Sistema Cyprus
Who are we?

Sistema Cyprus is a social-music orchestra and choir programme established in 2018. Sistema Cyprus offers music education to the children and young people of Cyprus, including migrants, refugees and children and young people with fewer opportunities, and ensures that these groups are respected, recognised, and included in the society.

Sistema Cyprus is inspired by the El Sistema social action music programme that was first founded in Venezuela in 1975. Through the formation of orchestras and choirs, El Sistema acts as a superb model, reaching children and young people to many of the world’s challenging neighbourhoods. El Sistema and other El Sistema inspired programs, like ours, offer free classical music education that gives children and youth with fewer opportunities all over the world the opportunity for personal development. Sistema Cyprus is focused on the personal development of its participants focusing primarily on empowerment and helping them in reaching their full potential.


Sistema Cyprus is a proud member of Sistema Europe. Founded in 2012, Sistema Europe is a network for all European Sistema and Sistema-inspired organisations and individuals aspiring to carry out activities true to the principles of Venezuela’s El Sistema.

Sistema Europe envisages children and young people from every section of European society reach their full potential. And, as part of the international Sistema movement, Sistema Europe assists the continent’s Sistema and Sistema-inspired programmes in positively transforming the lives of children, young people and their families in communities from every section of society through the practice of orchestral and ensemble music-making.

To find out more about Sistema Europe, its members, principles and recent events, visit the Sistema Europe website .

  • El Sistema is a social action music programme that was founded in Venezuela in 1975 by Maestro JosĂ© Antonio Abreu.
  • The programme in Venezuela offers musical ensemble participation from an early age according to a set of clear principles, which focus on intensive and joyful music making as a vehicle for social development. El Sistema particularly looks to offer opportunities for the disadvantaged and is based in local nucleo centres, and is thus a manifesation of, and rooted in, each local community.
  • The backbone of El Sistema training is participation in classical orchestral ensembles. However, choral singing, folk music, jazz and special needs programmes are all also featured and this diversity of ensembles and musical genres is of great importance.
  • Teaching sessions in Venezuela take place in the community nucleo three to four hours a day, six days a week. Students also get to take part in retreats and intensive workshops.
  • Participation is free for all students.
  • El Sistema Venezuela currently has dozens of orchestras and over 700,000 students, with plans to expand to 1,000,000.
Our team

Nikoletta Polydorou (PhD)

Nicole Polydorou Sistema Cyprus

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Nikoletta Polydorou is a Choir Conductor with a PhD in Music Education. Upon her return in Cyprus, she works as a Scientific Collaborator at European University Cyprus. She has also been the Director of the Music program at the Foundation of Cultural Creativity for Children and Youth in Larnaca (2011-2016).

Since 2011, Nikoletta is the Music Instructor of Faneromeni schools within the “Project for the Confrontation of School Failure and Functional Illiteracy in Education Priority Zones (ZEP)”. Through these years, she has established a good relationship with the Faneromeni community. She has the general supervision of Sistema Cyprus.

Myria Kkali (PhD)

Co-Founder & Communication and Management Officer

Myria is a young academic with a PhD in Marketing. Myria is the Academic Director of the Cyprus Institute of Marketing where she monitors academic curriculum as well as teaching quality levels. She is a lecturer in marketing, behavioural studies, global marketing as well as social marketing. Myria’s work experience in industry include media sales and customer relations. Myria’s business knowledge skills and links to the Cypriot business sector as well as her knowledge of social marketing are utilised in Sistema Cyprus in the efforts to acquire funds from the private sector, identifying stakeholders and the way in which they impact targets and goals set by Sistema Cyprus.

Apart from fund sourcing, Myria’s responsibilities include communications, PR and social marketing to ensure exposure of Sistema’s theory of change.

Petros  Stylianou

Petros Stylianou Sistema Cyprus

Co-Founder & Artistic Advisor

Petros Stylianou studied Symphonic and Operatic Conducting at the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory. Petros collaborated with various symphony orchestras in Russia, Germany, Greece and Cyprus, such as the Symphony Orchestra of Opera and Ballet Theatre of St. Petersburg State Conservatory, St Petersburg Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Greek Radio National Symphony Orchestra. He had his debut with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra in November 2016. Petros worked also as an Assistant Conductor at the Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra in various Symphonic and Operatic productions.

Petros has served as the Artistic Director of Sistema Cyprus between 2019-2020, before moving on to the position of Artistic Director of The Music Talent Development Programme (MTDP) at the University of Cyprus. He is now serving as the Artistic Advisor of Sistema Cyprus. 

Santiago Ossa Alzate

Artistic Director and Conductor

Santiago Ossa Alzate is a young Colombian conductor who studied at EAFIT University, his first steps in music was when he started in “La Red de Escuelas de Múisca de Medellín” There he has acquired the talent and love for music which has allowed him to travel in different countries such as, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Spain, conducting and playing with different groups which stand out, Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Amadeus, Orquesta Sinfónica de Antioquia, Orquesta Sinfónica de Caldas, Orquesta Sinfónica EAFIT, Camerata Antonio Soler and Orquesta Juvenil SODRE among other ensembles.

In 2019, he moved to Madrid, Spain, where he joined the “FundaciĂłn AcciĂłn Social por la MĂşsica” by teaching, conducting and volunteering.

Santiago has accepted the position of Artistic Director of Sistema Cyprus in September 2019 and has since resumed his duties in his new role. His responsibilities in Sistema Cyprus focus on the artistic supervision of the education aspect, rehearsals with the Orchestra, chamber groups, sectionals, working with soloists and choir and conduct general stage rehearsals and performances.  

Maria Kramvi

Programme Coordinator, Larnaca Nucleo

Maria Kramvi is a percussionist with a BMus degree from City University of London and holder of a Master degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance – MA in Performance and Education.

Maria did her first steps in orchestras with Cyprus Symphony Youth Orchestra at early age and until today she has been performed with various orchestras in Cyprus and overseas. Also her passion for education and social inclusion led her to a series of trainings in Greece and UK in order to become a World Voice Master Trainer, qualified by British Council. She also received training by the Musicians Without Borders. 

At Sistema Cyprus, Maria is the Programme Coordinator of Larnaca Nucleo and leader of community music workshops at the shelters of unaccompanied refugee minors in collaboration with Hope for Children.

Marios Antoniou, PhD

Marios-Antoniou Sistema Cyprus

Grants and Educational Programmes Officer 

Marios is a teacher, a scholar and an activist who believes that access to good education contributes to the reduction of poverty, the increase of opportunity for a better quality of life and the strengthening of a civil society that lays the foundation for the creation of peaceful democracies. He finds inspiration in the beauty of cultural diversity and teaches about the necessity of openness to cultural understanding and the promotion of inter-culturalism. He earned his Ph.D. in Education from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has previously worked as a Research Associate at the Open University of Cyprus, as the Director of Grants and Educational Programs at Teachers2Teachers-International and taught at UNC’s Curriculum in Global Studies.

At Sistema Cyprus, Marios contributes to the program’s pedagogical design, assesses its impact, takes a lead on grant proposal writing and has fun.

  • About us


”I would teach children music, physics and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning”


Contact Us


    "Let us reveal to our children the beauty of music, and music shall reveal to our children the beauty of life" - José Antonio Abreu, Founder of El SIstema 

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