ATHANASIOS ZERVAS is a composer, theorist, saxophonist, and conductor.
He holds a DM in composition and a MM in saxophone performance from Northwestern
University, and a BA in music from Chicago State University. He studied composition with
Frank Garcia, M. William Karlins, William Russo, Stephen Syverud, Alan Stout, and Jay
Alan Yim; saxophone with Frederick Hemke, and Wayne Richards; jazz saxophone and
improvisation with V. “Bunky” Green, Joe Daley, and Paul Berliner. He is a specialist on
pitch class set theory, contemporary music, composition, orchestration, improvisation,
and Greek traditional music.
As a composer, has frequent performances of his music in
Europe, Africa, and the US including a performance in Carnegie Hall NY, and he is the
recipient of numerous academic and composition awards including the W. T. Faricy Award
for Creative Music. He is considered as an eclectic composer. His musical language
often fuses elements of Byzantine chant, microtonal sonorities, polyrhythm, and lyric
fragments of traditional Greek tunes.
Dr. Zervas taught composition, theory, saxophone
and improvisation at Chicago State University, Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern
University, and at University of Indianapolis-Athens Greece, the Contemporary Music
Conservatory of Athens, and the University of Crete-Rethymno Greece. He has solo
performances with the Louisiana Sinfonietta-Baton Rouge, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and
in Greece with the State Orchestra of Hellenic Music, the Athens Symphony Orchestra, the
National Symphony Orchestra, the State Orchestra of Athens, the Athens Contemporary
Ensemble, the State Orchestra of Thessalonica, etc. Between 1993 and 1997 he was
conductor of the St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago Choir, and between 1999 to
the end of 2006 he was the music director/conductor of the Athens Big Band (Athens
Municipality, Greece). He has performed at the Carnegie Hall NY, the Schubert
Theater-Boston, the Pick Staiger Concert Hall-Evanston, Mandel Hall of the University of
Chicago, and in Greece at Herodion Odeion in Athens, the ‘Megaron’ Music Halls of Athens
and Thessaloniki, in Epidaurus Ancient Theater, and in the Opening and Closing Ceremony of
the ‘Olympics 2004,’ There are more than 100 compositions written for and premiered
by him by American, European, and African composers, and has recorded contemporary,
classical, and traditional music with BMG, EMI, FM records, Libra Music Ltd,
Mercury/Universal Co., Magni Records, Centaur Records, etc. Dr. Zervas was president of
the Hellenic Saxophone Association between 1999 and 2008, and is a member of the Greek
Composers Union, the Composers Music Society, NACUSA, North American Saxophone Alliance,
and Music Theory Midwest.
Dr. Athanasios Zervas is an Associate Professor (of music theory & creation) at the
University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki Greece, Professor of Saxophone at the Conservatory
of Athens, editor for the electronic theory/composition journal "mus-e-journal" at www.muse.gr,
and founder of the Athens Saxophone Quartet.