Η Αθηναική Μανδολινάτα Νικόλαος Λάβδας υπήρξε μουσικό σωματείο, με σημαντική θέση στα μουσικά πράγματα της Αθήνας του πρώτου μισού του 20ου αιώνα. Τελούσε υπό τη διεύθυνση του Νικόλαου Λάβδα(1879-1940), μαέστρου, συνθέτη, παιδαγωγού, και διδάκτορος φυσικών επιστημών του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών.

Τα μέλη του Αθηναϊκού Κουϊντέτου «Δημήτρης Δούνης», με την υποστήριξη του Φιλολογικού Συλλόγου ”Παρνασσός”αποφάσισαν να επανασυστήσουν την Αθηναϊκή Μαντολινάτα “Νικόλαος Λάβδας” προσδοκώντας στην ιστορική συνέχεια με την, διαλυθείσα το 1940, παλαιά «Αθηναϊκή Μανδολινάτα» που διασφαλίζεται μέσω του αρχείου και ρεπερτορίου της, το οποίο διατηρείται από τον υιό του Αντ.Κ Λάβδα, Αλέξανδρο Α Λάβδα.

Η επίσημη ανακοίνωση στον τύπο έγινε στις 29/11/2011

Nikolaos Lavdas and the Athenian Mandolinata: history

Nikolaos (Nicola) Lavdas (Pitrofos, Andros, Greece, 1879 – Athens, Greece, 1940) was a Greek conductor, composer and educator. He also had a PhD in Physics from the University of Athens.
He was the founder and director of the “Athenian Mandolinata”, one of the oldest music associations and music schools in Greece.

He studied at the Athens Conservatory and he also took private classes with Dionyssios Lavrangas. While still a student, he started working towards the formation of a musical ensemble, and in 1896 he formed a mandolin quartet (2 mandolins, mandola, guitar) with his brother Konstantinos Lavdas and Vassileios Mitsou. The name “Athenian Mandolinata” made its first appearance on that year.

Four years later he formed an ensemble made up of 20 musicians and gave his first concert in the “Parnassus” hall in Athens on May the 26th, 1900. The success of this appearance led to the formal establishment of the “Athenian Mandolinata”, and by 1901 the Mandolinata had its own conservatory, teaching various instruments (mandolin, guitar, violin, cello, flute), vocal music and music theory. As the director of the “Athenian Mandolinata” orchestra, he conducted the orchestra in the interim Olympic Games of Athens (1906), for the king of Italy Vittorio Emmanuele (1907) and for Kaiser Wilhelm in Corfu’s “Achilleion” (1910). The orchestra started performing abroad, too, with appearances in Cairo and Alexandria (1907), Smyrna (1908), New York (1912).

One of the most important moments for the orchestra and its conductor was in 1910, when they received the first prize in Cremona, competing among 32 ensembles from all over Europe, and N. Lavdas received the first prize for conducting.

Nikolaos Lavdas held the post of director of the Orchestra and Conservatory, while Zakharias Papantoniou was its first president, and Prince Nikolaos of Greece its honorary president.

N. Lavdas was also an educator, not only within the Athenian Mandolinata Conservatory, but also in the “Arsakeion School” and also in the Schools of the “Philekpaideftiki” Society (1913-1937); he was also a state-appointed general inspector of music in highschool education (1937-1940).

He wrote mandolin and guitar method books, and a theory of music textbook. Among his students were Dimitris Dounis, Ilias Alessios, Konstantinos Kydoniatis, Spyros Skiadaresis, Miltiades Koutoungos, and his nephew Antonis K Lavdas. Nikolaos Lavdas and his brother Konstantinos Lavdas, were founding members of AEPI (the Greek equivalent to GEMA, BMI etc).

Like so many other artists and scientists he was a Freemason, becoming a Master Mason in 1920.
In recognition of his great achievements in music, he received the Cross of the Savior from King George the first of Greece.

The outbreak of WWII and the death of N. Lavdas in 1940 resulted in the dissolution of the orchestra and the conservatory.

 

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 was never materialized, mainly for the lack of appropriate 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, and there was special mention of the Athenian Mandolinata and its conductor and director.

The event was organized by world famous soloist and Solisti Veneti collaborator, 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 Parnassos Literary Society decided to relaunch the Athenian Mandolinata, under the name “Athenian Mandolinata Nikolaos Lavdas”, and make it Orchestra –in- residence in Parnassos. The official announcement in the press was made on 26/9/2011. The connections of Parnassos Literary Society (founded 1865)  with the Athenian Mandolinata go back to 1900, when the first public appearance of the orchestra took place in the Parnassos concert hall – one of many to follow in that same hall. In addition, the president of the Parnassos 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 Parnassos.

In a recent 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” (soon to be released), a tribute to the “Athenian Mandolinata” and N. Lavdas, including selected pieces with a Greek theme by various composers.

External Sources

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