John Kilkenny Resized Headshot

John Kilkenny

Executive Director

John Kilkenny joined the New York Youth Symphony as Executive Director in the March of 2024.

Among his many accomplishments as Executive Director of The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Mr. Kilkenny guided their first music director search in fifteen years and created the “Classics De-Classified” concert series, which brings CSO musicians into the community and includes the works of underrepresented composers. Appointed Artistic and Executive Director of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in 2018, Mr. Kilkenny guided this esteemed festival to new heights of artistic and financial success, with significant increases in enrollment, earned revenue, and annual giving, and expanded partnerships with numerous DEI pathway programs.

Recognized internationally as an engaging and thoughtful clinician, Mr. Kilkenny has enjoyed the opportunity to work with gifted young musicians at a wide range of institutions, including the Eastman School of Music, the Shepherd School at Rice University, University of Michigan, Juilliard Pre-College and Interlochen School for the Arts. A longstanding relationship with The Music for All has seen Mr. Kilkenny appear for many years as an evaluator and clinician for the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival, and in 2019 he served as the percussion clinician for the MFA Honor Orchestra of America. John studied conducting with Anthony Maiello and began early percussion training with Jonathan Haas and William Richards. He received his bachelor’s degree at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Greg Zuber and Daniel Druckman and completed a master’s degree at Temple University, where he studied with legendary percussionist Alan Abel.

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