Born in England and raised in the United States, Martin Kennedy began his formal training at Indiana University, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in both composition and piano performance. He went on to earn a Master of Music in Composition at Indiana University and a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Juilliard School, where he was a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow. His principal teachers in composition include Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, Claude Baker, David Dzubay, Don Freund, and Sydney Hodkinson. His principal teachers in piano include Jeremy Denk, Eveylne Brancart, and Pamela Penick.
Kennedy's music has been performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Bloomington Camerata, the Haddonfield Symphony, the Polish National Chamber Orchestra of Slupsk, the Shenandoah Symphony, and the Tuscaloosa Symphony, among other ensembles.
He is the recipient of several prestigious prizes, including a BMI Student Composer Award, the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize, five ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the ASCAP Raymond Hubbel Award, and the Indiana University Dean's Prize in composition in both 1998 and 2002.
Kennedy also remains in demand as a pianist and collaborator. He has toured with both violinist Lara St. John and flutist Thomas Robertello, and he regularly plays concerts with members of the Saint Louis Symphony. He is also committed to the performance of new works, having been a member of both the Indiana University New Music Ensemble and the New Juilliard Ensemble.
Kennedy’s music is available on the Centaur, Azica, and Riax labels. He is also on the roster of composers at the Theodore Presser Company and has several works in their catalog.
Since 2005, Kennedy has served as Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at Washington University in St. Louis.