"There is no doubt that the vibrancy and organic energy that arises from John's music brings the performers and audience together as one unit - we all jump on the same ride and end up having an amazing journey! John's craftsmanship creates extremes in every sense and for that one cannot categorize his music - he truly manages to communicate with all people".Dame Evelyn Glennie 2006"One of the principal glories of the film is the score by John Psathas, in which genuine sweep and poetry are combined with affectionate send-ups of Ennio Morricone. It would be a major achievement for an experienced film composer; as a first film score, it's... little short of astonishing."Jim Svejda, 2011, quote on the John's score for the movie Good For Nothing"

John Psathas (b1966) is a freelance composer and Professor of composition at the New Zealand School of Music, living in Wellington New Zealand. His music has achieved a level of international success unprecedented in New Zealand history, and his concert works are performed regularly on the international stage by some of the world's top musicians. These include, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Joanna MacGregor, The Halle Orchestra, Michael Brecker, Joshua Redman, Kristjan Jarvi, Sir Mark Elder, Pedro Carneiro, and many others.

Originally of Greek heritage, John is also now widely considered one of the three most important living composers of the Greek Diaspora. He has a natural inclination toward mega-projects. Since writing much of the ceremonial music for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, John's music has been on the radar screen of a wider public than that normally associated with contemporary classical music.

John is in extremely high demand as a composer in many genres and media. His musical style brings together the languages of jazz, classical, Eastern European and Middle Eastern, avant-garde, rock, and electronica.

His recent collaborations have included crossover projects with Serj Tankian, roots musicians Warren Maxwell and Little Bushman, Greek folk master musician Manos Achalinotopoulos, author Salman Rushdie, film director Dana Rotberg, and jazz luminaries Michael Brecker and Joshua Redman.



John Psathas talks about his attempts to create a "living, breathing feeling in [his] music. To make it human; to create a sense of the human voice".
John commuted several times between Wellington and Athens to work on the music and supervise the rehearsal process.
Ian Dando writes about John Psathas for the 'New Zealand Listener'.


Arts Foundation Laureate John Psathas has spent the last year travelling around the globe, bringing together some of the world's finest musicians for what will be one of the most important works of 2016 - 'No Man's Land'.
"Between Zero and One" is the title track of the show with the same name, premiered by New Zealand's Strike Percussion.
KYOTO - composed by John Psathas for the Ju Percussion Group on their 25th Anniversary and premiered by the Ju Percussion Group at the 2011 Taiwan International Percussion Convention.
The winner of the Michael Hill competition (New Zealand work category) was Richard Lin. Here he is playing "Gyftiko" by John Psathas


New Zealand Composer John Psathas (Laureate) talks about his recent Booktrack for Salman Rushdie's' In the South' on Radio New Zealand's 'Upbeat' Tuesday 28 February 2012 .


The music of John Psathas has a special place with the Rattle Records catalogue. John and Rattle have grown together. They have been mutually supportive for nearly 20 years.
Born Wellington - grew up in Taumaranui (to aged 8) and Napier (to aged 17) Studied piano and composition at Victoria University Studied in Belgium with Jacqueline Fontyn
Dame Evelyn Glennie performs Matre's Dance
Asian Composers League Young Composers Award - Matre's Dance
Rhythm Spike - Best Classical Album, NZ Music Awards
NZSO SOUNZ Reading - Seikilos
SOUNZ Contemporary Award - Views from Olympus
IAMIC ‘Sounds of the Year' - Jettatura;      Arts Foundation Laureate Award
UK Premier of Zeibekiko, Bath festival;Arranged and composed  Athens Olympic Games music
Became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit;      CD/DVD Project View From Olympus'is celebrated as  biggest ever orchestral recording in NZ
A Cool Wind - Carnegie Hall debut withTakacs Quartet; Distinguished Guest Composer - Winnipeg New Music Festival; 1st feature film score Good For Nothing, recorded with NZSO; APO collaboration with Warren Maxwell; Fanfare launches Auckland as a Super City; Two works used by Boston Crusaders as basis of performances in Drum Corps World Champs; Invited to APRA's Ambassador programme; View From Olympus performed, Berlin and Winnipeg;Zeibekiko 2nd Holland tour:Serj Tankian collaboration Elect the Dead Symphony reaches no.2  US Classical Billboard charts;Composer-in-residence - Auckland Philharmonia
Auckland Festival and APO commission - The New Zeibekiko; Michael Hill International Violin Competition commission - 2011 test piece; Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan) commission for Taipei Percussion Festival  - invited as Distinguished Guest Composer; TVNZ-commission documentary Sound and Fury;Commission by consortium of 14 US percussion ensembles; Good For Nothing (Western); View From Olympus (Documentary)
White Lies (Arthouse)