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. His music has been called “Captivating…haunting and slightly disorienting” by the Los Angeles Times, “Drifting…ethereal” by the San Francisco Classical Voice, and “Interesting and musically arresting, music to be really heard and deserving of reflection” by the Society of Composers, INC. 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.

Jeffrey Holmes has received commissions, performances, and awards 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-baritones Nicholas Isherwood and Vincent Ranallo, the Firebird Ensemble, the Penderecki String Quartet, Ensemble Sound-Initiative (France), the East-Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), Piano Spheres, the Lyris String Quartet, USC Thornton Symphony, the UCLA Philharmonia, Mark Menzies and the “Inauthentica” Chamber Orchestra, California Institute of the Arts Orchestra, the Eclipse String Quartet, Duo Amantis (Tara Schwab, Michael Kudirka), the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ), soprano Kirsten Ashley Wiest, Duo Resonances - France (Frédérique Luzy, Pierre Bibault), FretX Duo (Mak Grgić, Dan Lippel), the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, and others. His works have been performed at festivals including the Darmstadt Ferienkurs für Neue Musik (Germany), Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Green Umbrella” (Los Angeles), Cap Ferret Music Festival (Cap Ferret, France), the Deal Festival (East Kent, UK), the HEAR NOW Festival of New Music (in both Paris and Los Angeles), June in Buffalo (New York), the Etchings Festival (Maulin a Nef, Auvillar, France), the La Pietra Forum for Contemporary Music (Villa La Pietra, Florence, Italy), “Beyond: Microtonal Music Festival” (Pittsburgh), the Festival en el Conservatorio de los Rosas (Morelia, Mexico), and at the Laguna Beach Music Festival and MicroFest (Los Angeles).

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