Phillips, Burrill, American composer and teacher; b. Omaha, Nov. 9,1907; d. Berkeley, Calif., June 22,1988. He studied music with Edwin Stringham in Denver; then with Hanson and Rogers at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (B.M., 1932; M.M., 1933). He taught at the Eastman School of Music (1933–49; 1965–66), the Univ. of 111. in Urbana (1949–64), the Juilliard School in N.Y. (1968–69), and Cornell Univ. (1972–73). His early music was cast in a neo-Classical style; later he incorporated free serial techniques.
dramatic: Opera: Don’t We All (1947; Rochester, N.Y., May 9,1949); The Unforgiven (1981). ballet:Katmanusha (1932–33); Play Ball (Rochester, N.Y., April 29,1938); Step into My Parlor (1942); La pinata (1969). other: Incidental music. orch.:Selections from McGuffey’s Reader (1933; Rochester, N.Y., May 3, 1934); Sinfonia concertante (Rochester, N.Y., April 3, 1935); American Dance for Bassoon and Strings (Rochester, N.Y., April 25, 1940); 3 Satiric Fragments (Rochester, N.Y., May 2, 1941); Piano Concerto (1942); Scherzo (1944); Tom Paine Overture (1946; N.Y., May 15, 1947); Concerto grosso for String Quartet and Chamber Orch (1949); Triple Concerto for Clarinet, Viola, Piano, and Orch. (1952); Perspectives in a Labyrinth for 3 String Orchs. (1962); Soleriana concertante (1965); Yellowstone, Yates, and Yosemite for Tenor Saxophone and Symphonic Band (1972). chamber: Trio for 3 Trumpets (1937); 2 string quartets (1939–40; 1958); Violin Sonata (1941); Partita for Piano Quartet (1947); Cello Sonata (1948); 4 Figures in Time for Flute and Piano (1952); Oboe Quintet (1967); Intrada for Wind Ensemble, Percussion, Piano, Violin, and Cello (1975); Scena da camera for Violin and Cello (1978); Canzona VI for Wind Quintet (1985). Piano: 4 sonatas (1942–60); 9 by 9, a set of 9 variations, each in a meter of 9 beats (1942); Toccata (1944); Commentaries (1983). vocal:Declaratives for Women’s Chorus and Chamber Orch. (1943); The Return of Odysseus for Baritone, Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1956); Letters from Italy Hill for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, String Quartet, and Piano (1984).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire