Past Resident

Philip Ellis Foster

As a child I studied piano and gave a concert with two friends playing Chopin’s Polonaise #5 for six hands. 

In the 1990's I discovered improvised music at a Music for People workshop with David Darling and participated thereafter in several of his and other workshops: percussion with Raquy Danziger, Jewish music with Basya Schechter, Meredith Monk's multimedia workshop, Klezkamp, harmonica with David Harp, voice with Western Wind, and two Arabic Music retreats.

In 2012, I took a course in reading music at the Julliard School and played percussion with Karl Berger’s Improviser’s Orchestra monthly for a year at The Stone in New York City. And in 2016 participated in an improv workshop and a performance with Baby Somer at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Dresden.

My compositional education began in the summer, 2015 at the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat under the direction of Martin Bresnick, where I wrote a score for a slide show performed by Wet Ink, and was followed with a Fall semester course Composition for Percussion Ensemble with Elliot Cole at the New School in New York City, where I composed four pieces for different percussion ensembles. 

I continued my composition studies in summer 2016, first with a composition master class led by Mathias Steinauer at Ticino Musica where I composed two works, then in tutorials with Roger Reynolds and Dror Feiler and discussions with Klaus Lang and other composers at the International Music Institute Darmstadt, and finally with a composition course taught by Christian Ofenbauer at the Mozarteum. 

In summer 2017 I returned to Walden School where I worked with Renee Favand-See and Olivia de Prato from MIVOS and set a haiku poem to music, then on to Ticino Musica in Lugano where I studied under Oscar Bianchi and Simon Steen-Andersen and composed two new works, one for violin, flute and narrator and the second for five unspecified instruments. In Assisi at Ticino Musica I composed a short piece on the life of St, Francis for harp, string quartet and percussion with the help of Stefano Taglietti, and then went on to participate in Ostrava Days where I presented an short improv score in Tom Buckner’s workshop, studied with several teachers, most importantly Mark Sabat, and revised completely the piece for five unspecified instruments. 

In Fall, 2017 I audited George Lewis’s Graduate Music Composition Seminar at Columbia University and continue to do so this Spring, 2018.