Dimitri Terzakis has a peculiar position in contemporary music. His work is hard to categorize in terms of currents and schools. He composes neither traditional Western music nor the music of the balkans. Atonality has never interested him, as has the usual Major-minor tonality. He is a melodic composer, but his melodic thinking is not indebted to any epoch of occidental music. None of his work contains original folklore material, nor melodics from Southeastern European folkore or medieval Byzantine music. Nevertheless the roots of his music are evident at once.
Those roots originated in the Monastic State of Mountain Athos, where Terzakis had a crucial experience. There he realized that good music can be composed with very simple means, and he learnt, as he says, that it does not need a full technical arsenal to compose great works of art. This is why he admires composers like Giuseppe Verdi: Verdi, just as much as Franz Schubert, was a master of simplicity. Both knew the mystery of creating true works of art from the simplest means.
Works by Dimitri Terzakis have been performed, among others, by Igor Ozim, Saschko Gawriloff, Kolja Lessing, Siegfried Palm, Almut Rößler, Werner Jacob, the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, the Kopenhagen Saxophone Quartet, the Greek Saxophone Quartet, John Edward Kelly, Alfons Kontarsky, the Artemis Quartet, the Leipzig String Quartett, the Arriaga Quartet, the Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Boys' Choir), the Bern String Quartet, by Karan Armstrong, the Vogler Quartet and the Artis Quartet, Brigitte Fassbaender, Heinz Holliger, Tatjana Masurenko, Tabea Zimmermann, Ernest Bour, Hans Zender, Peter Eötvös and Françoise Vanhecke, etc.
Terzakis, corresponding member of the Academy of Athens, was awarded a honorary doctorate of the University of Macedonia at Thessaloniki, the Apollo Award of the Friends of the Greek National Opera (2008) and the award of the Academy of Athens for his lifetime achievement.