John Kaefer



JOHN KAEFER is a composer for film, television, multimedia, and the concert stage. A trusted collaborator, John 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). 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 recently teamed with composer Cliff Martinez on THE WILDS, a new series for Amazon (co-produced with ABC/Disney). Other recent work includes the 2020 Emmy-nominated series COULD YOU SURVIVE THE MOVIES and 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, 20/20, and the primetime hit show WOULD YOU FALL FOR THAT. Venturing into games and 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.

Selected Credits


Apostle Paul: The Final Verdict (Upcoming)
The Nexus Project
Director: Robert Orlando

Director: Takashi Doscher
Producers: Eyal Rimmon, Gabrielle Pickle
Starring: Freida Pinto, Leslie Odom Jr., Chandler Riggs
* Premiered at 2019 Tribeca Film Festival

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

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

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

Night Sweats 
Time Will Tell Productions
Director: Andrew Lyman-Clarke
Producers: Jason Abrams, Andrew Lyman-Clarke, Seth Panman
Starring: John Wesley Shipp, Brett Azar, Allison Mackie

Don’t Say No 
Tica Productions
Director: SJ Main Muñoz
Producers: Derek Classen, SJ Main Muñoz, Eve Symington
Starring: Bianca A. Santos, Joshua Brady, Mason Gooding

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

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

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

Requiescat (Short) 
Tica Productions
Director: Summer-Joy Main
Producer: Derek Classen, Summer-Joy Main
Starring: Adrian Favela, Mia Xitlali, Alonso Alvarez

Tica Productions
Director: Summer-Joy Main
Producers: Derek Classen, Summer-Joy Main
Starring: Barbara Bain, Kerry O’Malley, Robert Kerbeck

Apostle Paul: The Final Verdict 
The Nexus Project
Director: Robert Orlando
Producer: Robert Orlando

Night Sweats 
Time Will Tell Productions
Director: Andrew Lyman-Clarke
Producers: Andrew Lyman-Clarke, Seth Panman
Starring: Carly Faucett, John Wesley Shipp, Brett Azar

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

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

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

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

The Rise and Fall 
Nash Productions
Director: Nash Bhatt
Producer: Nash Bhatt
Starring: Tony Black, Nash Bhatt, Omar Alcaraz

Lily of the Feast (Short)
Director: Federico Castelluccio
Producers: TJ Sansone, Tyagi Schwartz
Starring: John Bianco, Federico Castelluccio, Damien Di Paola


Dance School: Julliard (Documentary) 
Eye Opener Productions
Directors: Carlos Chacon, Elyse Sara

Forget Me Not (Short) 
YMC Films
Director: Federico Castelluccio
Producers: Yvonne Maria Schäfer
Starring: Yvonne Maria Schäfer, Peter Greene, Federico Castelluccio

They Say It’s Wonderful 
Slade Productions
Director: Mitchell Kase
Producers: Mitchell Kase
Starring: William Stone Mahoney, Jeannine Moore

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

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


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

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

Party Boat (TV Film) 
Director: Dylan Kidd
Producers: Douglas Banker, Jaime Burke, Alex Garinger
Starring: Brett Davern, Demetrius Bridges, Katie Leclerc

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

Crackle / Sony Pictures Television
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) 
Producers: Carole Leigh Podell, Michelle Major, Sarah Ruth
Starring: Lara Spencer, Ginger Zee

20/20 (2009-Present) 
Producers: David Sloan, Joseph Diaz
Starring: Elizabeth Vargas, Barbara Walters, Chris Cuomo
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? (Theme Music) 
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
Producers: John Green, Timothy Kuryak, Vinnie Malhotra

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

TELEVISION – Composer of Additional Music (Selected)

Shark Tank 

America’s Got Talent 

The Celebrity Apprentice 

The View 

The Biggest Loser 

SERIES – Composer of Additional Music (Selected) CONTINUED

Primetime: What Would You Do 

There Goes The Neighborhood 

Great American Road Trip 

Here Come The Newlyweds 

Who Do You Think You Are 


Quantum Break 
Remedy Entertainment / Microsoft Studios
Director: Sam Lake
Platform: Xbox One
Music for the game, as well as the live action series within the game.

ADVERTISING – Selected Campaigns
Mercedes “Premier Express”
National Geographic “Killing Lincoln” Promos
Simmons “Experts”
HP “Security”
IBM (Various)
LG “Spy”
ABC News (Various)
Pfizer, Chantix “My Time”
Mariott (Various)


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


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

Panelist/Advisor to Mike Post for the BMI Foundation Pete Carpenter Fellowship (2007-2010)

Board Of Advisors

Society Of Composers and Lyricists (SCL)

The American Composers Orchestra
Guest Composer/Instructor, Film Music Factory Program


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

Yale University
Master Of Music in Composition; John D. Jackson Scholar

Eastman School Of Music
Bachelor Of Music in Composition; G. Eastman Scholar

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