Leonidas Kourmadas


Leonidas Kourmadas is a Greek-Australian composer of contemporary classical music, born in Athens, Greece in 1958.  He began to play the guitar at the age of ten initially self-taught.  He later attended the National Conservatorium of Athens, where he studied theory of music, traditional harmony, piano and guitar.  From 1979 to 1980, he spent one year in London taking studies in theory, harmony of music and piano.  During this period, he worked as a freelance musician.  At the end of 1980, his musical studies were interrupted for two years to complete his military service.  After this interval, he was able to continue his music studies with composer Michael Travlos at the Nikos Skalkotas Conservatorium in Athens.

In 1984 he moved to Australia, where he studied at the University of New England and graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Modern Greek (Language & Literature) and Music.  At the same time, he was studying piano privately with pianist and Associate Professor of the Music Department at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Daniel Herscovitch, as well as contemporary harmony and counterpoint with composer and Associate Professorof the Music Department at the University of Sydney, Dr Eric Gross.

He became an Australian citizen in 1993.  He continued his music studies at the Sydney Institute of Technology where he received a Certificate III and a Diploma of Music (Contemporary).  He also holds a Certificate in Teaching (LOTE) from the University of New South Wales (Institute of Languages).  After a further period of study, Leonidas completed his Master of Music degree in Contemporary Composition, receiving the Master’s Achievement Award and Awards of Excellence within the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Excelsia College (formerly Wesley Institute) under the supervision of Dr Heva Chan.  In 2022 he gained a Fellowship Diploma of Music in Composition (with Distinction) from the University of West London (London College of Music).  This Postgraduate diploma is the highest awarded by the University of West London qualifications, and is equivalent to that of a Master’s degree.

Leonidas has worked on various musical genres; his music consists of solo instruments and chamber works from diverse ensembles through to full orchestras.  As a composer his music owes much to the influence of traditional Greek music.  Kourmadas has developed a personal musical style that aims to achieve a strong melody line with the exploration and combination of modal and tonal harmonic progression and extended tonalities, blended with traditional but complex Greek rhythms and instrumental combinations.  His works have been published in Australia by Wirripang Pty Ltd.

The music of Leonidas Kourmadas has been performed at the Sydney Institute of Technology, the Wesley Institute Theatre and the Mosman Art Gallery.  He has performed in concerts in Greece, England and Australia.  In 2001 he performed with the St Spyridon Children’s Choir, accompanied by the Millennium Choir, and the Western Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by George Ellis, in a concert organised by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia at the City Recital Hall.  In 2005 he performed at the Sir John Clancy Auditorium at the University of New South Wales.  He has been teaching piano, guitar, ukulele and theory of music for over 30 years in various private, public and music schools, to individuals and small groups.

He is currently a Full Writer Member of the Australasian Performing Right Association.  He is an Accredited Music Teacher of theory of music, composition, and piano, with the Institute of Music Teachers and the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW.  He is also a registered Music Teacher with the Australian Music Examinations Board and from 2006-2013 he was a Member of the New South Wales Teachers Federation.

In addition, Leonidas was a practicing Modern Greek teacher.  From 1993-2015 he was teaching Modern Greek in the Greek Orthodox Parish schools.  In 2004 and 2005 he was employed by the NSW Department of Education and Training as a Modern Greek teacher at the Saturday School of Community Languages.  He has also worked as a voice performer for the Listening Skills components of the NSW HSC Online website for Modern Greek, for Charles Sturt University and the NSW Department of Education and Training.  He lives in Sydney, Australia, and he is still very active in all aspects of music teaching and learning. 

See all works by Leonidas in our shop