios Peroulis. His presence, in combination with that of Mr. Maniatopoulos, not only strengthened the musical ensemble in terms of quality, but contributed to the attendance of young children, who under their guidance, but also with assistance of their teachers, accompanied the old musicians. In a short period of time, the Corfu Philharmonic Association “Kapodistrias” was a very combative and imposing musical ensemble.
The first appearance of the musical troupe took place on New Year of 1981 and was a great event for the city of Corfu.
Since then, it has been a regular participant in all the events of the national and local holidays, parades, processions, eulogies, etc. Today, Chief Musician and Director of Schools of the Corfu Philharmonic Association “Kapodistrias” is the youngest of the founders, Mr. Spyridon Atsopardis, who is assisted by capable music teachers and together they carry out both the educational and artistic obligations of the association. The following schools operate in the Corfu Philharmonic Association “Kapodistrias”: preschool music education, for children from 3 to 6 years old, school of music theorists, woodwind instruments, brass instruments and percussion instruments. These schools are attended by about one hundred students a year and the most important thing is that tuition for all, without exception, is free. During the year seminars are held, with guest professors and professional musicians with national and international careers in their instrument of choice, who play as leads in symphony orchestras of renowned prestige in Greece and abroad.
The full main body of the Philharmonic consists of about two hundred and twenty (220) musicians. At the same time there is a student band (piccolo bandina) which consists of 100 children aged 8-12 years and a youth band (bandina) which consists of 120 children aged 13-18 years.
The Philharmonic has performed continuously for almost forty years, its uninterrupted presence to be seen in the musical events of Corfu.
It has performed outside of Corfu, both in cities of Greece with concerts and parades, and in many cities abroad i.e. Italy (2015), France (2013), Turkey (2011), Slovenia (2016) and Serbia (2017). Recitals include the presence of the Philharmonic Orchestra at the closing ceremony of the 6th World Athletics Championships in August 1997, the concert under the Acropolis of Athens in July 2009, and the concert again in 2009 with the internationally renowned artists Deborah Myers and Andrew Halliday. Finally, the 2018 festive concert at the packed Athens Concert Hall was met with great success.
Spiros Atsopardis, Maestro