“Craig is one of the most gifted, accomplished, and prolific composers, not only in AAM, but also in the United States.”
Victor Hill, The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians
Phillips’s music is reminiscent of the work of both Duruflé and Herbert Howells. Like these composers, Phillips uses a harmonic vocabulary consisting largely of enriched consonance.
Byron Adams, from the program notes to “A Festival Song”
Craig Phillips / About
Craig Phillips is a distinguished and popular American composer and organist and Director of Music at All Saints’ Church, Beverly Hills. His choral and organ music is heard Sunday by Sunday in churches and cathedrals across the United States, and many of his works have been performed in concert throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He was named the American Guild of Organists Distinguished Composer for 2012 — the seventeenth recipient of this special award. Dr. Phillips joins an illustrious list that includes past honorees Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Daniel Pinkham, Stephen Paulus, David Hurd and others. In 2015 Dr. Phillips was named an honorary canon of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, Diocese of Los Angeles, at a gala event at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and in 2016 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Virginia Theological Seminary.
Dr. Phillips was featured as soloist at the opening service of the 2012 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Nashville with the première of a newly commissioned work, Three Sketches for Organ, and in his works for organ, brass and percussion. The 2010 National Convention of the AGO saw the première of his commissioned work Sojourn for organ and winds; and in 2002, Dr. Phillips was featured as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of his Concertino for organ and orchestra during the National Convention of the AGO in Philadelphia. He has also appeared as soloist with members of the Eastman Philharmonia, the Oklahoma Symphony, the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, and Musica Angelica at the Corona del Mar Baroque Music Festival. Dr. Phillips has appeared as soloist at regional conventions of the AGO and at various venues across the United States. He has distinguished himself in a number of competitions, including First Prize in the 1994 Clarence Mader Competition for organ composition. He was a judge for the 2004 National Competition in Organ Improvisation at the National AGO convention in Los Angeles, the 2005 AGO/Holtcamp Award in Organ Composition, and the 2009 American Guild of Organists Award in Organ Composition.
The music of Craig Phillips has been the subject of feature articles in the The American Organist (March 2012), the Los Angeles Times (February 2012) and The Diapason (June 2009). Dr. Phillips has received numerous commissions from such organizations as The American Guild of Organists (for the National Conventions in Washington, DC, 2010, Nashville, 2012, and Seattle, 2000, and for regional conventions in Atlanta, 2007, Lexington, 2011, Boston, 2009, San Diego and Binghamton, 2001), The Episcopal Church (for the 2006 General Convention), The Association of Anglican Musicians, Stellar Brass (USAF Academy Band), The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s (Pacific Palisades, CA), CoroAllegro of Wilmington, Delaware, The University of Iowa, Syracuse University, University of California at Riverside, Washington National Cathedral and many other churches and institutions. His secular works include a Concerto for Harpsichord and Chamber Orchestra, Concerto for Bassoon and Strings, A Festival Song for chorus and orchestra, a song cycle for soprano and orchestra entitled Songs of the Unknown Region, Suite for Organ, Brass Quintet and Percussion, two Sonatas for organ, and a number of other chamber works. His works have received critical acclaim in journals such as Gramaphone, Clavier, The American Organist, Cross Accent, and The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, and have been broadcast on American Public Media’s Pipedreams. He has received numerous ASCAP awards, and a Meet the Composer grant for a work premiered at the Ojai Festival. His organ and choral and chamber works are published by several prestigious firms.
Dr. Phillips holds the degrees Doctor of Musical Arts, Master of Music, and the Performers Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, where he studied with the great pedagogue Russell Saunders. His Bachelor of Music Degree is from Oklahoma Baptist University, and his early musical studies were at the Blair School of Music in Nashville. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Anglican Musicians, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and serves on the board of the Clarence Mader Foundation.
Dr. Phillips resides in West Hollywood, California. He has a love of travel and for many years has spent part of the summer in Southern France, where he goes to write music and gather inspiration.