Bio


Paul Phillips, Gretchen B. Kimball Director of Orchestral Studies and Associate Professor of Music, has conducted more than 75 orchestras, opera companies, and ballet troupes worldwide, including the San Francisco Symphony, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and Choir, and Paul Taylor Dance Company. His conducting discography includes two discs with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and five Naxos recordings with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland), Slovak Philharmonic, and Brown University Orchestra. Bayerische Staatsoper’s 2022 DVD “Mavra/Iolanta” features Phillips’s chamber arrangement of Stravinsky’s “Mavra”, published by Boosey & Hawkes.

At Stanford, Phillips conducts the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Stanford Philharmonia, and Stanford Summer Symphony, and teaches Conducting, “Black Music Revealed”, “Harmonic Convergence: Music’s Intersections with Science, Mathematics, History, and Literature”, and “Russian Modernists: Stravinsky and Shostakovich”. He is President of the Western Region of the College Orchestra Directors Association and a member of the League of American Orchestras, International Conductors Guild, and ASCAP.

Phillips has conducted concerts featuring Itzhak Perlman, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and many other great classical and jazz soloists, and collaborated with Steve Reich, William Bolcom, Adolphus Hailstork, and many other leading composers. He has conducted over 1000 works in performance – orchestral, choral, opera, music theatre, and dance – and led over 100 world, US, and regional premieres. His many honors include 11 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, 1st Prize in the NOS International Conductors Course (Holland) and Wiener Meisterkurse Conductors Course (Vienna), selection for the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductors Program, and the Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning at Brown University,

“The Devil Prefers Mozart: On Music and Musicians, 1962-1993”, a collection of 75 writings on music by Anthony Burgess that Phillips compiled and edited, will be published by Carcanet Press in January 2024. Phillips’s earlier book, “A Clockwork Counterpoint: The Music and Literature of Anthony Burgess”, is a groundbreaking monograph that has been hailed in the press as “prodigiously researched, elegantly written” and “seamlessly fascinating”. Phillips is also a noted music theorist whose article “The Enigma of ‘Variations’: A Study of Stravinsky’s Final Work for Orchestra” in “Music Analysis” is cited by Richard Taruskin in “Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions” as “the best exposition in print of Stravinsky’s serial methods.”

Phillips's compositions include orchestral works, a ballet, choral music, song cycles, keyboard and chamber music, music for theatre, and works for young audiences. In 2018, North Cambridge Family Opera premiered his opera “Weedpatch”, winner of its first Commission Competition. He is currently composing a new work for 12 pianos that will be premiered in San Francisco in February 2024. As a pianist, Phillips has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Orvieto Music, and Carnegie Recital Hall, and recorded for film and television.

Phillips attended Eastman, Columbia, and Cincinnati along with Tanglewood, Aspen, and other music festivals, where he studied conducting with Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Gunther Schuller, and many others. He began his career at the Frankfurt Opera and Stadttheater Lüneburg followed by positions with the Greensboro Symphony, Greensboro Opera, Maryland Symphony, and Savannah Symphony. From 1989-2017, he was Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music at Brown University. During that time, he also served as Associate Conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic (1989-92) and Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (1994-2017).

Academic Appointments


  • Professor (Teaching), Music

Administrative Appointments


  • Co-Chair – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Department of Music (2022 - 2023)
  • Chair – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Department of Music (2021 - 2022)
  • Member – COVID Reopening Group, Department of Music (2020 - 2022)
  • Member – Library Committee, Department of Music (2019 - 2022)
  • Chair – Conducting Major Curriculum Review, Department of Music (2018 - 2020)
  • Member – Curriculum Review Task Force, Department of Music (2018 - 2020)

Honors & Awards


  • ASCAP Plus Awards (annual), ASCAP (1996-2015, 2017-2022)
  • Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning, Brown University (2016)
  • NCFO Commission Competition, 1st Prize, North Cambridge Family Opera (Massachusetts) (2013)
  • Honorary Patron, International Anthony Burgess Foundation (Manchester, UK) (2011)
  • Fellowship in Music Composition, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (1998, 2000, 2006, 2014, 2016)
  • Artist Project Grant, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (1994, 1996, 2005, 2009, 2012, 2016)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • President, College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), Western Region (2022 - Present)
  • President-Elect, College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), Western Region (2021 - 2022)
  • Vice-President, College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), Western Region (2020 - 2021)
  • Member, College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) (2017 - Present)
  • Music Advisor, International Anthony Burgess Foundation (2015 - Present)
  • Honorary Patron, International Anthony Burgess Foundation (2010 - Present)
  • Member, College Music Society (1986 - 2023)
  • Member, Conductors Guild (1986 - Present)
  • Publisher (Barnard Street Music), ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) (1984 - Present)
  • Composer, ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) (1984 - Present)

Professional Education


  • MM, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Orchestral Conducting (1982)
  • MA, Columbia University, Composition (1980)
  • BA cum laude, Columbia University, Music (1978)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


My current project is the composition of a new work for 12 pianos that will be premiered in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on 9 & 10 February 2024. This commission follows an earlier project for 12 pianos that took place in 2022, when I conducted the premiere of "Fall and Fly" for 12 pianos at Flower Piano in San Francisco's Botanical Gardens. That composition by Benjamin Gribble will be repeated in the Grace Cathedral concert along with the premiere of my new work, whose working title is "Silicon Valliations".

Projects


  • Music of Adolphus Hailstork, Stanford Symphony Orchestra & Stanford Philharmonia (5/2022)

    new recording of compositions by the American composer Adolphus Hailstork (born 1941)

    Location

    Stanford, California

2023-24 Courses


All Publications


  • Musique pour la France d'Antoine Bourgeois Anthony Burgess et la France edited by Jeannin, M. Presses Universitaires de Rennes. 2019: 27–39
  • Musique pour la France d'Antoine Bourgeois Anthony Burgess and France edited by Jeannin, M. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2017: 27–39
  • Mr A.B. and 'Mr W.S.': Burgess's Shakespeare Ballet Marlowe, Shakespeare, Burgess: Anthony Burgess and his Elizabethan Affiliations edited by Woodroffe, G. Presses de l'Université d'Angers. 2012: 127–34
  • Burgess and Music A Clockwork Orange Burgess, A. edited by Rawlinson, M. W.W. Norton & Company. 2011: 236–45
  • That Man and Music: Ten Reasons Why Anthony Burgess's Music Matters Anthony Burgess: Music in Literature and Literature in Music edited by Jeannin, M. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2009: 7–19
  • The postmodernist always swings nice Anthony Burgess and Modernity edited by Roughley, A. R. Manchester University Press. 2008: 79–94
  • Alex in Eden: Prologue and Music to Burgess's Dramatisation of 'A Clockwork Orange' Portraits of the Artist in 'A Clockwork Orange' edited by Vernadakis, E., Woodroffe, G. Presses de l'Université d'Angers. 2003: 113–29