Piers Connor Kennedy

Research Interests

Improvisation; Composition; Music for voice; Music and cognition; Performance studies.

Area of proposed thesis

Pro-improvisatory Composition: my research seeks to further the understanding of improvisation in musical contexts and its relation to composition, using various historical improvisatory practices and contemporary theory to generate models for new processes of notation and performance.

Selected Works


A Short Story of Falling (treble and piano) – commissioned by The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, July 2020

Songs of Experience (mezzo-soprano and piano) – written for Lotte Betts-Dean, June 2020

Rough Rhymes (counter-tenor and piano) – written for Hugh Cutting, first performed March 2017



House Canticles – commissioned by Christ Church Cathedral, July 2020

A Cradle Song – written for Schola Cantorum, Oxford, Jan. 2020

Missa Vigornia – commissioned for The Three Choirs’ Festival, Worcester, July 2017

Blessed are the peacemakers – commissioned for The Edington Music Festival, August 2017

Christmas Carol – commissioned by The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, Dec. 2017



Journey’s End – commissioned by Opera Xylem, to be performed 2021

Mayflower – commissioned by The King’s School, Worcester, Nov. 2019

Cain and Abel – commissioned by Opera Xylem, Nov. 2018



Les Voix Humaines – commissioned by Sansara with Liam Byrne, June 2020

Study for String Quartet – written for the Ligeti Quartet, May 2018



Hélène La Rue Scholarship, St Cross College

Subjects Taught

Composition; Jazz; Performance studies.