Professor Akin Euba

Professor Olatunji Akin Euba, a Nigerian composer, musicologist and pianist, is dead. The musical icon passed on to glory late evening of Tuesday April 14th 2020. His demise happened just two weeks to his 85th birthday.

According to Dr. Albert Oikelome, Head of Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, “this is a great loss to the nation. He was a mentor to a great many of us, who are in the (music) field. Euba left a big shoe, which we would find difficult to fill.”


Born on 28 April 1935 in Lagos, Professor Euba studied composition with Arnold Cooke at the Trinity College of Music, London, obtaining the diplomas of Fellow of the Trinity College London (Composition) and a fellow of the Trinity College London (Piano). He was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in 1962. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied with Mantle Hood, Charles Seeger, Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia, Klaus Wachsmann, and Roy Travis. He held a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Ghana, Legon (1974). When he was at Legon, his doctoral work was supervised by Professor Nketia. His dissertation was entitled “Dundun Music of the Yoruba”.

As a student at the CMS Grammar School in Lagos, Professor Akin Euba’s interest in music was ignited. After years of study at the Trinity College of Music in London and the University of California, Los Angeles, Euba returned to Nigeria to start the department of music at the University of Ife (OAU) in 1976. After he left Ife, he was appointed Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies and Professor of music from 1977 to 1980 at the University of Lagos.

A former member of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON), Professor Euba devoted a significant part of his professional career to promoting African modern compositions on the global stage through performances, research and creative work. He retired in 2011 and lived in the United States of America.

His massive input and contributions to music can not be overemphasize. The world has lost African’s foremost composer. Professor Akin Euba is Nigerian’s foremost classical music composer, musicologist and pianist.


  1. Emmanuel Godson 4 years ago

    A legend indeed. You will be greatly missed. Rest on Maestro.

  2. Esther wilson 4 years ago

    Wow. Rest on maestro.😰

  3. Grace Thomas 4 years ago

    RIP 😰

  4. […] had the rare privilege to host a musicologist and music icon, an Associate Professor of Music and Head of Department of Creative Arts of the University of Lagos, Dr. Albert […]

  5. […] Prof. Akin Euba invented the concept African Pianism with the purpose of revealing the similarities between the piano, as a Western instrument, and the African traditional instruments. He wrote many papers which are very informative and helpful for us to identity the way his piano works and works by other African composers need to be performed. The first instinct of a classically trained pianist is to approach African Art Music from a Western style, especially when it comes to phrasing and the rhythms. Prof. Euba’s work is opening the door to the knowledge of a new genre of music – the African Art Music. […]

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