Phil Salathé spent his formative musical years playing jazz trumpet, making homemade musique concrète on an old tape deck, and getting in trouble for surreptitiously composing in high school chemistry class. His music has been performed in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia, and ranges widely in scale and scope, from multi-movement orchestral works to hand-programmed "chiptunes" for independent video game publishers. His most recent large-scale work is And Yet..., an orchestral piece incorporating 78 RPM recordings made in the 1930s by his grandfather Gilbert Patten, a gifted basso profondo.
He studied composition at Bennington College (B.A. 1998), the University of Hartford (M.M. 2006, A.D. 2007), and Stony Brook University (Ph.D., 2014), where he taught in the undergraduate and Pre-College programs until 2015. Since January 2016 he has been a Visiting Assistant Professor in Music Theory at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. His teaching history includes courses in music theory and analysis, composition, aural skills, counterpoint, music technology, and jazz improvisation, among other topics.
His upcoming projects in 2017 include a newly commissioned work for Seattle-based oboist Ursula Sahagian, soundtracks for several video games, and continued exploration of the "open form" compositional strategies that have intrigued him of late, as exemplified by his piece Trefoil for the 2015 nief-norf Summer Festival in Knoxville, TN.
In addition to composing and teaching, Phil has written articles and reviews for the Hartford Courant and the magazine Masstransfer, contributed musical analysis and commentary to Julian Palacios's book Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, and penned liner notes at the request of clarinetist Alan Kay for his CD release Max Reger: Music for Clarinet and Piano (Bridge Records, 2016).
Outside of music, Phil enjoys playing chess, learning languages, and exploring the world of offbeat cinema. He recently became a Jeopardy! champion, winning the episode broadcast on July 13, 2015.