Paul Phillips, Music Director and Conductor


Paul PhillipsPaul Phillips, Associate Professor of Music and the Gretchen B. Kimball Director of Orchestral Studies, is a conductor, composer, and author who has conducted more than 60 orchestras, opera companies, choirs, and ballet troupes worldwide, including the San Francisco Symphony, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and Choir, Boston Academy of Music, and Paul Taylor Dance Company. Appointed to the Stanford faculty in 2017, he has performed with many celebrated classical, jazz, and pop stars, including Itzhak Perlman, Christopher O’Riley, Joseph Kalichstein, Carol Wincenc, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Darlene Love, and collaborated with many leading composers, including Steve Reich, Steven Stucky, Joseph Schwantner, Michael Torke, Lukas Foss, Samuel Adler, Peter Boyer, William Perry, and Nico Muhly. Also an accomplished pianist, Phillips has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Carnegie Recital Hall, and Lincoln Center. His awards include 1st Prize in the NOS International Conductors Course (Holland) and Wiener Meisterkurse Conductors Course (Vienna), and 11 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.

In his previous position as Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music at Brown University, where he received the Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning in 2016, Phillips led the Brown University Orchestra to renown as one of America’s finest collegiate orchestras, performing in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, touring China and Ireland, and recording two compact discs for Naxos, including Manhattan Intermezzo with pianist Jeffrey Biegel. Phillips has also recorded with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland), Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and Slovak Philharmonic, and guest conducts in Argentina, Hungary, and Australia later this season.

After studies at Eastman, Columbia, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Phillips began his career in Germany as a coach/conductor at the Frankfurt Opera and Stadttheater Lüneburg. Upon his selection for the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductors Program, he returned to the U.S., holding positions with the Greensboro Symphony, Greensboro Opera, Savannah Symphony, and Savannah Symphony Chorale prior to his appointment at Brown. He has served as Music Director/Conductor of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Youth Concert Conductor of the Maryland Symphony, and Associate Conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and conducted numerous All-State and honors orchestras

Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, and Gunther Schuller are among the conductors with whom Phillips studied at Tanglewood, Aspen, the Salzburg “Mozarteum,” LA Philharmonic Institute, Music Academy of the West, and elsewhere. His compositions include orchestral works, ballet, opera, 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. His arrangement of Stravinsky’s opera Mavra, published by Boosey & Hawkes, has been performed internationally, while his book A Clockwork Counterpoint: The Music and Literature of Anthony Burgess, a groundbreaking examination of the work of the British composer-novelist best known as the author of A Clockwork Orange, 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.” For further information, visit