Nikolaos Halikiopoulos Mantzaros 1795 –1872) was a Greek composer born in Corfu and the major representative of the Ionian School of music. He was of mixed Greek and Italian noble descent, from one of the most important and wealthy families of the “Libro d’Oro” di Corfu.
He was taught music in his native city by the brothers Stefano (pianoforte) and Gerolamo Pojago (violin), Stefano Moretti from Ancona (music theory) and cavalliere Barbati, possibly a Neapolitan (music theory and composition). Mantzaros presented his first compositions (three concert or substitute arias and the one-act azione comica Don Crepuscolo) in 1815 in the theatre of San Giacomo of Corfu.
His most popular composition remains the musical setting for the poem of Dionysios Solomos’ Ýmnos eis tīn Eleutherían (Hymn to Liberty, 1829–1830), the first and second stanzas of which were adopted initially in 1864 as the Royal Anthem of Greece and on 28 June 1865 as the Greek national anthem.
The Museum honours Nikolaos Mantzaros and portrays the history of the Philharmonic Society founded in 1840, of which Mantzaros was the first director. Exhibits include old musical instruments, photographs, scores and rare early recordings.
The museum is housed on the first floor of the Old Philarmonic Society’s building on Nikiforou Theotoki street, behind the Liston complex.