• Production still from SERSE
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra
  • Jazz Band on stage

A.J. McCaffrey

Associate Professor, Coordinator of Musicianship
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A.J. McCaffrey is a songwriter and composer of instrumental, vocal and electronic music. With a background in theater, fine arts and literature, and an upbringing that has fostered a love for a wide variety of musical styles, A.J. writes music that strives to tell a story. His works are theatrical in nature, employing harmonically rich and lyrically striking sound worlds to create moving, dramatic narratives. His enthusiasm for other art forms has led to stimulating collaborations with numerous filmmakers, theater companies, writers and visual artists, including Shakespeare & Company and Northern Light Productions.

Hailed by the American Academy of Arts and Letters as a composer of music “imbued with an extraordinary wit and intelligence”, A.J. received the Academy’s 2014 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship. He has been commissioned to write music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. A.J.’s music has been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, the New Fromm Players, the Radius Ensemble, the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble and by members of the Chiara Quartet, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Alarm Will Sound, Boston's Firebird Ensemble and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.  His orchestral work Thank You for Waiting was chosen for the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, and he was subsequently awarded the 2013 Underwood Emerging Composers Commission.

A.J. holds degrees in music from Rice University, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the University of Southern California. He has studied composition with Richard Lavenda, James MacMillan, Donald Crockett and Stephen Hartke. A passionate educator, A.J. was one of the founding instructors for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s groundbreaking Composer Fellowship Program.  He has taught courses in music theory, aural skills and composition at the University of Southern California, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, California State University Los Angeles and Pasadena City College.  For more information please visit