Professor John Pymm

Visiting Professor, Music

  • Visiting Professor
Professor John Pymm

John Pymm is the first Professor of Music to be appointed by the University for the Creative Arts. An international authority on Minimalist Music, John has undertaken ground-breaking research in the music of Steve Reich at the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland.

Professor John Pymm


He is President of the Society for Minimalist Music, and has recently contributed to Rethinking Reich (Oxford University Press: 2019) and to the Spring 2019 edition of Contemporary Music Review, which focuses on the impact of archival research on our understanding of recent music.

An international assessment expert in the performing arts, John has a wealth of experience in curriculum development and quality assurance, and has been in wide demand across the university sector on review and validation panels. In 2016, he was invited to join the panel for the review of the QAA Benchmark Statement for Music and was subsequently appointed to the Arts and Humanities panel in 2018 and 2019 for the Pilot Subject TEF. He has been at the forefront of developing partnerships between universities and private music providers across the UK.

Developing international work has been a major theme of John’s career, and he first taught in Hong Kong in 1993. He has since established and sustained Trans-National Education partnerships in Europe, India and South-East Asia, as well as pioneering agreements in Panama and the Dominican Republic. John has been responsible for many EU-funded international research bids and is experienced in running multi-partner projects.

John has spent his entire career promoting the importance of the arts in education, society and the economy. He began his career in the arts as a community arts coordinator based at an inner-city school in Coventry, and moved into post-16 education at Rowley Regis College, where he was Head of Performing Arts and Principal of the Adult Education Centre. John went on to progress through a number of roles at the University of Wolverhampton and prior to moving to UCA was Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

John is an experienced PhD supervisor and is always willing to consider proposals from prospective doctoral students in the broad area of Minimalism.