Our mission

Inspired by the philosophy and innovative methodology of El Sistema in Venezuela, El Sistema Greece spreads music across the region of Athens: Skaramagkas Refugee Camp, Elaionas Refugee Camp, Apostoli NGO at Moschato, and Malliaras School in Alimos are the main nucleos where El Sistema Greece currently operates. Our headquarters are located at Kypselis 62, in the multicultural and vibrant Kypseli neighbourhood. Here, we have 250 square meters dedicated to free music lessons for choir, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, french horn and percussion.

Also, we offer more music classes in several locations in the center of Athens in collaboration with the organizations Elix, Zeuxis and International Organization of Migration (IOM) and we are developing programs in other refugee camps and community centers in Athens, as well as starting a new collaboration in Thessaloniki.

During the first year of El Sistema Greece, 2016-2017, we offered 380 hours of choir and violin classes. In 2017-2018, we managed to offer 1,099 hours of choir, violin, cello and viola classes. In 2018-2019, we added lessons for trumpet and french horn to our weekly schedule for a total of 1834 hours in the year. Over 1,5000 children and youth between the ages of 5 and 26 have had access to El Sistema tuition since the programme started.


380 hours

2017-218 2018-2019

1099 hours 1834 hours


Our principles

Our work is about bringing people together, no matter their religions or origins.


We work with local teachers and a pedagogical coordinator. We collaborate with the NGOs currently present in the camps, as well as with the official authorities in Greece and major cultural institutions. All our translators belong to local refugee communities.


We take international composers, teachers and artists to work with our students and to support our teachers. The most updated techniques and practices can help us pursue our mission and to shape an innovative pedagogy.


Integrating refugees with young Greek musicians as well as children from migrant communities with long-term residence in Greece since 2016.


“In its essence, the orchestra and the choir are much more than artistic structures. They are examples and schools of social life, because to sing and to play together means to intimately coexist toward perfection and excellence, following a strict discipline of organization and coordination in order to seek the harmonic interdependence of voices and instruments.

That’s how they build a spirit of solidarity and fraternity among them, develop their self-esteem, and foster the ethical and aesthetical values related to the music in all its sense. This is why music is immensely important.”

Maestro José Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema (1939 – 2018)

Jose Antonio Abreu_ El Sistema

Our ambassadors

Joyce DiDonato

Il Pomo d’Oro

We believe that il pomo d’oro, a typical group of ‘musical migrants’ with many different nationalities, is a perfect ambassador of the el sistema idea, and we see it as our heartfelt responsibility to help with what we know best: music. We contribute to El Sistema Greece as a group by giving concerts and workshops and as individuals by providing instrumental lessons and tutoring.

In June 2018, Il Pomo d'Oro orchestra returned to the Skaramagkas refugee camp to give courses and masterclasses as part of El Sistema Greece. They have been ambassadors of the project since its beginning. Watch a video from their latest residence.