June 9, 2007
By George Mauzy
Ohio University has named composer and School of Music Professor Mark Phillips this year's Distinguished Professor, the university's highest faculty honor. Phillips was recognized during Saturday's undergraduate commencement exercises.
The Distinguished Professor award carries a lifetime designation that recognizes scholarly accomplishment, professional reputation and contributions to the university. It rewards recipients with one quarter of professional leave and the privilege of naming one student annually to receive a Distinguished Professor Scholarship.
"I am profoundly honored to receive this title and humbled by the support of my colleagues both in the field of music and on the selection committee," Phillips said. "I especially want to acknowledge my fabulously talented and generous colleagues in the School of Music -- past and present -- whose inspired performances have helped bring vividly to life so much of the music I have composed during my time at Ohio University.
"I am proud to represent the College of Fine Arts and the School of Music as I accept the responsibilities and privileges of this wonderful award," he added.
Ken Holroyd, chair of the Distinguished Professors for 2006-07, said it is a pleasure to recognize an Ohio University composer who has demonstrated such creativity in so many musical forms.
"His compositions are recognized by contemporary composers and scholars of contemporary music for their high level of craftsmanship, technical mastery and intellectual depth," Holroyd said. "They also are enjoyed by listeners ranging from the musical professional to relatively 'unmusical' listeners like myself as engaging, emotionally moving, frequently surprising and fun musical experiences."
Phillips has received a number of other prestigious awards, including the Barlow International Prize for Orchestral Music. In 2006, he earned the highly competitive Pi Kappa Lambda composer commission, which allowed his work to be debuted at the honor society's national conference. Phillips has collaborated with such artists as Leonard Slatkin, Richard Stoltzman and the Lark Quartet, and his music has been performed throughout the world.
Phillips, who grew up in Parkersburg, W.Va., has been a member of the Ohio University School of Music faculty since 1984 and was a Presidential Research Scholar from 1999 through 2004. He was commissioned to compose the score for the "Turning Two Hundred" multimedia presentation for Ohio University's bicentennial celebration in 2004.
Phillips earned a bachelor's degree in music from West Virginia University and master's and doctoral degrees in music from Indiana University.