The Wind Ensemble Laboratory (PN.O.E.S.) of the Department of Music Science and Art, University of Macedonia, in collaboration with the “Hellenic Philharmonic Society” and the “Friends of Nikos Astrinidis Association” are organizing the 6th International Conference of Hellenic Symphonic Bands titled “Wind Ensembles: historical retrospect, journey and transition in times of pandemic” in the city of Thessaloniki, between 25 and 27 of June 2021.


2021 will be a turning point regarding the function of symphonic bands, various wind ensembles, and the instructional methods for wind and percussion instruments in general. The existing pandemic has greatly influenced (and will continue to do so, perhaps indefinitely) many of the traditional structures and modus operandi of all these ensembles (personalized and ensemble instruction, rehearsals, concerts & performances, recording sessions, interaction with the audience, technological challenges, public health mandates, etc.). Additionally, 2021 coincides with the anniversary of two pivotal events that have defined the history and evolution of wind music in Greece: the start of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire (200 years) and the birth of Nikos Astrinidis (1921-2010, 100 years). During the Greek Revolution, wind ensembles from abroad were introduced for the first time in Greek music life, and they were gradually merged into Greek culture. Although in some regions of Greece this dissemination had started way earlier (Ionian islands) or was delayed for some 100 years or even more (Northern Greece, Dodecanese), their activities greatly influenced the country’s music and musical life.

In Thessaloniki, one of these ensembles is the Thessaloniki Municipality Wind Orchestra, where Nikos Astrinidis, the internationally acclaimed composer, pianist, and conductor, served for many years as artistic director and conductor. His artistic magnitude influenced not only the development of the Orchestra itself but also the music for wind ensembles in the city in a broader sense.

The purpose of the Conference is to illustrate the problems as well as the prospects in the era of COVID-19, especially regarding the performance and instruction of wind and percussion instruments in both individual and ensemble settings, the history of wind music from 1821 to the present time and Nikos Astrinidis’ contributions as composer and conductor of symphonic bands. Due to public health considerations and governmental limitations regarding gatherings, the Conference Committee has decided to focus thematically on wind ensembles and not, as is usually the case, on wind bands. However, papers and performance presentations can refer to topics relating to ensembles of any size.

Based on the above framework the main subjects of the 6th Conference are as follows:

  • Wind Ensembles: history, modern instructional methods, scientific & artistic approaches.
  • Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles in Greece and Cyprus from the Greek Revolution to the present time: historical evidence, repertoire, composers, conductors, traditions.
  • Nikos Astrinidis as a composer and conductor of Wind Ensembles: repertoire, analysis, spread, and permeation of his work.
  • Wind Ensembles at the time of pandemic: personal and public health considerations.
  • Wind Ensembles at the time of pandemic: limitations and prospects based on technological advancements.

Conference official languages are English and Greek.

Due to the current pandemic limitations, the conference will take place in two ways, namely remotely

and in-person, as follows:

  • The academic part of the conference (papers, round-table discussions) will take place exclusively virtually through appropriate online meeting platforms. Interested parties are encouraged to submit their proposals for papers to a maximum of 20’ presentations, with a summary of no more than 250 words and a biographical note of no more than 150 words. Those proposals in Greek language that are selected, will need to be additionally submitted (abstract and CV), at a later stage, in English (see for announcements).
  • Proposals for round-table discussions have to be submitted with a summary of 450 words and with the biographical notes (up to 150 words) for each participant in the discussion. The duration for a round-table discussion cannot exceed 60’. Note that round-table proposals are not closed. For example, an open proposal on a specific subject may be submitted for discussion by at least one (1) participant; other conferrers may declare to participate. The Scientific Committee, after the submission deadline, may also decide to group related proposals into a single round table discussion.
  • The artistic part of the conference (workshops, concerts) will take place in-person for the students and ensembles of the Department of Music Science and Art in appropriately designated spaces in and around campus and will be live-streamed to any conference participant wishing to attend a performance. Conference participants who are on campus can attend in-person any performance/workshop of their choice by adhering to public health protocols for social distancing that might be in effect at the time of the conference. In addition, the artistic aspect of the conference is open for virtual performances to any other ensemble, after submitting a relevant request form, stating the name of the ensemble and the exact concert program.
  • The performing forces and relevant limitations are as follows:
    • For live, in-person performances a minimum of 6 and maximum of 12 performers.
    • For virtual and remote performances* a minimum of 6 with no limitation upwards.

* If accepted, remote (virtual) ensembles must submit their recorded performance(s) of a maximum duration of 20’, along with the program notes and performers’ names, to be included in the Conference program. Specific instructions will be sent out to all successful applicants (ensembles). Concert programs may (although it is not obligatory) be related to the conference’s subjects.

  • The Conference organizing committee reserves the right to alter the requirements of participation based on existing Public Health mandates at the time and leading up to the conference date.

Final deadline for all submissions has been extended to Sunday, March 21st, 2021, 11:59’ pm (UTC +2). Please submit electronically at:

Announcements and updates regarding the Conference will be posted on Facebook:

The final selection of proposals (papers, round-tables, concerts) and the final program will be completed and announced on Sunday, April 11th, 2021 until midnight.

Scientific Committee: Athanasios Zervas Yannis Miralis Evangelia Kikou Rhodell Fields Christos Pouris

Artistic Committee: Katrin Annette-Zenz Miltiadis Moumoulidis Anastasios Vasileiadis Vasilios Mantoudis Pantelis Feizos Michael Karanikos Dimitris Gogas Konstantinos Vavalas

Organizing Committee: Yannis Koukas Spiros Rouvas Panagio Karamouzi Fotis Sakalis Apostolos Bogianos

Audio-visual coverage of all proceedings will take place with the support of the Laboratory of Sound & Video Technology (ARTS-Lab) of the Department of Music Science and Art, University of Macedonia.
Conference proceedings will be published in electronic format (pdf).

PN.O.E.S. will retain copies of all video performances for archival purposes.
Dr. Kostis Hassiotis, Professor and Director of the “Laboratory for Wind Ensembles, PNOES”, is the overall artistic and organizing coordinator of the conference.

More information:

Call for participation
Submission extension