The American choral conductor, composer and music pedagogue, John Baboukis, studied at Hicksville High School in Hicksville, New York (Class of 1973). He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Composition from Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania (1973-1977); and his Msster of Music degree in Conducting from Stony Brook University in New York (1979-1982). He holds a Doctor of Music degree in Choral Conducting, Early Music and Composition from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington (1982-1986), where he was the first doctoral student ever permitted to submit an original composition (his Requiem Mass, for chorus, orchestra, and soloists) as a dissertation for a degree in choral conducting.
John Baboukis is a specialist in the performance of medieval and renaissance music, and was the founder and director of the Saint Paul Early Music Ensemble and Les voix médiévales de Montréal. He has also been trained in the performance of Byzantine Chant, and has served for many years as a chanter in the Orthodox Church.
John Baboukis has taught conducting and directed numerous choral and early music groups. He served as Director of Choral Activities at College of Saint Catherine in Saint Paul, Minnesota (1986-1992); Associate Director of Choral Activities at McGill University (1996-2002), the University of Georgia and Director of Choral Activities at Illinois State University (2002-2004).
In 2005 he was appointed Director of Music at the American University in Cairo (ACU). After eight years inm this post, he became in 2013 the chair of the Department of the Arts at ACU. He is an Associate Professor of music and, where he teaches courses in music history and private lessons in voice, piano and harpsichord, and directs the AUC Chamber Singers. He has also served as music director in several collaborations with the Theater Program, including performances of Guys and Dolls, Molières School for Wives and the opera Dido and Aeneas, the first student-cast performance of an opera ever offered at AUC.
John Baboukis is the conductor of the Cairo Choral Society, a community chorus, and one of the foremost large choral ensembles in Egypt. Over the past five years he has conducted them (together with the Cairo Festival Orchestra, a professional ensemble) in performances of major works in the western choral repertorire, including George Frideric Handel's Messiah, Haydns Creation and Mass in Time of War, Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, Johannes Brahms' German Requiem and Schicksalslied, L.v. Beethoven's Mass in C and Choral Fantasy, W.A. Mozart's Requiem, Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243). He is also the founder and director of the Lions of Cairo, an early music group composed primarily of AUC faculty, with whom he is a singer, qanoon player and harpsichordist. The Lions present regular performances of medieval, renaissance and baroque Western music, Byzantine chant and classical Arab music.
John Baboukis has written a substantial body of vocal music, as well as chamber works and music for piano, harpsichord, clavichord, and organ. His concerto for bassoon and string orchestra, Three Walks in Zamalek, was premiered by the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in March of 2013, in a performance in which the composer was also the harpsichord soloist, and his forthcoming Cairo Symphony is scheduled for a performance in the 2015-2016 season. He has been awarded a McKnight Composition Fellowship, and, in addition to receiving numerous private commissions, has twice won composer commissioning grants from the Jerome Foundation, through the American Composers Forum. Professor Baboukis is married and has two children. He currently lives in Cairo, Egypt.