In The Media

ECU Professor hits high note in Australia Day Honours

Professor Geoffrey Lancaster has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Australia Day Honours for his service to music education, performance research and philanthropy.


Edith Cowan University academic and renowned concert pianist, Professor Geoffrey Lancaster, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2022 Australia Day Honours.

Professor Lancaster received the award “for distinguished service to the arts, particularly music, through education, performance, research and philanthropy”.

Since joining ECU in 2015, Professor Lancaster has supervised many PhD and Masters projects by domestic and international scholars, published three books supported by various grants including from the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects funding scheme, and released four albums of music on the Tall Poppies label.

“Professor Geoffrey Lancaster has been pivotal in procuring ECU’s rare and important Founding Pianos collection which comprises more than 160 historical pianos, including what’s believed to be Australia’s First Piano,” said ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman CBE.

“Geoffrey has enhanced ECU and WAAPA’s national and international reputation and he continues to enthusiastically share his knowledge and passion with the next generation of musicians. Being recognised with one of the highest awards in the Australian Honours system is a testament to his passion for and impact on music.”

Professor Lancaster’s extensive efforts researching the First Fleet Piano have now resulted in the restoration of ECU’s 1786 English square piano, thanks to the generosity of Western Australian donors including Lotterywest.

“This recognition affirms the role of teachers, and I am humbled by that,” said Professor Lancaster.

“It also validates the importance of the performing arts in the shaping of our national identity through protecting and telling important stories.

“I share this award with all who love the piano and support live performance, with my students and their families, and with those of my peers who do inspirational work.

My hope is that ECU’s Founding Pianos, spanning two centuries of keyboard art and design, will be protected and restored – so that students and audiences from across the world may be inspired by their unique stories and sounds,” he said.

The Founding Pianos will have a new home at the ECU City campus, adjacent to Yagan Square, when it opens in 2025.