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John M. Kennedy Receives A 2021 Cal State LA President's Distinguished Professor Award

This award acknowledges the faculty member's superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students, as well as professional accomplishments and services.

John M. Kennedy Receives A 2021 Cal State LA President's Distinguished Professor Award

Cal State LA recognized John M. Kennedy for his excellence in teaching and outstanding achievements during the University Convocation 2021.

Kennedy, a professor of music composition in the university's Department of Music, was presented a 2021 Cal State LA President's Distinguished Professor Award during the August 19 event. This award, which goes to a previous outstanding professor recipient, acknowledges the faculty member's superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students, as well as professional accomplishments and services.

Kennedy's creative activity and scholarship have an international focus and include a U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award to the University of Malta and performances of original compositions in 15 countries on four continents. His work has been recognized with annual awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers since 1991, along with commissions from soloists and ensembles worldwide. He continues to explore styles and sounds through improvisation projects on the double bass.

At Cal State LA, he has been active in cross-campus initiatives, including the Ford Foundation's Crossing Borders project and the Smithsonian's American Sabor exhibition. His work to enhance the music composition program has included regular collaborations with the L.A. Philharmonic and guest ensembles from the U.S. and Europe. He also developed and implemented a cross-disciplinary music minor program, Creative Studies in Music. He is a current fellow of the American Communities Program at Cal State LA.

His scholarship is focused on the convergence of musical styles in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and he is active in advocating for reform of the undergraduate music curriculum nationwide. He and his wife, guitarist Satik Andriassian, have presented joint research and performances in China, Malta, the United Kingdom and Italy. In 2013, he received Cal State LA's Outstanding Professor Award.

A Woodland Hills resident, Kennedy attended the Berklee College of Music and Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, completing undergraduate studies in double bass. He received a fellowship in composition to attend the University of Michigan, where he completed the M.M. and A.Mus.D. While attending Michigan, he was awarded the prestigious Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York.

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