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 filmmakers, theater companies, writers and visual artists, including Shakespeare & Company, Northern Light Productions, Ilana Halperin, and E. Tracy Grinnell.
A.J. has received commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. His 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. A fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival and School, A.J. has been a featured composer on BMOP's The Next Next series, Tanglewood's Festival of Contemporary Music and the New Gallery Concert Series. His orchestral work Thank You for Waiting was chosen for the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, and was subsequently awarded the 2013 Underwood Emerging Composers Commission. In addition to his concert music projects, A.J. is a songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with the alt-rock band Planes Intersect.
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. teaches for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Composer Fellowship Program and the Longy School of Music of Bard College's Masters of Arts in Teaching Music program. A native of the Boston area, A.J. currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two children.