John Kaefer | composer

JOHN KAEFER | composer

JOHN KAEFER is a composer for the screen and concert stage. A trusted collaborator, he is known for his distinctive musical voice and nuanced, imaginative scores.

Newly-scored feature films include A SCORE TO SETTLE starring Nicolas Cage/Benjamin Bratt and ONLY starring Leslie Odom Jr./Freida Pinto (2019 Tribeca Film Festival/2020 Netflix). 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 film scores include MEATS starring Ashley Williams (2020 Sundance Film Festival), HOW TO BE ALONE starring Maika Monroe/Joe Keery (2019 SXSW), and PARTY BOAT starring comedian Jay Mohr (Sony Pictures/Crackle), as well as the feature documentaries THE DIVINE PLAN, SILENCE PATTON, A POLITE BRIBE, and the 3-part DANCE SCHOOL: JUILLIARD (PBS).

Active in television, John scored the 2020 Emmy Award winning docuseries COULD YOU SURVIVE THE MOVIES (Ample/YouTube Originals), and recently teamed with composer Cliff Martinez on THE WILDS, a new series for Amazon (co-produced with ABC/Disney). Other recent work includes the drama series SEQUESTERED (Sony Pictures Television/Crackle), 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. Venturing into interactive media, John scored the innovative 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.

An accomplished composer for the concert stage, John’s varied work is programmed worldwide by leading musicians and ensembles. Recently he conducted the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra in the world premiere of his STATES OF MOTION, a three movement concerto for piano and string orchestra, featuring pianist Molly Morkoski. His large orchestral work MOSAIC premiered in Carnegie Hall and performed by the Pacific Symphony as part of its American Composers series. John has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI (concert music and TV/film), ASCAP, and the Barlow Endowment, among others. He currently serves on the Board Of Advisors for Composers Now and is Director of the BMI Foundation Pete Carpenter Fellowship.

John holds a Doctor Of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School. He 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.

When not writing music, John enjoys running (NYC Marathon PR: 3:34), skateboarding, and spending time with his wife and two boys. He also loves playing with synthesizers, especially his Moog Voyager and Prophet 12.

John is represented by Evolution Music Partners in Los Angeles.

JOHN KAEFER | contact

Studios in New York and Los Angeles

Seth Kaplan & Christine Russell
Tel: 323.790.0525

Audio Reel:

Audio 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

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
* Renewed for Season 2 (2021)

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

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)

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)

MOSAIC (for large orchestra)
Premiered at Carnegie Hall. Pacific Symphony; NY Youth Symphony

Revolutions Per Minute (for large orchestra)
The Haddonfield Symphony

FRACTURE (for large orchestra)
Yale Philharmonica; Julliard Orchestra

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

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

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

Psalm 27 (for baritone, chorus, and chamber orchestra)
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)
Les Amis Musicalles

THANATOS (for percussion quartet)
Eastman Percussion Ensemble

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)