Milton Mermikides appointed as Gresham Professor of Music

Professor Milton Mermikides

Gresham College, London’s oldest Higher Education Institution, is delighted to announce the appointment of Milton Mermikides as Gresham Professor of Music.

Professor Mermikides is a composer and academic who currently holds positions as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Surrey, Professor of Jazz Guitar at the Royal College of Music, Professor of Research at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and Composer in Residence and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Eudaimonia and Human Flourishing (Linacre College, University of Oxford).

He researches a wide range of musical topics and styles (including jazz, electronic, pop, Western classical and traditional global music forms), and has a particular interest in the intersection of music with other disciplines.

Professor Mermikides said: “It is an enormous privilege to take on the role of Gresham Professor of Music and continue in Gresham’s tradition of Music Professors who are also composers and practitioners, from John Bull to Iannis Xenakis to Joanna MacGregor. 

“After four centuries there is still so much to share – and so much yet to discover – about this ancient, universal and profoundly human endeavour of music.” 

“I believe strongly that music education is relevant, valuable and should be made available to all regardless of age, background and artificial notions of talent, and I passionately enjoy communicating the wonderful music within and beyond the Western Classical tradition.”

Dr Martin Elliott, Provost of Gresham College, said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Milton Mermikides as the 37th Gresham Professor of Music. Milton’s very visual explanations of how music works, and his outstanding ability to bring down to earth complex musical ideas in sound and pictures won over our interview panel. His lectures will, I think, redefine how many of us think about music.” 

As the 37th Gresham Professor of Music, Professor Mermikides will continue the 426-year-old tradition of delivering free lectures aimed at the public within the City of London and beyond. 

In 2023-4, Professor Mermikides will be lecturing on The Nature of Music
Why does music – formed of mere vibrations in the air - affect us so profoundly? This series examines how music exploits our innate and highly evolved listening faculties in order to communicate complex and otherwise inexpressible emotions. Using a diverse range of examples – from Bach to Beatles, Bossa to Björk, Bartók to Billie Holliday – it will explore the universal building blocks of prediction, rhythm, pitch, scale, dissonance and multiplicity in musical experience.

Tickets and online registration open in August when our full 2023-24 programme is published.