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Promoting the Bagpipe Revival since 1986

The Bagpipe Society

Symposion over one year on

Autumn 2019 brought another trip to Santorini, a visit to the Symposion Music and Mythology Cultural Centre and a welcome opportunity to catch up with progress. I am very pleased to report that the project is going from strength to strength. Yannis and Argy are very happy with developments and are brimming with enthusiasm for the next stages.

One of the highlights had occurred earlier in the year when they ran a series of musical presentations to groups of school children (age 8+) from every school on the island. This was so popular, the presentation was modified and successfully opened up to under 8s. It also brought in and engaged parents who were curious to learn what was enthusing their children. The local community is very supportive and increasingly aware of traditional instruments and their music. Yannis now has his first apprentice tsabouna player, George, a talented young musician who, having first been captivated by Yannis’ playing two years ago, now has lessons and at the tender age of 8 is hoping to move on from the simple reed pipe (monotsambouna) to the tsabouna and has already asked Yannis to make him one. We may have a future Blowout performer here…

Symposion is now becoming a well-established tourist attraction, bringing an increased number of visitors, many of whom seeking it out as a destination in its own right, rather than the casual visitors they used to receive at La Ponta. Yannis’ well deserved reputation as a musician continues to grow. Among other projects, he has been accepted as a master artist on the “Vacation with an Artist” programme ( and an Erasmus sponsored Traditional Skills and Crafts project, which further raises Symposion’s profile and will generate funds for future developments of the site.

A visit to Symposion is always a rewarding experience: Yannis and Argy are the perfect hosts, who have a great affection for the Bagpipe Society and you are guaranteed a warm welcome.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally submitted at the end of last year and has been held back due to space limitations. We hope that the current situation does not impact negatively on Yannis’s and Argy’s hard work in the long term and that Symposion will continue to thrive.

J-Antonio Constenla