Philip Blackburn was born in Cambridge, England, and studied music there as a Choral Scholar at Clare College. He earned his Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Iowa where he studied with Kenneth Gaburo and began work on publishing the Harry Partch archives. Blackburn's book, Enclosure Three: Harry Partch, won an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. He has worked at the American Composers Forum since 1991, running the innova Recordings label and developing re-granting programs and opportunities for composers.
He is also a composer/ environmental sound-artist and has served as teaching artist for school residencies connected with the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, creating multi-media performances using home-made instruments.
Blackburn has published articles on topics such as Vietnamese, Garifuna, and Cuban music, the social dynamics of ensemble performance, and the use of sound in public art. He received a 2003 Bush Artist Fellowship and built an art-house in Belize, Kumquat Cottage. His house renovation project in St. Paul was featured in the New York Times.
• Deep Listening Institute Participant (led by Pauline Oliveros), NY, 2003
• RSA/UCLES Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Bell School, Cambridge, 1991
• Ph.D. (Music), The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1989.
• M.A. (Music), University of Cambridge, England, 1989.
• M.A. (Music), The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1987.
• B.A. Hons. (Music) with Choral Exhibition, Clare College, University of Cambridge, 1985.
• East Side Arts Council, Board of Directors, 2001-
• Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble, Vice President, Board of Directors, 2002-
• Science Museum of Minnesota, MYBEST Youth Science Center Adult Mentor, 2003-2006
• Public Art St. Paul, Hunting/Gathering: Artist/Scientist Sustainability Walks, 2009-10
• Nominated for USArtist Fellowship, 2009
• Nominated (30 out of 500) for Maker’s Quest 2.0, Association for Independent Radio Producers, 2009
• Featured in Notations 21 (New York, 2009)
• 2008-10, K-12 Public Artist in Residence, Flint Hills International Childrens Festival, Ordway Center for the Arts, St. Paul.
• 2007-, Science Museum of Minnesota commission for Wild Music exhibit soundtrack.
• Minnesota Public Radio Classical Music Initiative: "Music and Nature: A Natural History of Listening" radio show and web site (musicandnature.org)
• 2003 Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship in Music Composition
• 1999 Delire Actuel Award, CFLX, Quebec, for Enclosure Five: Harry Partch
• 1998 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Citation Award for Enclosure Three: Harry Partch
• 1998 FORECAST Public Artworks R&D Stipend to develop prototype Sonic Playground
• 1995 Jerome Travel Study Grant to research sound-sculpture in Australia and Western Samoa for 7 weeks
• Recipient of a 1993 grant from the Asian Cultural Council to teach and conduct research in Vietnam for 16 weeks
• Arts Over AIDS grant for Spirit Maps Project, 1993 (with Donald Engstrom).
• Consultant for Science Museum of Minnesota Bio-Music Committee, 2005-
• Consultant/producer for Musicmavericks.org (MPR) website, 2003
• Represented Minnesota Composers Forum as first US arts organization to set up links with Vietnam, 1993-94.
• Director of Artist Services/Innova Director, American Composers Forum, 1991-
• Program development for: McKnight Composer Fellowships, McKnight Visiting Composer Program, Jerome Composers Commissioning Program, Sonic Circuits Festival of Electronic Music and Art, Faithpartners, Continental Harmony, Subito, Orchestra Reading Program, Bamboofest, The World of Vietnamese Music Festival, innova Recordings.
• Graphic designer on over 150 CDs
• Occasional panelist for Minnesota State Arts Board, Blacklock Residency and Metro- and Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, 1993-
• Guest speaker at national conventions such as Chamber Music America, ASCAP I Create Music, Philadelphia Music Project, New Music Canada.
• Frequent lecturer on arts careers at schools such as: Moorhead State, Bennington, Brown, Berklee, Stanford, UMass Dartmouth, Bucknell, UC-San Diego, UC-Los Angeles, University of Minnesota, Macalester, Goldsmith’s, London; American University Sofia, Bulgaria.
• Singer with the Dale Warland Singers (a professional new music choir), 1991-6, Ex Machina Baroque Opera, 1991-6 (an antique theatre ensemble), A Musical Summit (an early music duo), 1989-6, Rose Ensemble for Early Music, 1997-9.
• National Advisory Board Member for the Dale Warland Singers, 1996- 2004
• Teaching Assistant at the University of Iowa, devising curriculum for Fundamentals of Music, 1985-89 (during which time enrollment increased 200%), founder/director of the Lynceus Consort (an experimental performance ensemble), singer with the Center for New Music, 1988-90.