The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) today warmly acknowledged the recognition of its Chief Executive, John Kotzas in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List as a Member in the General Division (AM).
John Kotzas, recognised for his significant service to the performing arts as an administrator and artistic director, has chartered a long and distinguished career in the arts including a variety of pivotal leadership roles before taking on the role of Chief Executive of QPAC in 2009.
Throughout his career, Mr Kotzas has helped shape the Queensland performing arts industry over the years with his contribution to the cultural life of Queensland acknowledged many times over.
Not one to seek the spotlight himself, when pushed about his career highlights, Mr Kotzas prefers to focus on what drives him, and that is undoubtedly community.
Throughout his career he has always held fast to the idea that the arts can play a critical role in offering hope and provides a way to consider life’s possibilities.
Mr Kotzas has been behind some of Queensland’s most loved and established performing arts festivals including as the Artistic Director of the very first Out of the Box Festival (one of the world’s few arts festivals for children eight years and under) and as the inaugural Managing Director of the Brisbane Festival.
Both remain shining lights of the performing arts sector in Queensland.
Under his leadership, QPAC has established its role as a leading presenter, producer, investor, arts educator and public space. He has long advocated for the critical role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must play in the performing arts and remains the driving force behind QPAC continuing to build deep connections with communities through its First Nations programming.
In his time at QPAC Mr Kotzas has held various creative and directing roles and as Chief Executive he championed the Centre’s establishment of the now nationally-recognised QPAC International Series bringing some of the world’s best arts companies to QPAC’s stages including exclusive seasons of Paris Opera Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Hamburg Ballet, Hamburg Orchestra, Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Preljocaj and The Royal Ballet.
His commitment to bringing world class companies to Queensland audiences led to him play an instrumental role in establishing QPAC as successful investor in touring musicals and confirming the Centre’s significant position in the national touring circuit.
This latest recognition follows two Honorary Doctorates from Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University acknowledging Mr Kotzas’ distinguished service to the arts and a 2016 Cavaliere dell’ Ordine della Stella d’Iatlia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) for his commitment to Italian arts, culture and community.