Cacavas, J ah.jpg
Induction Category & YearArts and Entertainment 1994
Home TownAberdeen, SD
Aberdeen, SD

   John Cacavas
Champion of Excellence

 John Cacavas established his musical identity throughout his college years. He directed two student dance bands at two schools, worked as a musical director for his campus radio station, and created an NBC radio show spotlighting original works by student and faculty composers. Cacavas graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in composition and theory.

Joining the armed forces after college, Cacavas served as an arranger with the much-admired United States Army Band in Washington, DC. An NBC broadcast of his oratorio, “The conversion of Paul,” won him national acclaim and led him to join the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

In 1957, Cacavas collaborated with lyricist and future CBS commentator Charles Osgood. The result was “The Golden Door,” a piece for which Cacavas earned his first of two Freedom Foundation Awards. The second award honored his background score for “Gallant Men,” which also in 1968 won him a Grammy Award.

Other musical honors include: Emmy nominations for “Kojak” and another for his 1978 score of “Eischied.” He has guest lectured at UCLA, Northwestern and other universities. In 1978 he was awarded the Northwestern University Distinguished Alumni Award. From 1976-78, Cacavas served as a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS); he is presently a member of both the AMPAS executive committee and also ASCAP’s Board of Directors.

Alongside his five years with “Kojak,” and three years with “Hawaii Five-O,” Cacavas has written extensively for episodic television: Matlock, Switch, Mrs. Columbo, Quincy, Buck Rogers, Gangster Chronicles, Lady Blue, Four Seasons and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

Cacavas has guest conducted the London Symphony, Sinfonia of London, the BBC orchestra of London, Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Dutch National Broadcasting System Symphony Orchestra, the Norwegian Broadcasting Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, the United States Army Band and the Beverly Hills Pops Orchestra.

As a composer and arranger John Cacavas' published works total over 2,000 in the fields of concert band, orchestra, choir, and chamber music.

Home Town (Aberdeen, SD)
Loading map...