The name of the Estoudiantina orchestra draws its origins from the famous orchestras of Smyrna and Asia Minor, which were active in the years from 1898 to 1921. The success of the first Estoudiantina led to important musicians from Smyrna establishing their own music groups, developing an innovative Greek musical genre encompassing elements from the West and the East. This kind of orchestra became the first and most authentic musical bridge, combining in harmony incongruous national, musical, cultural and artistic elements of such contradictory cultures.
Estoudiantina became famous in all social strata, combining the use of many different musical instruments (the oud, the canun, the zurna, the caval, the santur, the mandolin, the clarinet, the accordion, the violin), which allowed Estoudiantinas to continuously expand their repertoire so as to include anything from Βyzantine hymns and folk songs of Smyrna to Βalkan horas, Οttoman classical music and doinas, as well as west European polkas, waltzes and arias from popular operas. The legacy of Estoudiantina expanded beyond Asia Minor by those who came to Greece during the 1920s, recording for the first record companies in Greece, among others Spyros Peristeris, Panagiotis Tountas, Evangelos Papazoglou and Dimitris Semsis.
The greater contribution of Estudiantinas has been the birth of the Greek Operetta, as well as the Rebetiko song, the Athenian Serenade (Cantada) and later the Contemporary Greek Folk Song.
Following the outstanding history of the famous musicians and orchestras, a new Estoudiantina was founded in 1999 by a group of 20 young musicians. The “moving spirit” and artistic director of this band is Andreas Katsigiannis. Estudiantina is a pioneering orchestra in the contemporary social environment.
Following the outstanding history of the famous musicians and orchestras, a new Estoudiantina was founded in 1999 by a group of 20 young musicians. The “moving spirit” and artistic director of this band is Andreas Katsigiannis. Estoudiantina is a pioneering orchestra in the contemporary social environment. It does not just imitate previous models of orchestras but adopts new elements, creating and suggesting new musical patterns aiming at attracting larger audiences to the genuine Greek music.
More than 250 concerts have been given since 1999 both in Greece and abroad (the United States, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Ukraine, Cyprus), at well-known concert halls, together with some of the greatest Greek singers and musicians such as Giorgos Dalaras, Maria Farantouri, Pantelis Thalassinos, Glykeria, Manolis Mitsias, Petros Gaitanos, Eleni Vitali, Agathonas, Mario, Babis Tsertos, Panagiotis Lalezas, Areti Ketime, Dimitris Basis, Gerasimos Andreatos, Christos Tsiamoulis, Chronis Aidonidis, Sofia Papazoglou, Giota Negka, Giannis Kotsiras, Giannis Charoulis, Orfeas Peridis and Aspasia Stratigou, gaining great acclaim from the press.
In difficult times, Estudiantina has managed to gain admirers and lots of friends, mainly among the younger generations.
Estudiantina ’s 20-year jubilee concert took place at the world famous Odeon of Herod Atticus and was attended by an audience of 5,000.
Estudiantina’s projects are not limited to concerts and recordings but extend to other fields including academic research, special publications, development of archives, and educational initiatives.
The discography of Estudiantina comprises more than 700 thousand copies released in Greece and abroad (18 cds).