The Athens Conservatoire is among the oldest foundations for music and drama education in Greece. It was founded in 1871 and during its thriving course of history can boast about its long list of famous alumni, including Spyros Samaras, Dimitiris Mitropoulos, Nick Skalkotas, Maria Callas, Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis and Dimitris Sgouros. The Athens Conservatoire has also originated major musical and drama organisations, such as the Athens State Orchestra
and the National Theatre of Greece
, along with its acclaimed School of Byzantine Music.