Philip Schuessler’s music, ranging from soloists to orchestra, often has sense of delicate urgency and rhythmic energy that is characterized by intricate instrumental writing and subtle timbral design. He takes inspiration from a variety of sources, including popular and rock music traditions, experimental improvisation, spectralism, natural and scientific processes, and countercultural political theater.
Many world-renowned artists and ensembles have championed his music over the years. These include such artists as Yarn/Wire, Loadbang, Hypercube, Unheard-of//Ensemble, Mantra Percussion Ensemble, Dither Guitar Quartet, Pesedjet, Iktus Percussion, violinist Graeme Jennings, cellist Craig Hultgren, pianist Mabel Kwan, and soprano Tony Arnold.
Schuessler’s music has been featured at various conferences and festivals across the United States and Europe. Some of these include the Darmstadt Summer Course, June in Buffalo, Festival Miami, the Czech-American Summer Music Workshop, CCMIX in Paris, SEAMUS Conferences, New Music on the Bayou, Electronic Music Midwest, New Music Forum, the School for Designing a Society, Society of Composers National Conference, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, and the Spark Festival. He has also been a resident and/or participant at the MusicX Festival, Brush Creek Arts Residency, the Ernst Bloch Music Festival, the Elliott Carter/Oliver Knussen Chamber Music Intensive Workshop at Carnegie Hall, and the Oregon Bach Festival. His electro-acoustic music has been recognized in France by Elektrophonie’s NuitBleue Music Festival, the Futura Festival, and the Bourges Residence.
Awards for his music also include the Music Teachers National Association Commissioned Composer of the Year, International Cello Loft Commission for Cello and Percussion, the Duo Fujin Composition Competition, and Random Access Music’s call for scores. He is also the recipient of a Composers Assistance Program grant from New Music USA. Schuessler received his Bachelors Degree in composition at Birmingham-Southern College, his Masters Degree from the University of Miami, and his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His teachers have included Charles Mason, Dorothy Hindman Dennis Kam, Keith Kothman, Dan Weymouth, Sheila Silver, Perry Goldstein, and Daria Semegen.
He is currently an instructor of music theory and composition at Southeastern Louisiana University where he was honored with the President’s Award in Artistic Excellence. His music is published by his own Pendula Music publishing company, as well as Society of Composers, Inc., Alea Publishing, T.U.X. People’s Music, Murphy Music Press, and Potenza Music, and recordings of his compositions can be found on the New Focus, Centaur, Navona, Janus, Curvepoint Media, and Capstone labels. Most recently his work Splintered Refrains is featured on the upcoming Phasma Music release Viola +.
In addition to being a composer and teacher, Schuessler is also assistant director, co-founder, pianist, and conductor for Versipel New Music. Based in New Orleans and now in its tenth year, Versipel presents contemporary music concerts throughout the southern Louisiana region.