The rebirth

After the death of N.Lavdas, the outbreak of WWII and the dissolution of the orchestra and conservatory in 1940, the archive and repertoire of the Mandolinata was kept by N. Lavdas’ nephew and student, the composer, musicologist and critic Antonios K Lavdas. The idea of the revival of the Mandolinata was close to his heart, and there were discussions about it as early as 1950, but the revival, although formally initiated in 1951, was never materialized, mainly for the lack of a critical mass of collaborators.

In November 2010 in Cremona, under the auspices of the municipality of the city and the region of Lombardia, a celebration was held for the 100th anniversary of the Cremona Mandolin Competition, with special mention of the Athenian Mandolinata and its conductor and director.

The event was organized by world famous soloist  Ugo Orlandi.

The orchestras from 1910 that still existed participated, while in place of the Athenian Mandolinata, there was a performance by the Dimitris Dounis quintet.


Soon after that, the members of this quintet, with the support of the Parnassus Literary Society decided to relaunch the Athenian Mandolinata, under the name “Athenian Mandolinata Nikolaos Lavdas”, and make it Orchestra –in- residence in Parnassus. The official announcement in the press was made on 26/9/2011. The connections of Parnassus Literary Society (founded 1865)  with the Athenian Mandolinata go back to 1900, when the first public appearance of the orchestra took place in the Parnassus concert hall – one of many to follow in that same hall. In addition, the president of the Parnassus society during the 1910’s, writer Hippocrates Karavias, was also president of the Mandolinata during the same period. The historical continuity with the old ensemble is secured through its archive and original repertory, which is maintained by the son of Ant K Lavdas, Alexandros A. Lavdas. The orchestra aims to disseminate the heritage of works by both Greek and non-Greek composers, and also to encourage and promote contemporary artistic production.

The Mandolinata, in collaboration with Ugo Orlandi, organizes seminars aiming at acquainting musicians with a wider repertory, giving incentives for a more systematic and complete study. It has participated in the “Anaklasis” festival at the Grypareio Cultural Centre of Mykonos, the “Sinfonia Piraeus” at the Pireus  Municipal Theatre, at the Parliament Building in Nafplion, and of course in regular appearances as orchestra in residence at Parnassus.

In a collaboration with Ugo Orlandi and the Orchestra di Mandolini e Chitarre “Citta di Brescia” under Claudio Mandonico, they recorded together their first CD entitled “Hellenic Rhapsody”, a tribute to the “Athenian Mandolinata” and N. Lavdas, including selected pieces with a Greek theme by various composers.

Τhe Mandolinata at the Pireus Municipal Theatre, with Ugo Orlandi and the Orchestra di Mandolini e Chitarre “Citta di Brescia” under Claudio Mandonico, in November 2013.


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