Festival Friday Radio is a weekly blog series showcasing Spoleto Festival USA’s 2017 visiting artists. Each Friday, tune in for these hand-selected playlists that highlight a musician’s top 10 tracks—or get exclusive, artist-curated lists that reflect their own listening preferences. 

John Kennedy has enjoyed a distinct and varied musical career that includes composing more than 90 opera, chamber, orchestral, and experimental compositions, as well as artistic leadership for festivals and theaters worldwide. He has worked with many of the leading composers of our time—including a close association with the late John Cage—to present over 300 premieres. As the Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities for Spoleto Festival USA since 2011, Kennedy has conducted acclaimed, premier productions on many of Charleston’s stages.

This season, John Kennedy will conduct the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in Mahler 4 and Dreaming and Quartett. He will also host the Music in Time concerts at Woolfe Street Playhouse and the Simons Center Recital Hall.

When programming concerts, this long-time visionary leader is on a mission to spread environmental and social consciousness by integrating classic works with the new. We wanted to know what he enjoys listening to when he isn’t hard at work on a new composition or directing an orchestra, so we asked him what songs he is particularly into right now. Tune in below for John Kennedy’s top 10!

Catch the Spoleto Festival USA orchestra all throughout the Festival:
CLICK HERE for tickets to Mozart’s Great Mass
CLICK HERE for tickets to Mahler 4 and Dreaming
CLICK HERE for tickets to Cinema and Sound
CLICK HERE for tickets to the Spoleto Celebration Concert
CLICK HERE for tickets to Eugene Onegin
CLICK HERE for tickets to Farnace
CLICK HERE for tickets to Quartett
CLICK HERE for tickets to Music in Time | Tempus Fugit
CLICK HERE for tickets to Music in TimeSounding Peace
CLICK HERE for tickets to Music in Time | Lecture on the Weather
CLICK HERE for tickets to Tatyana’s Ball

Photo (at top) by Julia Lynn