The Ionian Islands developed musical tradition, mostly as a result of their long association with the Republic of Venice. The town of Corfu has three “Philharmonics”, the older of which, called “Palaia” (the Elder), is the “Corfu Philharmonic Society”, established in 1840. Nicolaos Mantzaros, the composer of the Greek National Anthem, was its first Artistic Director. Teaching of music theory and practice in all instruments by professional musicians is made available free of charge to over 350 students every year. Presently it has also formed a symphonic orchestra and created in its seat, on Nikiforou Theotoki street, an interesting Musical Museum.
Two more musical societies with similar scopes and activities were established in the town: The “Mantzaros Philharmonic Society”, founded in 1890 and the “Kapodistrias Philharmonic Union”, in 1980.