Photios Ketsetzis Appointed Professor of Byzantine Music Emeritus
Rev. Nicholas C. Triantafilou recently announced the appointment of Professor Photios Ketsetzis to the rank of Emeritus Professor. The appointment to the rank of Emeritus Professor is one of honor and esteem and requires approval of the Board of Trustees acting at the recommendation of the President, who acts on the recommendation of the Dean. Customarily, such faculty members will have served for at least fifteen years on the faculty of Holy Cross.
In making the announcement, Fr. Triantafilou noted that the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College Holy Cross unanimously approved the recommendation of the faculty of Holy Cross to appoint Professor Ketsetzis as Professor of Byzantine Music Emeritus.
From 1992 to 2010, Professor Ketsetzis served at Hellenic College and Holy Cross as Professor, Protopsaltis of the Holy Cross Chapel, and Director of the St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir. He was trained under renowned master cantors Dimitrios Sourlantzis and Thrasyvoulos Stanitsas (Archon Protopsaltis of the Great Church of Christ). Between 1960 and 1992 he taught at high schools and conservatories and served as Protopsaltis in various churches in Greece, including the Panagia Megalochari Cathedral in Tinos. During this time he also founded and directed several choirs and made over 30 recordings of ecclesiastical music.
His legacy is still very much alive on our campus. Several books he authored, edited, or compiled (Anastasimatarion, Prologoi and Music for Sacraments, Holy Week, Heirmologion, Divine Liturgy) are used as the main textbooks and his CDs as supplementary training material for seven different courses in Byzantine music at Holy Cross. The same books are also used on a daily basis in the Holy Cross Chapel. During his tenure he trained an entire generation of students in the sacred art of chanting. Several of his students are now serving the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America as priests, while others are distinguished cantors in several cities of the United States and abroad.
Photios Ketsetzis has received numerous awards and distinctions, chief of which is the office of Archon Protopsaltis of the Holy Archdiocese of America, which was conferred upon him by the late Archbishop Iakovos. By virtue of this office, he is the highest-ranking musician of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. Currently, Archon Ketsetzis is Protopsaltis of Saint Demetrios Church in Palaio Psychiko, Athens, and continues to teach, compose, perform in concerts, make TV appearances, and produce recordings. More significantly, his virtuosity, his educational contributions, which span half a century, and his mastery of choral conducting have gained him an unparalleled international reputation. Archon Photios Ketsetzis is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest living cantors, if not the greatest.