John Cacavas began his musical career when, as a 13-year
old, he formed his own band in
Upon graduation, he entered the Armed Forces and became an arranger with the prestigious United States Army Band in Washington, D. C. It was there that he began writing arrangements and compositions for the nation's major music publishers. He also began his long-time friendship and collaboration with Charles Osgood, lyricist (now news commentator and personality at CBS). With their writing of an oratorio, The Conversion of Paul, they won national acclaim.
Upon his discharge, Cacavas moved to
In 1970 he and his family moved to
Cacavas has written extensively for television. Along with his five years of scoring Kojak,
and three years of
A sample of his scores for TV movies are Time Machine, Murder by Reason of Insanity, Police Story II, Dirty Dozen II and III, The Return of Ironside, and Hellinger's Law.
His scores for mini-series include The Executioner's Song,
Jenny's War, Confessional, A Death in
Feature motion picture credits include Airport '75 and Airport '77, Playing With Fire, Hangar 18, Satanic Rites of Dracula, Horror Express, Redneck, Pancho Villa, and the source music for King of Comedy.
Aside from films, Cacavas has been active as a guest conductor. He has appeared with the London Symphony, the BBC Orchestra of London, The Atlanta Symphony, Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, The Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra, The Dutch National Radio Orchestra, Sinfonia of London, The City of Prague Philharmonic, The Florida Symphonic Pops and the United States Army Band. He has also served as the principal conductor of the Beverly Hills Pops.
In addition, his works have been performed by many major orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, San Francisco Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, The Honolulu and Indianapolis Symphonies and countless others.
His CDs include the soundtrack albums from Airport '75, From London with Love, Phantom of the Opera and Other Broadway Hits, Gallant Men and Behind the Scenes, which is a selection of his top TV and movie themes.
Original songs and arrangements have been recorded by Nancy Wilson, Roger Williams, Sacha Distel, Telly Savalas, Ed McMahon, Les Brown, Lalo Schifrin, the Boston Pops, The Ventures, Ed Townsend and the Cincinnati Pops.
Cacavas has been a leading figure in the American school
music field for many years. His
published educational works total over two thousand in the areas of symphonic
band, orchestra, chorus and chamber works.
Many of these are published abroad where they receive extensive
performances. In recognition of his
musical expertise, he has been invited to guest lecture and conduct seminars
around the country, appearing at UCLA, USC,
As a songwriter, his most recent collaboration has been with lyricist Hal David and they have two CDs currently in release by the music production firm, Zomba.
Cacavas is the author of three published books, Orchestration and Music Arranging, The Art of Writing Music and It's Not All Do-Re-Mi.
Music honors include two Emmy nominations. He was awarded the
Cacavas is presently a member of the Motion Picture Academy's Executive Music Committee and has served as a governor of that organization. He has also served as president of the Composers Guild of America. He has been a member of ASCAP's Board of Review and most recently on the Board of Directors.
John Cacavas, along with his wife, Bonnie, an accomplished lyricist, psychiatric social worker and published author, live in Beverly Hills and also maintain a home in London. They have three children, Lisa, designer of Lisa Stewart Jewelry, and John and Jennifer who are both in the motion picture industry.
For relaxation, Cacavas is an avid and accomplished cook and also enjoys painting.