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

John Buonamassa

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Media Composition
(818) 677-3177
Office location:
CY 232


John Buonamassa is a lecturer at California State University, Northridge, where he teaches courses in music technology and recording, as well as online and mixed mode courses in popular and classical music.

Prior to arriving at CSUN John toured internationally for fifteen years as keyboardist and musical director for John Phillips and The Mamas and the Papas. In 1998 he orchestrated a program of The Mamas And The Papas’ music and conducted the Calgary Symphony Orchestra in a performance at Symphony Hall, Calgary, Alberta. John appears on two John Phillips records released in 2001 on the Eagle/SONY label, Phillips 66 and Pay, Pack, and Follow, the latter featuring a collaboration with Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.

Over the course of his career John has performed with many other artists, including Cesar Rosas (of Los Lobos), Madonna, Chuck Berry, Rupert Holmes, Lesley Gore, Chris Montez, Al Wilson, Lou Christie and Gary U.S. Bonds. His Broadway credits include keyboards on Les Misérables, Cats, and Leader of the Pack. Since 1994 John has been the musical director, arranger, and conductor for numerous live radio broadcasts for WPLJ-FM New York. He also co-owned and operated Insight Sound, New York, a multi-media recording studio where he composed and arranged music for industrials, books-on-tape, and radio and TV spots, including Honda, Toyota, and Calvin Klein, and performed digital edits on various records for the Varése Sarabande and Razor and Tie labels.

In Los Angeles John composed, orchestrated, and conducted The Enlightenment, a musical theatre work that debuted in 2007 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, California State University, Long Beach. He has also composed and arranged music for the FOX-TV pilot Titletown and the MTV series Road Rules, done Pro Tools editing for The Cottonmouth Kings, and composed music for Kawai Pianos that was featured in the Performance Series digital pianos. In addition to his teaching duties at CSUN John continues to be active in the Los Angeles music scene as a performer, arranger, and composer.

Mr. Buonamassa received his Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, in music from Queens College, City University of New York, and his Master of Music in Commercial Music, Composing and Arranging with Special Recognition from California State University, Los Angeles.