headshot photo of Dr. Jeffrey Holmes

Dr. Jeffrey Holmes

Associate Professor
College of Performing Arts; Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music
Expertise: Composer; Music Theory
Office Location: Bertea Hall 207B
Phone: (714) 744-2159
San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Bachelor of Music
University of Southern California, Master of Music
University of Southern California, Doctor of Music


Jeffrey Holmes composes post-spectral, teleological music incorporating elements of mysticism and lyrical expression. His creative inspiration is rooted in primitive myths, transcendent legends, and dramatic elemental landscapes in their primal and violent natural states. As a traditionalist, he composes music for acoustic orchestral instruments, using standard notational methods; as a formalist, he works within a complex and unique non-octave diatonic, chromatic, and microtonal language; as a transcendentalist, he combines the inherent abstraction of sound with a greater meaning and possibility of interpretation through the use of lyricism and overt expression.

Holmes’ music has been described as “Captivating…haunting and slightly disorienting.” (Los Angeles Times), “Through his choice of pitch and rhythmic textures, stunning colors emerge.” (The Talea Ensemble), “Interesting and musically arresting, music to be really heard and deserving of reflection.” (Society of Composers, INC.), and “Extremely sophisticated, an excellent example of exquisitely crafted sound.” (Percussive Notes)

Commissions, performances, and awards have come from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Carnegie Hall, the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, the Guitar Foundation of America, the Jebediah Foundation New Music Commissions, the Talea Ensemble, the JACK Quartet, bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood, the Firebird Ensemble, the Penderecki String Quartet, Ensemble Sound-Initiative (FR), the East-Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), Piano Spheres, the Lyris String Quartet, Duo Amantis – Tara Schwab and Michael Kudirka, guitarist Pierre Bibault (FR), Mark Menzies and “Inauthentica”, the UCLA Philharmonia, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, and others. His works have been performed at festivals including the Darmstadt Ferienkurs für Neue Musik (DE), Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Green Umbrella” (US), Cap Ferret Musical Festival (FR), Etchings Festival (FR), the Deal Festival (UK), Hear Now Festival (FR/US), La Pietra Forum (IT), Festival de los Rosas (ME), MicroFest (US), and the Laguna Beach Music Festival (US).

Holmes’ music is published by Composers Edition (London, UK), Doberman-Yppan/Les Productions d’OZ (Quebec, Canada), and Edition Svitzer (Copenhagen, Denmark), and has been recorded on MicroFest Records, and Sono Luminus, distributed internationally by Naxos.