The music of Phil Salathé ranges widely in scale and scope, from multi-movement orchestral pieces to hand-programmed "chiptunes" for independent video game publishers. His works have been performed in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia, and at festivals and conferences including the Wintergreen Festival, the Sebago-Long Lake Festival, the Cape May Music Festival, the Charlotte New Music Festival, the nief-norf Summer Music Festival, the Ncounters conference in Edmonton, the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Fortaleza, the Asian Double Reed Association Conference in Mahidol, and the International Double Reed Society Conference.
He studied composition at Bennington College, where his principal teachers were John Luther Adams, Tobias Picker, Allen Shawn, and Stephen Siegel; the Hartt School, where he studied under Robert Carl, Stephen Gryc, and Ken Steen; and Stony Brook University (Ph.D., 2014), working with Perry Goldstein, Daria Semegen, and Peter Winkler. In January 2016 he joined the faculty at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, where he teaches music theory, composition, and aural skills, among other topics.
He recently completed Imaginary Birds: Music for Oboe and English Horn, a CD recording project with longtime collaborators Oboe Duo Agosto, released in February 2019 on Ravello Records. Other recent and upcoming projects include an April 2019 residency at the Hambidge Center in Georgia, premieres of newly commissioned works for oboist Ursula Sahagian and flautist Jill Rubio, and travel to Belgium for the College Music Society's 2019 International Conference, which will feature his piece On the Beach for cello and electronics and his presentation "Metrical Dissonance As Signifier of the Progressive in Rock Music".
In addition to composing and teaching, he has written for the Hartford Courant, contributed musical analysis and commentary to Julian Palacios's book Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, and penned liner notes for the CD release Max Reger: Music for Clarinet and Piano (Bridge Records, 2016).
Outside of music, he enjoys playing chess, learning languages, and exploring offbeat cinema. In 2015 he successfully competed on the television show Jeopardy!, winning one episode.