In 2010, Chiona Xanthopoulou-Schwarz and Dr. Kurt Schwarz founded the Samos Young Artists Festival on the island of Samos, one of the largest islands in Greece. It has been inhabited for many thousands of years and has experienced a turbulent history. This is partially because of the island's geographical location between Europe and Asia.
Tension and diverse influences over many centuries have contributed to the development of an especially fertile intellectual and artistic atmosphere. Philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras discovered the foundation of the tonal system in music here; Aesop told his well-known fables here; the historian Herodotus, as well as Epicurus and the pre-Socratic philosophers, also lived on Samos.
It is thus natural to revive this intellectual heritage in a new form today. Globalization, the new definition of religions and cultures and the increasing influx of refugees encourage us to think. Present-day questions can be analytically reflected on by considering historical traditions; we can also use the latter as stimulus for our day and age.
One of the initiators' intentions is to bring young artists and interested concert audiences to the island annually in order to spotlight this special place. Young musicians from throughout the world are invited to come to Samos for two weeks in August and give concerts in the antique theater of Samos during the festival. They also have the opportunity to exchange experiences with one another. People from many nations work together intensively during this time. Their common language is music.
The festival is shaped each year by an artistic director whose task is to draw up the program and select the musicians who perform.
The festival maintains its independence because it is exclusively financed by private donations, local organizations and associations.