skip navigation

This page is designed for modern browsers. You will have a better experience with a better browser.

Brown Home Brown Home Brown Academics

Paul Phillips

Senior Lecturer in Music; Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music:
Music
Phone: 401-863-1472
Phone 2: 401-863-3234
Paul_Phillips@Brown.EDU

Conductor, composer, and author of "A Clockwork Counterpoint: The Music and Literature of Anthony Burgess" (Manchester University Press 2010). Guest conducting in 2010: RTE National Orchestra of Ireland/Naxos recording; Angers Conservatory Orchestra (France)/Burgess ballet "Mr W.S."; Commonwealth Opera "Messiah". Recent compositions: "War Music" Suite, for soprano, tenor, baritone and chamber orch: "Fifty-Five", comic art song for soprano; "Battle-Pieces", settings of war poems by Melville.

Biography

Paul Schuyler Phillips, Senior Lecturer in Music, is a conductor/composer/pianist, scholar, and author who has conducted more than sixty orchestras, choirs, opera and ballet companies worldwide, including the San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and Iceland Symphony, with which he has recorded two compact disks. He received a BA cum laude in music in 1978 and an MA in composition in 1980, both from Columbia, and an MM in orchestral conducting in 1982 from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He began his professional career as a coach/conductor in Germany at the Frankfurt Opera and Stadttheater Lüneburg, returning to the US in 1984 upon his selection for the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductors Program. Following posts with the Greensboro Symphony (1984-86) and Savannah Symphony (1986-89), he accepted an appointment at Brown in 1989 as Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music. He is also Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus.

Interests

Acclaimed as a conductor "who was born to stand on a podium", Phillips is a frequent guest conductor who has appeared with more than sixty orchestras, choruses, opera and ballet companies worldwide, including the San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and Choir, Boston Academy of Music, Opera Providence and numerous All-State Orchestras. Since 1994 he has also served as Music Director and Conductor of the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus in western Massachusetts. Recent conducting engagements include leading the New England premiere of Robert Levin's completion of Mozart's Mass in C minor with the Masterworks Chorale at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre, Massachusetts 2007 All-State Orchestra, Vermont 2008 All-State Orchestra, Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Handel's Messiah with Commonwealth Opera, and Mozart's Don Giovanni with Brown Summer Opera. Phillips has recorded works by Leifur Thorarinsson and Jorun Vidar with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and in April 2010 will host and conduct the American Composers Orchestra's EarShot Project with the Pioneer Valley Symphony. He has won nine ASCAP Awards for "Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music", including a 2009 prize with the Brown University Orchestra in the Collegiate Orchestra Division. Other conducting honors include First Prize in the NOS/Dutch Broadcasting Foundation International Conductors' Course, First Prize in the Wiener Meisterkurse Conducting Course in Austria, and selection as Finalist in the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductors Program. He has performed with such musical luminaries as Itzhak Perlman, Joseph Kalichstein, Matt Haimovitz, Eugenia Zukerman, Dave Brubeck and Dizzy Gillespie, and collaborated with numerous guest composers, including Steve Reich, Steven Stucky, Joseph Schwantner, William Perry, Michael Torke, George Walker, Lukas Foss and Samuel Adler. Phillips possesses a repertoire of over 900 works conductied in performance, including much of the standard orchestra and opera repertoire, and has led more than thirty US and world premieres. As a pianist, he has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Recital Hall, on recital series throughout the country, including the Mohawk Trail Concerts and Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and with numerous orchestras and choirs, including the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Providence Singers (in Les Noces and Carmina Burana).

Paul Phillips's compositions include works for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, voice and keyboard, as well as music for theatre, film and television. Works include Miracle Songs (soprano, piano; 1987), Brownian Motion (orchestra; 1995), Nantucket Rag (piano solo; 1996), Celestial Harmonies (ballet for string orchestra; 1997), Three Burgess Lyrics (SATB chorus, vln, pf; 1999), Black Notes and White (brass, percussion, organ; 2001) and Invocation (soprano, flute, piano; 2004). He composed Come On Out and Play (singer-narrator with orchestra; 1996) for two-time Grammy Award winner Bill Harley and has arranged Harley's songs "You're in Trouble" and "There's a Pea on my Plate" for orchestra. Phillips's piano piece "Dorian Bagatelle" is featured in the film Hachiko, starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen.

War Music, a 90-minute music theatre work based on Christopher Logue's retelling of The Iliad, was commissioned by the Rhode Island performance ensemble Aurea, premiered at the 2005 FirstWorksProv Festival, and later presented by the 2006 Chicago Humanities Festival and the New York Institute for the Humanities in 2007. War Music Suite was performed in 2009 by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra conducted by Kirk Trevor and by the Pioneer Valley Symphony conducted by Phillips. A/B, a 90th-birthday celebration of Anthony Burgess for actor and chamber ensemble, also commissioned by Aurea, was premiered at the 2007 FirstWorksProv Festival. Other recent works include Battle-Pieces, a cycle of settings of Civil War poems by Herman Melville, and "Fifty-Five", a comic coloratura aria composed for Kathryne Jennings, who premiered it in December 2009. The Norwalk Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Maryland Symphony, Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Ocean State Chamber Orchestra, Hopkins Symphony Orchestra and Marsh Chapel Choir are among the musical organizations that have performed Phillips's music.

Phillips has composed music for productions of Shakespeare's Pericles, Brecht's Mann ist Mann and an original musical (in German) on the Wizard of Oz tale titled Dorothees Abenteuer im Lande des Zauberers von Ooz, as well as music for film and television. He has received ASCAP composition awards annually since 1996, prizes from the New England String Ensemble and St. Botolph Club Foundation, and grants from the American Music Center and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, including a 2009 Individual Artist Project Grant from RISCA.

Phillips's publications include writings on the music of Igor Stravinsky and the British composer/novelist Anthony Burgess. His article "The Enigma of Variations: A Study of Stravinsky's Final Work for Orchestra" (Music Analysis, 1984) was cited by Richard Taruskin in his book Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions as "the best exposition in print of Stravinsky's serial methods." He has published numerous articles on Burgess, including the entry in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and chapters in Portraits of the Artist in A Clockwork Orange (Presses de l'université d'Angers, 2003), Anthony Burgess and Modernity (Manchester University Press, 2008), and Anthony Burgess: Music in Literature and Literature in Music (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009). His book A Clockwork Counterpoint: The Music and Literature of Anthony Burgess is scheduled to be published in 2010 by Manchester University Press. Phillips appeared as a commentator on and performer of Burgess's music in the BBC television documentary The Burgess Variations and has been invited to conduct the world premiere of Burgess's Shakespeare ballet Mr W.S. in France in 2010.

He attended the Eastman School of Music, Tanglewood and Aspen, studied piano in France with Jeanne-Marie Darré and conducting in Austria with Otmar Suitner at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He graduated with honors from Columbia, and holds graduate degrees from Columbia and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in composition and conducting, respectively. His teachers include Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin and Kurt Masur.

Degrees

BA cum laude (music), Columbia; MA (composition), Columbia; MM (conducting), Univ. of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Awards

• American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), ASCAPLUS Awards in Music Composition (14): 1996-2009
• ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music (9): Brown University Orchestra - 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 (1st Prize) & 2009; Pioneer Valley Symphony - 1997; Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra - 1986 (1st Prize)
• Who's Who in America, annual listings beginning 2006
• Brown University Staff Bonus Award, 2005
• International Who's Who in Classical Music, annual listings from 2005-present
• International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory; annual listings from 1990-present
• 2001 New England String Ensemble Composition Competition - Honorable Mention
• American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL) American Repertoire Project - Memphis Symphony Orchestra, 1992
• Wiener Meisterkurse Conductors Course - 1st Prize, 1990
• Music Academy of the West - Conducting Apprenticeship, 1986
• Tanglewood Music Center - Scholarship, 1985
• Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductors Program - Finalist, 1984
• NOS International Conductors Course - 1st Prize, 1983
• Aspen Music Festival - Conducting Fellowship, 1981

Affiliations

American Music Center
American Musicological Society
American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)
American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL)
Anthony Burgess Center & Anthony Burgess Society (Angers, France)
College Music Society
Conductors Guild
International Anthony Burgess Foundation (Manchester, England)

Funded Research

• Brown University - Humanities Research Funds, 2009-10
• RI State Council on the Arts - Individual Artist Project Grant, 2009
• Brown University Creative Arts Council - Fitt Artist-in-Residence Grant for flutist Carol Wincenc to give masterclasses and perform Christopher Rouse's Flute Concerto with the Brown University Orchestra, 2007
• Brown University - Faculty Research Grant, 2006
• American Music Center - Composer Assistance Program, 2005
• RI State Council on the Arts - Music Composition Fellowship, 2005
• RI State Council on the Arts - Individual Artist Grant, "The Burgess Project", 2005
• Brown University Creative Arts Council - Flexible Fund Grant for "A Manchester Overture", 2005
• Brown University - Faculty Research Grant, 2005
• Brown University - Faculty Research Grant, 2004
• RI Committee for the Humanities - Early Response Grant to support the Ellis Island project, 2004
• Joukowsky Family Foundation Grant - to support the Brown University Orchestra's Ellis Island project, 2004
• Brown University Creative Arts Council - Artist-in-Residence Grant for composer Peter Boyer in conjunction with performances of his works Titanic and Ellis Island: The Dream of America by the Brown University Orchestra, 2004
• Brown University - Faculty Development Grant, 2002
• St. Botolph Club Foundation - Grant-in-Aid, 2001
• RI Committee for the Humanities - Independent Research Grant, 2001
• Brown University - Faculty Development Grant, 2001
• RI State Council on the Arts - Music Composition Fellowship, 2000
• Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas-Austin - Andrew Mellon Fellowship, 1999
• American Music Center - Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Grant, 1999
• RI State Council on the Arts - Music Composition Fellowship, 1998
• Brown University - Henry Merritt Wriston Grant, 1998
• Brown University - Henry Merritt Wriston Grant, 1997
• Brown University - Curricular Development Grant, 1997
• Howard Foundation - Merit Award, 1996
• RI State Council on the Arts - Artist Project Grant, 1996
• American Music Center - Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Grant, 1995
• RI State Council on the Arts - Artist Project Grant, 1994

Web Links

Curriculum Vitae

Download Paul Phillips's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format