Phil Kline


Phil Kline is a composer who makes music in many genres and contexts, from experimental electronics and sound installations to songs, choral, theater, chamber and orchestral music.

Raised in Akron, Ohio, he came to New York to study English Literature and music at Columbia. After graduation, he became part of the downtown New York arts scene: founding the rock band The Del-Byzanteens with Jim Jarmusch and James Nares, collaborating with Nan Goldin on the soundtrack to The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, and playing guitar in the notorious Glenn Branca Ensemble.

His early compositions grew out of his solo performance art and often used boombox tape players as a medium, most notably Bachman’s Warbler for harmonicas and twelve tape loops (1992) and the Christmas piece Unsilent Night, which debuted in the streets of Greenwich Village in 1992 and is now performed annually in dozens of cities around the world. Other compositions include Zippo Songs, a song cycle based on poems Vietnam vets inscribed on their Zippo lighters, The Blue Room and Other Stories, written for string quartet Ethel, and Exquisite Corpses, commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

More recent works include the choral mass John the Revelator, written for vocal group Lionheart; a piano sonata, The Long Winter, written for Sarah Cahill; and scores for three evening-length dance pieces by Wally Cardona: Everywhere, Site and Really Real. The sound installation World on a String opened the season at the Krannert Center in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in September 2007 and SPACE for string quartet and electronics was performed by Ethel at the gala reopening of Alice Tully Hall in 2009. Kline is currently working on an opera, Tesla in New York, in collaboration with writer-director Jim Jarmusch, and Out Cold, a song cycle for Theo Bleckmann and ACME.


Phil Kline appears in the following:

Listen: Q2 Music's 2014 New-Music Countdown

Monday, December 22, 2014

Q2 Music closed out 2014 with a one marathon countdown of the top 100 pieces of the last 100 years, chosen by listeners. Check out the full results.

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'Music for 18 Reindeer'

Friday, December 19, 2014

For the 19th day of Q2 Music's inaugural Advent Calendar, download "Music for 18 Reindeer," a Reich-influenced track by composer and Q2 host, Phil Kline.


Peace on Earth

Saturday, December 13, 2014

For the 13th day of Q2 Music's inaugural Advent Calendar, download Peace on Earth, a festive track from Q2 host, Phil Kline.



Monday, December 08, 2014

For the eighth day of Q2 Music's inaugural Advent Calendar, download Hallelujah!, a Christmas treat by composer and Q2 Music host Phil Kline.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

For the second day of Q2 Music's inaugural Advent Calendar, download a Christmas bauble by Phil Kline, Shepherds. It sounds like Berlioz in a shopping mall. 

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Today on Q2 Music: 24-Hour Celebration of Charles Ives

Monday, October 20, 2014

Join Q2 Music all day on Friday, October 24 to celebrate the 140th birthday of Charles Ives - pioneering, maverick composer and grandfather of the American classical music sound. 

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Finn-to-Finn: 24-Hour Marathons of Einojuhani Rautavaara and Kaija Saariaho

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

All day today, we celebrate the upcoming birthday of influential Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho with a 24-hour survey of her music, hosted by Phil Kline.

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Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla: Just an Old Fashioned Love Song

Monday, August 18, 2014

Even for Messiaen, the Turangalîla-Symphony is weird. Stream the new recording by Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony and Angela Hewitt all week. 

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Phil Kline Spotlights Scandinavian Symphonist Per Nørgård

Monday, July 21, 2014

While the music of  Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg and Esa-Pekka Salonen has become quite familiar to American audiences in recent years, that of their important predecessor Per Nørgård has remained offshore. Join Phil Kline this week from 11 am to 1 pm on Q2 Music for a look at the Scandinavian symphonist. 


Gavin Bryars's Coolly Passionate, Accessible Avant-gardism

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gavin Bryars is one of the great polystylists of our time. His works could be by turns described as minimal, experimental, neoclassical, neoromantic, historicist or even jazz. Listen weekdays between 11 am and 1 pm as host Phil Kline explores the music of the likeable experimentalist and English composer-double bassist. 

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On-Demand Audio: 'Andriessen 75' Festival Showcases String Quartets

Monday, July 07, 2014

The week-long festival celebrating Louis Andriessen's life and work concluded with a concert presentation of his complete string quartets. The Aeolus Quartet, Juilliard's graduate resident string quartet for this year, performed. Stream excerpts from the concerts on demand. 

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On-Demand Audio: 'Andriessen 75' on the Edge

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Composers Derek Bermel and Ruby Fulton shared a program with Louis Andriessen and the late French composer Florent Schmitt at the "Andriessen 75" festival. Stream the entire concert, performed by the EDGE Ensemble, the Shenandoah Conservatory Wind Ensemble, and violinist Monica Germino.


On-Demand Audio: Bang on a Can All-Stars at 'Andriessen 75'

Saturday, July 05, 2014

The Bang on a Can All-Stars brought their powerhouse energy and skill to the "Andriessen 75" festival in Washington, D.C., playing some of the composer's most iconic works.


On-Demand Audio: Louis's Jazz at 'Andriessen 75' Festival

Friday, July 04, 2014

Wednesday, July 9 at 11 am ET, Phil Kline continues his presentation of the "Andriessen 75" festival in Washington, D.C. with "Andriessen's Piano/Andriessen's Jazz" featuring pianists Molly Orlando and Francesca Hurst as well as the Brad Linde Jazz Ensemble.


On-Demand Audio: 'Andriessen 75' Pushes the Violin Envelope

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

At the "Andriessen 75" festival, pieces by Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon and Donnacha Dennehy tested the versatility of the violin. The concert took place April 7 in Washington, D.C. with a performance by violinist Monica Germino and sound design by Frank van der Weij.

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On-Demand Audio: 'Andriessen 75' Festival Brings Composer's Opera to D.C.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The first concert of "Andriessen 75," the week-long celebration of Louis Andriessen's 75th birthday held in Washington D.C. this April, featured the Dutch composer's ambitious opera La Commedia. 


Young Composers Go Solo at NY Phil Biennial

Friday, June 13, 2014

Young composers had the spotlight, as did solo musicians, at the New York Philharmonic Biennial CONTACT! concert on Tuesday, June 3 at SubCulture. Join host Phil Kline in listening Friday at 3 pm.


Danish Composer Per Nørgård Wins $200,000 Prize from NY Philharmonic

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Composer Per Nørgård has received a hefty prize from the New York Philharmonic: a $200,000 cash award, a commission to compose a new work for the orchestra.


A is for Awesome, All-encompassing, Andriessen

Monday, April 07, 2014

Louis Andriessen has exerted a vital influence on American music over in the last few decades. Of course he’s Dutch and has stayed close to home most of his career, but the strength of his convictions and principles have traveled well.

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Kronos at 40: 24-Hour Marathon Anniversary Stream

Monday, March 24, 2014

On March 29, Q2 Music streamed an encore of KRONOS AT 40 – a marathon of 24 distinct hours surveying the Kronos Quartet's colossal contributions to 20th and 21st century music.

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