About John Psathas

NZ-Greek composer John Psathas shot to worldwide attention when his music was heard by more than a billion people during the Ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games. Since then he has been continually commissioned and performed by top musicians around the globe. He has achieved international success unprecedented for a NZ composer, his music having moved concert audiences in more than 50 countries on all 7 continents, even Antarctica. He is also considered one of the three most important living composers of the Greek Diaspora.

One striking element in his work is the scope and sheer variety of his collaborations. Such as, a Billboard classical chart-topping album with System of a Down front man Serj Tankian, feature-film scores, collaboration with the Grand Mufti in Paris’s Grand Mosque, jazz projects with luminaries Michael Brecker and Joshua Redman, and collaborating on an e-book project with Salman Rushdie. There are few composers who cross the boundaries of musical genres to such an extent and with such ongoing success.

His music emerges from a dazzling 21st century backdrop, where dynamic collaboration with creative masters from all corners of the physical and artistic globe result in outcomes that are visionary, and moving. Early collaborations included working with such luminaries as Sir Mark Elder, Kristjan Jarvi, the Takacs Quartet, Lara St. John, the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, Evelyn Glennie, Pedro Carneiro, Halle Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexej Gerassimez, and Michael Burritt. Then followed a period of intense exploration in electronica and jazz, followed by a series of mega-projects. All of which has led to collaborations with artists from dozens of musical traditions spanning Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Australasia.

Percussion has always been a strong feature of Psathas’ output, with a current schedule of new percussion commissions from many of the world’s top players.