Skip to main content

Department ofMusic

John Kennedy

John Kennedy

Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

Director of SCU Orchestra and New Music Ensemble, Conducting

John Kennedy is Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities of Spoleto Festival USA, where he leads the Festival’s opera and orchestra programs, and has developed the Festival Orchestra into the most competitive summer festival orchestra in the nation. He has led the Festival’s recent American premieres of the operas Kepler by Philip Glass, Matsukaze by Toshio Hosokawa, Emilie by Kaija Saariaho, Proserpina by Wolfgang Rihm, and Faustus, the Last Night by Pascal Dusapin.

Kennedy also was founding Artistic Director of two leading national new music ensembles, New York’s Essential Music and Santa Fe New Music, with which he led over 300 premieres and recorded widely. Notable engagements include the Lincoln Center Festival, New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, The Santa Fe Opera, Zurich June Festival, Kanagawa Arts Festival, and Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He has also served as Guest Conductor in Residence at Oberlin Conservatory.

As a composer, he has composed over 80 works including opera, orchestral, chamber, and experimental works which have been performed throughout the world. He served as artist President of the American Music Center from 2002-2005.


SCU Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, Private Instruction - Conducting