John J. Craven (b.1971) was enthusiastically drawn to listening to classical music, music theater, and popular music as a child. He studied piano and flute and began to compose at age 11. He was a winner in the Fourth International Aaron Copland Competition for Young Composers at age 12. He studied piano at the Peabody Conservatory of Music from 1989 to 1991. From 1992 to 1994 he received a B.A. in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa; in 1997 he completed a B.F.A. in music composition at SUNY Purchase. He returned to Peabody in 2009 to receive a M.M. in composition. 

For 10 years, besides working at the Columbia University Music and Arts Library and for Wiley Publishing, among other corporations, he was a pianist for leading dance academies and a composer in the Lehman-Engel BMI Music Theatre Workshop. He also worked as a classical pianist, arranger, and music director in the Greater New York area. He composed piano, vocal, and chamber music for music ensembles in church recitals.

Since 2020 he has made his music available on the eScholarship Open Access Publishing Platform that is subsidized by the University of California and managed by the California Digital Library. His piano piece Turning Up the Heat is included in the Navona Records album SUSTAIN VOL. 2 (2021). His flute and guitar composition Reflections of a Bygone Era is included in the Da Vinci Classics’ album New Works for Flutes and Guitars (2021). He has presented his works in music festivals across the United States and in Europe.


Tapestry of Voices

Release Date: December 1, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6583
21st Century
Vocal Music
TAPESTRY OF VOICES from Navona Records showcases the versatility and elegance of the human voice woven with grand orchestral statements, colorful choral arrangements, and intimate settings with piano. Eight contemporary composers offer settings of poetry and stories from various cultures throughout human history, from Africa to Europe, North America, and beyond. Threading modern takes on Greek mythology, meditations on concepts of loss, morality, and more, TAPESTRY OF VOICES is exactly as its title suggests — an intricate and artistic convergence of ideas that’s sure to entrance those who experience it.

Sustain Vol. 2

Release Date: April 23, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6345
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Piano Trio
Two years after the release of SUSTAIN comes the long-anticipated follow-up, SUSTAIN VOL. 2. This fresh collection of works centered around the piano includes a range of contemporary compositional styles: tonal, atonal, and everything in between. This volume features a new cast of composers and performers, with contributions by Sarah Wallin-Huff, Karen Tarlow, Chen-Hsin Su, Bill Sherrill, Jim Puckett, Ron Nagorcka, Gordon Monahan, Kenneth A. Kuhn, Santiago Kodela, John Craven, and John A. Carollo. The album’s varied soundscapes and arrangements—including solo piano, piano and saxophone, and piano and strings—constantly surprise and delight the ear. A fitting sequel to the first installment, SUSTAIN VOL. 2 is steeped in the dynamic complexity piano music offers.