Philip Rugel (born 1970) began writing music at the age of 13, mostly bassoon duets that he would write to play at his weekly lessons. What grew out of this were numerous chamber works by the age of 17 and an opera for his senior recital at the Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan) in 1988. After this successful premier, Philip continued on to the Eastman School of Music where he would study with the leading composers of the time including Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner and Samuel Adler. Additionally, he studied at The American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France.


Philip counts among his many influences composers such as Sibelius, Shostakovich and Aaron Copland. He also considers as inspiration the TV programs that he watched as a child such as The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and The Outer Limits. These shows with their fantastical scores had a great impact on the young composer and continue to influence his compositional style to this day.


Philip’s career since college has consisted of an output of song cycles, string quartets, a requiem, works for woodwinds and his opera, Purgatory which was premiered in Sydney, Australia in 2016 by the Sydney Wind Symphony. Recent premiers include the performance of two songs cycles, Tilbury Town and A Demon in My View, at The University of Texas in 2021 and the world premier of his wind quintet, Introduction and Fantasia, in Seoul, South Korea in 2022.


From 2012-2015 Philip served as composition and theory instructor at the Music Center of South Central Michigan, a small community school in Battle Creek, Michigan. In 2015 Philip was invited to take the position as conductor of the Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra a position he held until 2018. He currently serves as the assistant conductor of the Recorder Orchestra of the Midwest where he is also a member of the board.


Philip continues to write both large scale and chamber works in his hometown of Kalamazoo, MI.