Music Director and Conductor
PAUL PHILLIPS, Music Director and Conductor of the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music at Brown University, is an award-winning conductor, composer, and author. Hailed as a conductor “who was born to stand on a podium,” his honors include 1st Prize in the NOS International Conductors Course in Holland, 1st Prize in the Wiener Meisterkurse Conductors Course in Vienna, and selection for the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductors Program. He has conducted over sixty orchestras, opera companies, and ballet troupes worldwide, including the San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Academy of Music, Festival Ballet Providence, and Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra. His recordings include two compact discs with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Naxos recording Music for Great Films of the Silent Era, with the RTE National Symphony of Ireland playing music by William Perry, including two works premiered by the PVS. A new recording of additional compositions by Perry, recorded this year with the RTE National Symphony, will be released by Naxos in 2015.
Now in his 21st season as Music Director, Paul has led the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus to new artistic heights. In 2013 the PVS received the New England Public Radio Arts and Humanities Award for Outstanding Organization and in 2014 won its third ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. Paul has spearheaded collaborations with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Hampshire Choral Society, Commonwealth Opera, Amherst Ballet, Old Deerfield Productions, and other arts organizations throughout the region. Highlights of his PVS concerts include memorable performances of Beethoven’s Ninth, four Mahler Symphonies, Brahms Requiem, Verdi Requiem, La Traviata, The Rite of Spring, The Planets, Carmina Burana, Ellis Island: The Dream of America, Belshazzar’s Feast, and A Sea Symphony. Under his leadership, the PVS has taken part in the American Composers Orchestra’s Earshot program, represented Massachusetts in the Ford Made in America Project, released recordings for Arizona University Recordings, premiered dozens of new works, and been profiled three times in Symphony Magazine.
The Brown University Orchestra, which Phillips has led since 1989, is considered one the country’s finest collegiate orchestras. Under his direction, it has performed with Itzhak Perlman at Avery Fisher Hall and the Dave Brubeck Quartet at Carnegie Hall; hosted dozens of guest composers, including Steve Reich, Steven Stucky, and Lukas Foss; toured China and Ireland; and won seven ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. This season Paul returns to Carnegie Hall with the BUO and records two CDs for Naxos of music by Gershwin, Ellington, Emerson, Sedaka, and Burgess.
With a conducting repertoire of approximately 1000 works, Phillips has conducted much of the standard repertoire, including opera and musical theatre ranging from Don Giovanni to Sweeney Todd. He enjoys jazz and has led concerts featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, and other popular artists. A strong believer in the importance of music in the lives of young people, he has worked extensively with student musicians and audiences as Youth Concert Conductor of the Maryland Symphony for fourteen years and as conductor of numerous youth and All-State orchestras. Also an accomplished pianist, Phillips has recorded for film and television, and performed at the Mohawk Trail Concerts, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Carnegie Recital Hall, and Lincoln Center.
After attending the Eastman School of Music as a composition-piano major, he graduated cum laude in music from Columbia University, later earning graduate degrees in composition and conducting from Columbia and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, respectively. He pursued additional studies at the Salzburg “Mozarteum”, Académie internationale d’été in Nice, Eastman, Music Academy of the West, Aspen, and Tanglewood. His conducting teachers include Kurt Masur, Gunther Schuller, and Leonard Bernstein. Phillips began his career at the Frankfurt Opera and Stadttheater Lüneburg in Germany, then returned to the US, where he held conducting posts with the Greensboro Symphony, Greensboro Opera, and Savannah Symphony before joining the Brown University faculty.
Apart from conducting, Phillips is an acclaimed composer and scholar. His recent compositions include Wave (2014) and Battle-Pieces (2011), both premiered by the PVS. Other compositions include Jack and the Beanstalk (2012), written in collaboration with two-time Grammy winner Bill Harley and premiered by the Allentown Symphony, and War Music (2005), commissioned and premiered by the RI-based performance ensemble Aurea. In 2013 Paul won North Cambridge Family Opera’s Commission Competition for a collaboration with Harley on a new opera titled Weedpatch, to be produced in 2016. Paul’s book A Clockwork Counterpoint: The Music and Literature of Anthony Burgess (Manchester University Press, 2010) came out in paperback in 2014. It has enjoyed critical acclaim and helped prompt increased performance of Burgess’s music, including recent performances by the BBC Philharmonic. One reviewer described the book as “sumptuous, prodigiously researched, elegantly written”, “necessary and splendid”, and “seamlessly fascinating”, concluding that Phillips “has conjured up a ‘new’ Burgess that will forever alter his reputation.” Another stated, “It would be hard to imagine a more sympathetic, knowledgeable, yet objective advocate for Anthony Burgess’s music than Paul Phillips,” while yet another dubbed Phillips “the world’s most energetic and influential champion of Burgess’s music”, whose “knowledge of Burgess’s writings rivals his technical knowledge of music, so that he is better qualified than any previous writer on Burgess to take the full measure of the man’s accomplishments.” For further information, visit www.paulsphillips.com
Phillips and his wife, soprano Kathryne Jennings, reside in Rhode Island, where their daughter Alanna attends high school. Their older daughter Joanna lives in Los Angeles, where she works as a film editor at Walt Disney Studios.
DR. JONATHAN HARVEY is thrilled to be in his seventh season with the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus. In addition to his position as Chorus Director with PVS, he teaches music history and conducts the choirs at Fitchburg State University, and is the Music Director and Conductor with the South Hadley Chorale.
Jonathan’s dedication to early music inspired his dissertation research on the secular Latin-texted works of Venetian Renaissance composer Adrian Willaert, his published work on Orlando di Lasso and C.P.E. Bach, and his frequent performances of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque repertoire. His commissioning projects, composer collaborations and frequent performances of new works are a testament to his commitment to ensuring that classical music is a living, breathing art form.
Jonathan has previously taught at Providence College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the MacDuffie School, Elms College, the University of Connecticut (where he earned a DMA in Conducting and Music History), Indiana University (where he earned an MM in Choral Conducting and Musicology), and Earlham College (where he earned a BA in Music and Philosophy). He has participated in conducting fellowship programs at Oberlin Conservatory and Yale School of Music and has conducted in master classes with Simon Carrington, Dale Warland, Monica Huggett, and Vance George among others. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, College Music Society, and Chorus America. He currently lives in Belchertown with his wife Jessica Adamick, their dog Suzette, and their cat Professor Plum.
Conductor Luca Antonucci brings dynamism and incisive musicianship to performances throughout New England. A native of Watertown, MA, Antonucci holds a B.A. from Amherst College, where he studied trumpet with Eric Berlin and conducting with Mark Swanson and Mallorie Chernin. Antonucci has appeared throughout the US and Europe in masterclasses with faculty including Paul Vermel, Donald Portnoy, Peter Jaffe, Diane Wittry, Mark Shapiro, and Neil Varon.
The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Vienna in 2014/15, Antonucci’s scholarly work has been published in the Journal of the Arnold Schönberg Center. He is currently completing work towards a Masters degree at the Hartt School, where he studies with Edward Cumming. In addition to maintaining a busy concert schedule as a conductor, singer, and trumpet player, Antonucci is the founder of the Brookline Chamber Singers and a member of the faculty of the Rivers Summer Music program in Weston, MA, where he teaches improvisation and theory and directs the Wind Ensemble. He also serves as Assistant conductor of the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Conductor of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra.