Keeping the Flag Flying...

Keeping the Flag Flying...

Thursday, 31 July 2008

John Psathas' Olympiad XXVIII, based on his Athens 2004 Opening Ceremony Music to be premiered by NZ Symphony Orchestra in Beijing

NZ Symphony Orchestra To Appear At Olympic Cultural Festival In Beijing

22nd July 2008 From NZ Musician

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has been invited to perform at the Olympic Cultural Festival in Beijing as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Performances will include John Psathas' Olympic Music (based on his 2004 Athens opening ceremony music), and Gareth Farr's Te Papa (incorporating a karanga and featuring Deborah Wai-Kapohe as soprano soloist). More

Olympiad XXVIII - August, 29 2008 at Forbidden City Beijing
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra gives the world premiere of Psathas’ "Olympiad XXVIII" - a new suite of symphonic arrangements based on his music for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Athens 2004 Olympics Games

About John Psathas

It was with a great sense of pride that we found out that Greek New Zealander John Psathas' music was a major part of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies - definitely a highlight of John’s career to date.

John commuted several times between Wellington and Athens to work on the music and supervise the rehearsal process. His music included a number of fanfares and processionals to accompany the arrival of the IOC President, the lighting of the Olympic cauldron and preceded the Olympic oaths, and he was responsible for the soundtrack to the entire flame sequence of the ceremony.

John also arranged the National Anthem of Greece, the Olympic Hymn and music by Shostakovich, Debussy and the foremost living Greek Composer Mikis Theodorakis that accompanied other parts of the ceremony. Watch the Cauldron Lighting at the Opening Ceremony for one of John's adaptations

John Psathas is not only one of New Zealand's most frequently performed composers, he is also one of the finest and most talented of the younger generation of composers in New Zealand.

His music is heard regularly on the world's concert stages, and has been performed by Michael Brecker, Joshua Redman, Evelyn Glennie, Pedro Carneiro, Federico Mondelci, Michael Houstoun, and many fine ensembles.

John was born in
Wellington and grew up in Taumaranui and Napier. His parents, Emmanuel and Anastasia, have since returned to live in the family town of Michaniona in Northern Greece,. Today John lectures at the Victoria University School of Music but visits Greece regularly both for personal and professional reasons. Apart from his numerous visits to Greece in preparation for the Olympics, in December of 2006, he gave a series of concerts in Cyprus and in Patras, which was the Cultural Capital of Europe that year.

Some of John's most recent compositions are View from Olympus, which he wrote while on Sabbatical in Greece and stayed at the top of New Zealand's classical charts for 5 months, and ‘Zembekiko’, an entire programme of Greek music celebrating the heritage of Greek music from Antiquity to the present day. (John Psathas Brochure)

Although his music has been performed at the Megaron (Athens Concert Hall) in the past and will be performed again in October this year, we hope very soon to see one of John’s Greek-inspired works either ‘View from Olympus’ or 'Zembekiko' performed at the Herodeion or at the Megaron!!


  • Awarded the 2002 SouNZ Contemporary Award for View From Olympus
  • Named an Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation in 2003.
  • His album Rhythm Spike was BEST CLASSICAL ALBUM 2000, and Fragments BEST CLASSICAL ALBUM - 2004, in the NZ MUSIC AWARDS.
  • At Victoria University School of Music he is nurturing a new generation of composers.
  • The NZ Herald named him as a contender for New Zealander of the Year 2004.
  • He was awarded Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the 2005 list for his services to music.

Upcoming performances of John’s music in Greece

October, 20 2008 at Megaron Mousikis, Athens
"Helix" to be performed as part of the Greek Composers Series

More About John Psathas

John's Official Website

John Psathas at Wikipedia

John's My Space

View from Olympus

John’s Music Videos on You Tube

1 comment:


what a career! and of course, all the best to him!