John M. Kennedy

College of Arts and Letters
Department of Music, Theatre and Dance
Office Location: MUS 236
Phone: 323/343-4084 Email:

Recent Career Highlights

Beijing Performance

Fulbright Scholar Award, University of Malta, Spring 2017.
Premiere of "Solace" for solo 'cello, Padua, Italy, June 2017.
Presenter, Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music, Dallas, Texas, November, 2016
Presenter, The College Music Society Summit: 21st Century Music School Design, University of South Carolina, June, 2016.

Preconcert interview with Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway, The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, CA, March 16, 2016.

Recent International Events
Lecture-Recital on American Music with guitarist Satik Andriassian, residence of Ambassador G. Kathleen Hill, Malta, February 2017.
Lecture-Recital on American Music, Performance of George Crumb's "Mundus Canis" with Satik Andriassain, guitar, The Beijing American Center, US Embassy, Beijing, China, September, 2015;
Lecture on Original Compositions, Hong Kong International Music Festival, Hong Kong, China, August, 2015;
Honor Consultant, the Hong Kong Second International Music Festival and Competition, Hong Kong, China, August, 2015;

Panelist, World Saxophone Congress, Strasbourg, France, July, 2015.

The College Music Society 2017 National Meeting Composition Planning Committee;
Master Teacher and Artist Roster, the VFIMF Malta International Music Festival and Competition, July, 2015, annual since 2012.



       American composer John M. Kennedy produces an eclectic group of work, ranging from mixed ensemble and solo pieces to multi-media compositions. He is a recent recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award, supporting his invitation from the University of Malta to teach music composition and seminars on American music in the spring of 2017. Recent compositional highlights include premieres by the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble in Moscow; performances at the Malta International Music Festival and Competition in Valletta; the 2012 World Saxophone Congress, St. Andrews, Scotland, the 2013 Thailand International Composition Festival in Bangkok and “Yer-“ for solo flute in Tokyo. In 2014 he collaborated with director Tanya Kane-Parry and baritone Nicholas Isherwood on the premiere of a musical adaptation of Jean Paul Sartre’s “The Wall” in Los Angeles.  His commissions include the Olympia Youth Orchestra, the Baldwin-Wallace College Wind Ensemble and the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra. Kennedy’s work has been featured in performances worldwide including his orchestral work “Portrait...” during the 1989 Salzburg Festival at the Mozarteum, and new music festivals in Bangkok, Thailand, Kwang-ju, Korea, and Daegu, Korea. Early recognition for his work includes the Charles Ives Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Young Composer Award from ASCAP. His work receives continuing recognition with grants from Meet the Composer, Inc., annual Standard Panel Awards from ASCAP since 1991 and Subito grants from the American Composers Forum, Los Angeles. Since 1994 he has taught music composition and directed the New Music Ensemble at California State University, Los Angeles, where he is Professor of Music and has the distinction of receiving the Outstanding Professor Award for 2013. For more information on Dr. Kennedy's work, go to or follow him on Facebook.

Video of my good friend William Street performing my Smoke and Mirrors: Symbia II for solo alto saxophone at the World Saxophone Congress, St. Andrews, Scotland, July, 2012. Bill is the ultimate expert on this piece and has performed the work on three continents.