John Jesensky

Interview with composer and conductor John Jesensky

John Jesensky is a composer and conductor whose short scores have been featured and won awards at the Phoenix Film Festival, the La Gona Film Festival, the Bare Bones Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival. Most recently he has had works chosen to be featured at the Newport Beach Film Festival, the L.A. Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, and the D.C. Film Festival.

John Jesensky studied at the Hartt School of Music alongside such composers as David McBride, Larry Alan Smith, Stephen Gyrc, and film composer Joseph Turrin. Jesensky earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition from the prestigious school. Once his undergraduate studies were completed, he began to apply his talents to film scoring. He honed his skills at New York University in the Film Scoring program. There he studied privately under such accomplished artists as film composer Ira Newborn and film orchestrator Sonny Kompanek. Upon graduation from the school’s Scoring for Film and Multimedia program with his degree in Masters of Music, Jesensky was the recipient of the Elmer Bernstein Award for Film Composition.

John Jesensky creates fully restored scores from feature films for live orchestra performances as an engraver for CineConcets. He also works as a freelance film composer, providing scores for both short and feature-length film productions.

What inspired you to take this career path?

My inspiration lay solely in my intense desire to express myself in the most fulfilling way I knew as an artist and to help others who had the same desire. The soul of an artist craves expansive expression and a variety of outlets. By immersing myself in music, I created for myself an entire world of possibilities for bringing my inner self to life and sharing myself with the world. I mean that in no narcissistic sense whatsoever; for me, self-expression is as necessary as breathing. I require it to thrive and to exist, and I greatly enjoy assisting others in finding their outlets so they can do the same.

Was there ever a time when you experienced self-doubt or became discouraged in what you were doing and if so, how did you work through that?

There was, and I did, as does any artist. One may start their journey of expression as a personal endeavor, but such an undertaking, by its very nature, becomes competitive in a world so replete with incredible talent. Other individuals display gifts that, in your eyes, far outshine your own, and in such instances, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that you are an individual with unique gifts and talents of your own, and a singular desire to express them as only you can. Regardless of the tremendous talents in the world, yours is unique and unmatched by anyone else. One must keep sight of this and share their talents with the world as only they may do.

Do you remember your very first client?

I do. I was fortunate enough to have a referral made by one of my mentors who knew someone who had very exacting requirements and was looking to have some very specific work done. I was honored to know that he saw in me my dedication and absolute respect for the craft. From that project, I was well on my way to others, having received glowing recommendations from both my mentor as well as the client he had referred to me.

What legacy would you like to leave behind? What do you most want to be remembered for as a conductor and composer?

I want nothing more than to be remembered fondly for having helped others to realize their dream of fully expressing themselves through their artistic endeavors and musical gifts.

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