JOHN KAEFER | composer

JOHN KAEFER is a composer for film, television, and media. A trusted collaborator, he is known for his distinctive musical voice and nuanced, imaginative scores. His work ranges from artful electronic soundscapes to bold, propulsive orchestral music. A doctoral graduate of The Juilliard School, he embraces all aspects of the creative process and relishes crafting a score from the script to final mix.

Films include A SCORE TO SETTLE starring Nicolas Cage and ONLY starring Leslie Odom Jr./Freida Pinto. Of the score for ONLY, Film Music Magazine wrote "in a world increasingly in need of tenderness as it deals with growing madness, the elegiac quality of ONLY strikes a powerfully tragic, yet entrancingly melodic chord." Other recent films include HOW TO BE ALONE starring Maika Monroe/Joe Kerry, PARTY BOAT starring Jay Mohr/Sung Kang (Sony Pictures), MEATS starring Ashley Williams, and the documentary COURAGE RISING.

Active in television, John teamed with composer Cliff Martinez on THE WILDS (Amazon). Other projects include the drama series SEQUESTERED (Sony Pictures Television/Crackle), SPIRIT & SOUL (Nat Geo doc), the Emmy Award winning docuseries COULD YOU SURVIVE THE MOVIES (Ample/YouTube Originals), as well as the Main Theme and Thematic Music packages for ABC's flagship programs GOOD MORNING AMERICA and 20/20, and the ABC primetime hit show WOULD YOU FALL FOR THAT. Additionally he scored the Wolf Entertainment produced fiction podcast series DARK WOODS starring Corey Stoll/Monica Raymund and contributed additional music to the mega hit docuseries SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE (Amazon).

Working in interactive media, John scored the live-action series QUANTUM BREAK (Microsoft Studios/Remedy), developed exclusively for Xbox One. Hailed as a "masterpiece" by Gaming Trend, the revolutionary game blurs the line between episodic television and cinematic gameplay, integrating the two into one seamless, uniquely immersive experience. John also recently teamed with Netflix and Formosa Interactive on the game series NETFLIX STORIES, letting viewers experience the worlds and characters from hit Netflix films and series.

As a composer of contemporary classical music, John's work is performed worldwide by leading musicians and ensembles at prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, The Montalbán Theatre in Los Angeles, Wigmore Hall in London, and La Schola Cantorum in Paris. John has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI, ASCAP, and the Barlow Endowment, among others. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Composers Now and is Director of the BMI Foundation Pete Carpenter Fellowship.

In addition to a Doctor Of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School (C.V. Starr Fellow), John also earned degrees in music composition from Yale University (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (BM). He is currently on the Screen Scoring faculty at New York University.

John is represented by Soundtrack Music Associates.


Music Reel:

Film Credits (selected)

Only | Tadmor
Director: Takashi Doscher
Producers: Eyal Rimmon, Gabrielle Pickle, Jim Kaufman
Starring: Freida Pinto, Leslie Odom Jr., Chandler Riggs
* Netflix 2020 Top Film
* Premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival
* Film Music Magazine's Best Scores Of 2020 / Composers To Watch list

A Score to Settle | Highland Film Group
Director: Shawn Ku
Producers: Kevin DeWalt, Eric Gozlan, Danielle Masters
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Benjamin Bratt, Noah Le Gros

Courage Rising (Documentary)
Director: David Pergolini
Producers: Marcia Scott, Justin Rogers, David Pergolini
Cinematographer: Justin Rogers

Meats (Short) | Eroin Corp
Director: Ashley Williams
Producer: Neal Dodson
Starring: Ashley Williams, Giancarlo Sbarbaro
* Premiered at 2020 Sundance Film Festival

How to Be Alone (Short) | 4WT Media
Director: Kate Trefry
Producers: John Trefry, James Mitchell, David Carrico
Starring: Evan Miller
* Premiered at SXSW 2019

The Divine Plan (Documentary) The Nexus Project
Director: Robert Orlando
Writer: Robert Orlando
Cinematographer: Dennis Boni

Day 1000 (Short) | The Thought Commission
Director: Takashi Doscher
Starring: Nicholas Anthony Reid, Sosie Bacon, Ari Blinder

Don’t Say No | Tica Productions
Director: Summer-Joy Main
Producers: Derek Classen, Summer-Joy Main, Eve Symington
Starring: Bianca A. Santos, Joshua Brady, Alyssa Sabo

Night Sweats | Witness Films
Director: Andrew Lyman-Clarke
Producers: Andrew Lyman-Clarke, Seth Panman
Starring: Carly Faucett, John Wesley Shipp, Brett Azar

Mama’s Boy (Additional Music) | Warner Brothers Pictures
Director: Tim Hamilton
Producers: Heidi Santelli, Steve Carr, Ravi D. Mehta
Starring: Diane Keaton, Jeff Daniels

Silence Patton (Documentary) | Nexus Media
Director: Robert Orlando
Producers: Mark Joseph, Brian McDonald, John Sullivan
Starring: Leland Prater, Debbi Tucker, Ricky Aynes

Reconnected (Short)| Tica Productions
Director: S.J. Main
Producers: Derek Classen, S.J. Main
Starring: Barbara Bain, Kerry O'Malley, Robert Kerbeck, Bobby Reed

Pandora’s Box (Short) | Back Pocket Productions
Director: Thomas G. Waites
Producer: Gila Zalon
Starring: Joe Mantegna, Frances Fisher, Mitchell Greenberg

Requiescat (Short)| Tica Productions
Director: S.J. Main
Producers: Derek Classen, S.J. Main
Sound: Paula Fairfield
Starring: Adrian Favela, Laura Ceron, William McNamara, Mia Xitlali

A Polite Bribe (Documentary) | Nexus Media
Director: Robert Orlando
Producers: Brian McDonald, Margo Cincotta, Ted Deutsch
Starring: Paul Achtemeieir, Dominick Crossan, Bart D. Ehrman

Lily Of The Feast (Short)
Director: Federico Castelluccio
Producers: TJ Sansone, Tyagi Schwartz
Starring: Paul Sorvino, John Bianco, Federico Castelluccio, Damien Di Paola

Jonas Brothers 3D Concert Experience (Additional Music) | Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Bruce Hendricks
Producers: Phil McIntyre, Arthur F. Repola, Alan Sacks
Starring: Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas

The Kidnapping Of A Fish (Theme Music) | That Storm Films
Director: Phillip Ramos
Producers: John D. Day
Starring: Stephen Friedrich, Theodora Miranne

Room Service (Short, Additional Music) | Silver Hill Entertainment
Director: Kevin Castro
Producers: Mark Andrews, Jeremy Becker, Chris Bunker
Starring: Howie Mandel, Brandy Grace, Matthew Jaeger

Television & Interactive (selected)

The Wilds | Amazon Prime Video
Additional Music with Cliff Martinez
Director: John Polson
Producers: Guy J. Louthan, Sarah Streicher, Amy Harris
Starring: Sophia Ali, Shannon Berry, Jenna Clause

Shiny Happy People | Amazon Prime Video
Additional Music with Gregory Tripi

Could You Survive The Movies | YouTube Originals
Director: Jake Roper
Producers: Gal Yefet, Phil Lott, Ari Mark, Alex Weresow (Ample Entertainment)
Starring: Rosanna Pansino, Brett Justin Koppel, Casey Neistat
* WINNER, Outstanding Educational Series – 2020 Daytime Emmy Awards

Party Boat (TV Film) | Sony Pictures & Sony Crackle
Director: Dylan Kidd
Producers: Douglas Banker, Jaime Burke, Amy Kim, Alex Garinger
Starring: Brett Davern, Demetrius Bridges, Katie Leclerc

Quantum Break | Remedy Entertainment & Microsoft Studios
TV Series Director: Ben Ketai
TV Series Producer: Jaime Burke, Amy Kim, Sean O'Connor
Game Director: Sam Lake
Game Producers: Remedy Entertainment
Platform: Xbox One and PC
Starring: Shawn Ashmore, Aidan Gillen, Dominic Monaghan, Lance Reddick
Score for live-action TV series within the game
* Best selling Microsoft Studios game release to date

Spirit & Soul | Nat Geo
Director: Julia Ngeow
Writer: Dustin Frissel
Producers: David Brand, Dustin Frissel, Brian Dean

Sequestered | Sony Pictures Television & Sony Crackle
Director: Kevin Tancharoen, Shawn Ku
Producers: Vahan Paretchan, Barry M. Schkolnick, Jaime Burke
Starring: Jesse Bradford, Darri Ingolfsson, Summer Glau

Good Morning America (2007-2014) | ABC
Producers: Carole Leigh Podell, Michelle Major, Sarah Ruth
Starring: Lara Spencer, Ginger Zee

20/20 (2009-Present) | ABC
Producers: David Sloan, Joseph Diaz
Starring: Elizabeth Vargas, Barbara Walters, Chris Cuomo

Making Moves | Fullscreen
Director: John Swetnam
Producers: Benjamin J. Murphy, Christopher Scott
Starring: Megan Batoon, Patrick Cook, Dexter Darden

Dance School: Juilliard (3 Part Documentary) | Eye Opener Productions
Director: Carlos Chacon, Elyse Sara

Monday Mornings (Additional Music) | TNT
Producers: Bill D’Elia, Sanjay Gupta, David E. Kelley
Starring: Ving Rhames, Jamie Bamber, Jennifer Finnigan

Would You Fall For That? | ABC
Producers: Mark Edlitz, Harrison Greenbaum
Starring: Brian Distance, Hassin Godling

Discovery Music Source | Various Networks

Focus Earth With Bob Woodruff (Theme Music) | Discovery Channel & ABC News
Producers: John Green, Timothy Kuryak, Vinnie Malhotra

Dance School: Julliard | The Documentary Channel
Director: Carlos Chacon, Elyse Sara

TV, Add'tl Music Credits (selected)

Shark Tank | ABC
America’s Got Talent | NBC
The Celebrity Apprentice | NBC
The View | ABC
The Biggest Loser | NBC
Primetime: What Would You Do | ABC
There Goes The Neighborhood | CBS
Great American Road Trip | NBC
Here Come The Newlyweds | ABC
Who Do You Think You Are | NBC

Advertising (selected campaigns)

Xfinity (Superbowl 2023)
UN's World Food Programme Pfizer
National Geographic (promos)
ABC Network (promos)

Concert Music (selected)

States Of Motion (concerto for piano and strings)
Premiered by the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra and Molly Morkoski (piano)
Commissioned by the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra

MOSAIC (for large orchestra)
Premiered at Carnegie Hall. Pacific Symphony; NY Youth Symphony
Commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony

Revolutions Per Minute (for large orchestra)
Commissioned by The Haddonfield Symphony/Symphony In C

FRACTURE (for large orchestra)
Yale Philharmonia; The Juilliard Orchestra

Paths Of Movement (for violin and piano)
Cyrus Beroukhim, violin; Jesse Mills, violin

Nocturne: Evening Fire (for solo piano)
Commissioned by Molly Morkoski, piano

Just Out Of Reach (for viola and laptop)
Commissioned by Jessica Meyer, viola

Psalm 27 (for baritone, chorus, and chamber orchestra)
Commissioned by Chamber Symphony Of NJ/Summit Chorale

Time Capsule I (for solo piano)
Donald Dolan; Blair McMillen

Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra
Lawrence Power, viola

Silhouettes (for flute, violin, and viola)
Commissioned by Les Amis Musicalles

THANATOS (for percussion quartet)
Premiered by Eastman Percussion Ensemble
Commissioned by The Commission Project

Awards & Recognitions (selected)

The Academy Of Arts And Letters, Charles Ives Scholarship
BMI Foundation, Pete Carpenter Fellowship Award and SCA Award
ASCAP Foundation, Morton Gould Composer Award
The Barlow Foundation
Meet The Composer
The American Music Center
Yaddo Arts Colony
Panelist/Advisor to Mike Post for the BMI Foundation Pete Carpenter Fellowship (2007-2010)
Director, BMI Foundation Pete Carpenter Fellowship
ComposersNow, Board Of Advisors
Society Of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), Mentor
The American Composers Orchestra, Guest Composer, Film Music Factory Program


The Juilliard School (2001-06)
Doctor Of Musical Arts in Composition; C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow; Cartwright Scholarship; Henry Mancini Fellowship

Yale University (1999-2001)
Master Of Music in Composition; John D. Jackson Scholar

Eastman School Of Music (1995-99)
Bachelor Of Music in Composition; G. Eastman Scholar

Aspen Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, La Schola Cantorum (Paris)

CONTACT | John Kaefer

Studios in New York and Los Angeles

REPRESENTATION: Soundtrack Music Associates
John Tempereau | Isabel Pappani | Koyo Sonae

Tel: 310.260.1023

Music Reel: