Prof. John Rea wins Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement


Published: 6Nov2020
Photo of composer John Rea

 John Rea, Professor Emeritus at the Schulich School of Music was honoured during our Fall 2020 Convocation ceremony as one of three winners of the Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement. 


About John Rea

John Rea is an award-winning Canadian composer, with nearly 80 original works to his name in the styles of chamber music, ballet, opera, musical theatre, and electroacoustic music. His music has been performed in Canada and around the world. Besides his activities as a composer, John Rea has lectured and published articles on twentieth century music, and starting in 1973 until his retirement in 2019, taught composition, music theory, and music history at McGill University where he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Music (1986-1991). Rea was a founding member of the Montreal New Music Society, Les Événements du Neuf (1978-1989) and in the 2015/16 season, was named Composer of the Year by the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec.  

When asked in a recent interview for the McGill Reporter to look back at his career and list some of its highlights, he writes:

“I am very proud of a number of my compositions — a string quartet, a set of pieces for piano solo, orchestral and chamber music, together with orchestrations and re-orchestrations. As a teacher, I was graced with many excellent students who have gone on to wonderful careers both in and out of academia. And many initiatives taken as Dean of a Faculty long ago, some still in place at the School today, make me happy – such as performance training in orchestral instruments, or the Dean’s Essay Prize. And recalling our symphony orchestra’s appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1989 brings even now a smile to my ears, if you can muse upon such a cross-modal exploit.”

Read the full interview here


About McGill’s Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement 

In order to acknowledge retired members of McGill University's academic staff who are uniquely deserving in light of their exceptional contributions to their discipline, to the University and to society at large, the University established a Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement (the McGill Medal). The nomination process can be found here.


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