John Psathas appointed to Emeritus Professor

Congratulations to Professor John Psathas who has been awarded the status of Emeritus Professor at the New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

John Psathas

Professor Psathas has been a member of the Victoria University of Wellington community for 34 years, beginning as an undergraduate student in 1984 when he joined the piano performance programme and studied composition through to Master’s level.

Following a period in the United States and Belgium, Professor Psathas returned to Wellington in 1994 and took a job as a teaching assistant in the music department at Victoria University. In 1997 he became a lecturer, and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2002, Associate Professor three years later and, in 2010, he was promoted to Professor.

Professor Psathas has created an impressive and diverse body of work. He is widely considered one of the three most important living composers of the Greek diaspora. His music is commissioned and performed by many of the best musicians and orchestras around the world.

Professor Psathas is renowned for his music for the 2004 Athens Olympics. This music was broadcast to a worldwide audience of more than a billion people. In recognition of his Olympic composition, he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004.

His music has become standard repertoire in Europe, the United States and Asia. Music students around the world study his work, and it is regularly performed in international competitions.

“I’m thrilled to receive the status of Emeritus Professor, and actively continue the relationship with Victoria University of Wellington. I consider it a great honour and am very much looking forward to participating in graduate supervision and the future developments of the New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī,” says Professor Psathas.

Professor Psathas is stepping down from his current role at the NZSM at the end of the year, to pursue other projects.