Paul Phillips (conductor)

Paul Phillips (conductor)

Paul Schuyler Phillips is an American conductor born in 1956. He has been the Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music at Brown University since 1989. He has been the Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony (based in Greenfield, MA) since 1994. He has conducted such orchestras as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Iceland Symphony in addition to serving as a coach/conductor at the Frankfurt Opera and Stadttheater Lüneburg.

Academic interests

Phillips' interests are not limited to performance. In addition to conducting, he is a music scholar and composer.

Music scholarship

Phillips is considered the world's leading scholar on the music of author Anthony Burgess, having written the article about Burgess' music in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. His most recent work on the subject, "" will be published by Manchester University Press in the near future. He was featured as a commentator on the BBC documentary "The Burgess Variations".

Phillips is also known for his article "The Enigma of Variations: A Study of Igor Stravinsky's Final Work for Orchestra" ("Music Analysis", 1984). This article was cited in Richard Taruskin's book "Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions" as "the best exposition in print of Stravinsky's serial methods."


Phillips' most recent work, a music theatre piece based on the writings of Christopher Logue, is entitled "War Music" and was premiered in September 2005 at the FirstWorksProv festival in Providence, Rhode Island. This piece was commissioned by the local performing arts group "Aurea" and was performed again in November 2006 at the Chicago Humanities Festival. The piece experienced a short revival in New York City in April 2007 with Phillips conducting.

Other compositions include:
*music for:
**Shakespeare's "Pericles",
**Bertolt Brecht's "Mann ist Mann",
*a musical in German based on "The Wizard of Oz" called "Dorothees Abenteuer im Lande des Zauberers von Ooz",
*music for film and TV,
*and concert works for orchestra and other ensembles including
**"Invocation" (soprano, flute, piano; 2004)
**"Black Notes and White" (brass, percussion, organ; 2001)
**"Three Burgess Lyrics" (SATB chorus, violin, pf; 1999)
**"Celestial Harmonies" (ballet for string orchestra; 1997)
**"Brownian Motion" (orchestra; 1995)
**"Come On Out and Play" (singer-narrator with orchestra; 1996, in collaboration with singer/songwriter Bill Harley)


Phillips has appeared as a conductor with over 60 music performance groups worldwide. He has won eight awards from the ASCAP for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, including first prize with the Brown University Orchestra in 2005 in the Collegiate Orchestra Division.

He has conducted the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Boston Academy of Music, Opera Providence, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and Choir, and several All-State Festival Orchestras.

Recently, he conducted the Masterworks Chorale at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre in the Massachusetts premiere of Robert Levin's completion of Mozart's Mass in C Minor.

Phillips has performed with such musicians as Itzhak Perlman (with the Brown University orchestra), Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Matt Haimovitz, and Eugenia Zukerman as well as having worked with composers such as Michael Torke, Steve Reich, Steven Stucky, Lukas Foss, Samuel Adler, and George Walker.

In December 2006, he led the Brown University Orchestra in a concert tour of China. The group traveled to Shanghai, where they played two concerts in the new Shanghai Oriental Art Center. They then played concerts in surrounding cities before flying to Beijing for their final concert of the tour, which was in Beijing's Poly Theatre.


Phillips attended the Eastman School of Music, Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festival and School. He received a BA "cum laude" in music from Columbia University, where he continued his graduate work and received an MA in composition. He received another MM in conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His teachers include Gerhard Samuel, Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur, and Otmar Suitner from the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg for conducting and Jeanne-Marie Darré for piano.


*Phillips makes a short appearance in the Arnold Schwarzenegger James Bond spoof "True Lies". Schwarzenegger, as Harry Tasker, enters a party after the credits and wanders into a room off of the main ballroom. Here, he runs into a bearded Phillips wearing a white scarf and hands him a glass of champagne. Fact|date=February 2007
**The original cut of the film featured a close-up on Phillips' face, scowling at Schwarzenegger after he left. This shot was later removed for the release on VHS. Fact|date=February 2007

External links


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