Summer Nostos Festival: June 21-28, 2020

February 17, 2020

ATHENS – A week for us all to look forward to! Eight captivating, creative, and carefree days in June to feed our minds, bodies, and souls.

The SNF Conference on “Humanity and Artificial Intelligence,” featuring speakers such as Stuart Russel and Nikolas Christakis, will stimulate our minds and expand our horizons. The now-classic SNF RUN: Running to the Future will test our endurance and our dedication. Visual events and installations will engage our senses and our imagination. Concerts with renowned international artists, such as Burna Boy, will invigorate us with their power and vibrancy. These magical June days are, as always, free and open to everybody.

The Summer Nostos Festival welcomes the new decade enthusiastically, full of optimism and energy. From June 21 to 28, 2020, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, pioneering artists, researchers, and thinkers invite us to participate in a world of ideas, opinions, collaborations, activities, performances, and film screenings.

The Summer Nostos Festival takes place through the exclusive support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), in collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).

The ninth annual SNF Conference, dedicated to the topic of Humanity and Artificial Intelligence, will take place from June 22 to 23, 2020.

Every new technology we develop brings not only scientific, but also ethical discovery. From the alphabet to the telescope, from the internet to the gene sequencer, each new invention recasts our understanding of ourselves and of our place in the world, provoking new answers to the eternal question: how, then, shall we live?

As longstanding dreams of Artificial Intelligence (AI) become reality, they will touch every part of the human experience. And so, we ask, how will AI reshape what it means to be human in the decades to come? Can we put AI’s power to work for everyone? Will AI liberate us from the drudgery of needless labor? Or will it further enrich a few at the expense of the many? How will AI augment humanity’s thinking and creativity? How can we keep AI from learning the wrong lessons about us? And how might AI and humanity ultimately co-evolve together?

The SNF Conference will bring together a thoughtfully curated lineup of AI innovators, leaders, critics, iconoclasts, artists, and experts in law, medicine, science, and the humanities drawn from around the world, for an unconventional dialogue about AI—one that puts humanity at the center. We will ask questions from many perspectives and disciplines to expand the usual dialogue on what may yet be humanity’s most powerful creation.

Invited speakers include computer scientist and AI pioneer Stuart Russell, author of Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control; leading journalist, author, and entrepreneur Krista Tippett; Google Senior Scientist Blaise Aguera y Arcas; former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd; celebrated science fiction author Ted Chiang; Director of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi; Greek-American sociologist and physician Nicholas Christakis; AI anthropologist Madeleine Elish; philosopher Sean Kelly; MIT AI researcher Karthik Dinakar; humanitarian futurist Aarathi Krishnan; accelerating futures researcher Azeem Azhar; chess legend and political activist Garry Kasparov; Founder and Lab Director of the Interactive Robots and Media Lab Nikolaos Mavridis; and many others.

The SNF Conference will be accompanied by performances and interactive installations, including Ηarshit Agrawal’s (author)rise, and Lauren Lee McCarthy’s The Changing Room(author)rise is a handwriting system where the hand acts as a surrogate for an AI to write out its thoughts, the tip of the pen attracted by a magnet on a plotter below the paper. The Changing Room is a custom software installation and performance where participants get to browse and select one of hundreds of emotions, which is then evoked in them and everyone present through a layered environment of light, visuals, sound, text, and interaction exhibited over the entire space.

The third annual SNF Agora Institute Workshop will take place as part of SNF’s DIALOGUES series on June 24, 2020, under the title “Technology and Democracy:  Reimagining Connections and Borders.”

SNF RUN: Running into the Future 

The SNF RUN: Running into the Future evening race, will take place as part of the SNFestival for the sixth consecutive year. On Olympic Day, June 23, thousands of runners will run from the center of Athens to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The race includes a 6k and 10k run, as well as 1k run for Special Olympics athletes. The SNF RUN will again be sending out a powerful message about charity. Runners can choose to contribute to the work of nonprofit organizations by offering a voluntary donation, to which SNF will add a double match of each runner’s contribution, thereby tripling the overall amount donated.

Burna Boy: With consistently sold out concerts and powerful collaborations, rising Nigerian star Burna Boy has created his own brand of Afro-fusion music, a combination of Afrobeat, dancehall, hip-hop, and R&B. He is coming to Greece for the first time for a one-of-a-kind appearance at the SNFestival. (21/6)
Clean Bandit (DJ set): Continuing crossover success with a diverse blend of electronic, dancehall, classical, R&B, and pop, the well-known British band’s Luke Patterson is coming to Athens for the first time for a unique DJ set. (23/6)
Caribou: A multi-talented musician with a penchant for reinvention, Dan Snaith is without a doubt one of the most important pop auteurs of the last ten years. He returns in February 2020 with a new album, Suddenly, and boasts an impressive full-band audio-visual live show. (24/6)

Cut Copy: This Australian band that knows how to party returns to the stage in Europe. The four-member electro-pop group plays dance music that does exactly what it says on the tin—gets crowds moving to the beat. (26/6)

Ed O’Brien: The Radiohead guitarist will release his debut solo album Earth in mid-April, featuring impressive collaborations with musicians such as Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, Portishead’s Adrian Utley, and fellow Radiohead member Colin Greenwood. (24/6)

The Casbah Club: Artist and musician Paul Simonon (The Clash, The Good, the Bad & the Queen) and composer, keyboard player, and remixer Dan Donovan (Big Audio Dynamite, Dreadzone, and The Sisters of Mercy) together create a DJ partnership, The Casbah Club. They’ll take the audience through an electrifying session of rare classics on vinyl, from Jamaican Dub to Rock ‘n’ Roll, Parisian Beat Girls, Garage, and Northern Soul. (22/6)

My Brightest Diamond: Shara Nova, a classically trained singer and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, is returning to Greece as The Brightest Diamond. Highly independent music that resists convention by combining rock, pop art, and chamber music into an entirely distinctive sound is at the heart of her latest album, A Million And One, in which Shara Nova rediscovered herself. (25/6)

The Irrepressibles: As we await the release of their latest album, Superheroes, coming out in mid-March, Jamie Irrepressible and his art-pop ensemble will treat the SNFestival audience to their new work, as part of their international tour. (21/6)

DJ Spooky (DJ set): Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, is a composer, multimedia artist, and author whose work immerses the audience in a mix of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. Miller has collaborated with artists including Metallica, Chuck D, Steve Reich, and Yoko Ono. (25/6)

Fotini Velessiotou: With her distinctive voice, Fotini Velessiotou moves audiences by singing unforgettable old laika—urban folk—songs and tunes by much-loved Greek composers. (25/6)

MEΛISSES & Friends: After ten years on the music scene, dozens of awards, collaborations with more than 20 musicians from all musical genres, and over a thousand live performances, MEΛISSES have proven that in music, nothing is off limits. (26/6)

Elena Paparizou: With a career in music spanning 20 years, more than ten solo albums, dozens of radio hits, numerous awards in Greece and abroad, and countless sold-out performances, Elena Paparizou has left her mark on the history of Greek pop music. (27/6)

Michalis Hatzigiannis: Popular Greek artist Michalis Hatzigiannis will light up a summer evening with his hits and his most tender songs in a special show for the Summer Nostos Festival accompanied by a string ensemble. (23/6)

Petros Klampanis: Now is a bridge between different musical paradigms, as Petros Klampanis brings together on stage Greek traditional musicians and other musicians from all over the world. (22/6)
The World of Blues: Sounds from every corner of the world take us on a journey through the blues, a genre known for distinctive, authentic expression of human passions. Performing individually, then all together in a jam session, will be Malian Mandingo musician Boubacar Traore, American bluesman Corey Harris, Portuguese Fado singer Katia Guerreiro, maloya musician and poet Danyel Waro from Reunion, rembetiko musician Dimitris Mystakidis from Greece, and traditional folk Kurdish singer Aynur Dogan from Turkey. (27/6)

Alloy Orchestra: A screening of Fritz Lang’s iconic sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis will be accompanied by live music from the U.S.-based Alloy Orchestra, a three-man musical ensemble that writes and performs live accompaniment to classic silent films. (23/6)

Wordless Music Orchestra, Athens State Orchestra, & Sofia National Philharmonic Choir: A screening of Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey will be accompanied by live music from the remarkable joint forces of Wordless Music Orchestra, Athens State Orchestra and Sofia National Philharmonic Choir. (24/6)

A night of Gabriel Prokofiev with Ergon Ensemble: Contemporary music ensemble Ergon invites Russian-British composer, producer, and DJ Gabriel Prokofiev to a club night with a twist. (26/6)

Theodore & Athens Academica Orchestra: Combining classical composition with electronic elements to create beautiful, atmospheric, and often cinematic pieces, Theodore’s sound is characterized by contrasts that cover a wide auditory range. A distinctive mix of influences allows him to range widely, from the melancholic to the classical and on to post-rock, stirring together ethereal melodies in a cauldron of psychedelic sounds. (26/6)

Philip Glass’s Etudes for Solo Piano, Book 1: Nos. 1-10 with Nikos Laaris: Philip Glass sought to expand his technical range through these compositions for solo piano. Pianist Nikos Laaris will transport us through the wide range of dynamics, rhythms, and emotions that characterize Glass’s piano etudes, with direction and visuals by Dimitris Delinikolas and animation by George Seraphim. (27/6)

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra & Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra: Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) is one of the oldest youth orchestras in the U.S. and has presented numerous concerts and traveled to more than 20 countries around the world. At the SNFestival, PYO will present works by Brahms, Weber and Tchaikovsky together with members of the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the music direction of Louis Scaglione. (27/6)


William Kentridge, Waiting for the Sibyl / The Moment Has Gone: World premiere of the new double bill. Two works by William Kentridge offer an evening of visual and aural alchemy unlike anything else in theater. The 43-minute chamber opera Waiting for the Sibyl and the 18-minute film with live score The Moment Has Gone comprise a singular program of the South African artist’s work. The Summer Nostos Festival will proudly host the world premiere of this double bill. (21-22/6)

Beth Corning, Just Human: An SNFestival original commission. Award-winning American choreographer and creator of the critically acclaimed The Glue Factory Project Beth Corning has created Just Human especially for the Summer Nostos Festival. Using motion and theater techniques, four dancers explore, from a “mature and experienced” point of view, the most vital and basic needs of humankind and how AI might meet or not meet these basic needs. (22/6)
Apostolia Papadamaki, The Breathing Wave: An experimental, site-specific, participatory dance performance inspired by systems of self-organization that exist in nature, like molecules, crystals, cells, plants, and animal and human societies. Every individual element draws from the power of the collective and contributes to it. (23/6)

ETHEL: ART INTEL: In this 60-minute audiovisual performance on AI, audience members shape an integrated musical composition and visual elements in real time through their mobile phones, becoming co-creators of the experience with the performers. (25/6)

Kaki King, DATA NOT FOUND: Drawing on ideas of research and data interpretation, this contemporary audiovisual journey directed by Annie Dorsen investigates the role that vast volumes of data, primarily personal data, play in our lives—what this might look like and how it might sound. (23/6)

Dance Crossroads: Daphnis Kokkinos, a choreographer-dancer and close associate of the legendary Pina Bausch, presents stunning works featuring dancers from Kenya, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, and Korea. (28/6)


Lars Jan & Stavros Gasparatos, LAPSE: An SNFestival original commission. Two young and prominent artists, Lars Jan and Stavros Gasparatos, collaborate to produce an audiovisual installation for the SNFestival. LAPSE takes the audience on a journey of image and sound that collapses time and distance. (All days)

ARTWORKS: Young Greek artists from the second cycle of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation ARTWORKS Fellowship Program showcase their work at Stavros Niarchos Park, in a group show curated by Christoforos Marinos. Additionally, Fellows whose practice is in dance and choreography will move around the SNFCC offering glimpses of their work. ARTWORKS is a nonprofit organization established in 2017 through a founding grant from SNF. It aims to create a fertile and nurturing environment for Greek artists through opportunities for funding and public engagement, and it has so far supported 140 artists: visual artists, cinematographers, curators, dancers and choreographers. (All days)

Selected Shorts is a series of classic and contemporary fiction readings by esteemed actors from the worlds of film, theater and comedy, including Kathleen Chalfant, Sam Underwood, and Valorie Curry. (22, 23, 24/6)

A lineup of films and a documentary showcase the many different faces of humanity and artificial intelligence, exploring the boundaries of their current and possible future relationship. (21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28/6)


This year, Nostos University presents ‘Winning Strategies – How to Learn and Compete in the Age of Technology’, featuring chess, mathematics, and a pop-up escape room!

Nostos University – Families: Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player of all time, and Judit Polgar, the greatest female chess player of all time, join us for a historic series of on-stage conversations in which they share their insights about strategy, competition, education and technology. Our host is John Urschel, a former American football star with the Baltimore Ravens and mathematician, who LOVES chess! All four nights will include interactive demonstrations and chess stunts, games and activities for the whole family. (21, 22, 23, 24/6)
Nostos University – Children & Students of all ages: Two exciting programs, curated by Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), will be sure to attract young math fans. Math communicator Katie Steckles gives a workshop on toys that can be made by folding and cutting paper, and invites kids to solve some of the greatest unsolved puzzles in mathematics. (25, 26/6) And the Lab of Theoretical Mathematics-University of Crete presents an escape room that challenges young students to work together as a team to solve brain-busting math and logic puzzles. Will they be able to get out on time? Come on over and find out! (27, 28/6)


Circus Cosmos Variety Hour: Comedian Giorgos Xatzipavlou and magician Mark Mitton kick off the family events at the Summer Nostos Festival in style, with an exciting and innovative variety show featuring top circus stars and cutting-edge entertainers from around the world, and lots of comedy! This showcase of extraordinary humans is for all ages. (21/6)

Circus Outdoors: The Agora and the Great Lawn will light up every night with shows starring a changing cast of circus performers. Hang out and prepare to laugh and be amazed when you see their incredible talents. Maybe you will be part of the show too! (All days)

Circus Workshops: Kids of all ages are invited each evening to discover their inner circus artist. Come and learn new juggling techniques, hula hoop or wire-walking, and increase your coordination, dexterity, balance and strength. Wear comfortable clothing and have fun! (All days)

The Travels of Babar: Inspired by the immensely popular children’s book series, which has been translated into dozens of languages, New York-based composer Raphael Mostel created this chamber music work that has been performed more than 60 times in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The performance will be conducted by Nikos Tsouchlos. (21, 22, 23/6)

Circa, The Carnival of the Animals: The Carnival of the Animals takes us on an exciting circus adventure inspired by the musical story of the same name by composer Camille Saint-Saens. Circa acrobats bring one of the most famous children’s musical compositions to life on stage and enrapture a new generation of circus, music, and animal lovers. (25, 26, 27, 28/6)

Sports and Entertainment Activities: Dozens of spaces in Stavros Niarchos Park will come alive with sports and entertainment activities for kids and families. Balance and aiming games, sport familiarity building, a climbing wall, kayaking on the Canal, dance, environmental activities, and STEAM workshops are only a sample of the rich mosaic of programs for kids organized in collaboration with the nonprofit Regeneration & Progress. (All days)


LONDON - "I am excited to visit this place and I can't wait for it to be officially opened," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday in his greeting at an event held by the Embassy of Greece in London to mark the creation of the "Seferis Office" and the "Roderick Beaton Reading Room".

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