Kiefer holds a bachelor's and master's degrees in music composition from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. He is also a graduate of the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles. Kiefer is the author of a series of classical transcriptions for electric guitar published by Mel Bay including "J.S. Bach for Electric Guitar" and "Mozart for Electric Guitar" as well as "Etudes Electric", a set of modern studies for electric guitar.
His sextet (1999) was selected as the winner of the 2000 Brown New Music Composition Competition at Brown University. The percussion octet, ritmica (2001) was awarded the graduate prize of the 2001 Louisa Stude Sarofim Composition Competition. The piece was also featured on NPR's Theme and Variations radio program. Three orchestral pieces: "Hexenbrau" (2001), "Ursa Major" (2003) and "Karankawa" (2005) were commissioned and premiered by the Baytown Symphony Orchestra. His classical guitar solo, "San Saba," (2007) was recently featured in Soundboard: Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America.
John Kiever is a tenured professor of guitar at the College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas. In 2004 he founded the COM Electric Guitar Orchestra, which has premiered many new pieces by composers around the world. Kiefer has also hosted electric guitar master classes at COM by Ron Jarzombek, Marshall Harrison and Rusty Cooley, among others. He is also an adjunct professor of guitar at Lee College in Baytown Texas.