Brian Penkrot


Brian Penkrot

Brian Penkrot, Ph.D., is an American composer and guitarist. He lives in Chicago and teaches at Northern Illinois University, North Park University, and Columbia College.

Penkrot's music concerns perspective and change. His works stem from both mythical origin stories and scientific notions of reality, allowing him to explore the dividing lines between melody, harmony, and sound mass. It is through constant recontextualization that Brian’s music ebbs and flows between traditional ideas of music and noise, challenging the definitions of both.

His music has been performed at festivals and institutions in the US, Europe, and Asia. He has attended numerous festivals and conferences, including June in Buffalo, Midwest Composer's Symposium, soundSCAPE, and the N.E.O.N. festival. Ensembles including the International Contemporary Ensemble, JACK Quartet, ECCE, Ensemble39, and Nonsemble6 have performed his works, and he was the namesake for the Penbridge Trio.

Penkrot was also awarded a 2014 fellowship from the Paul Sacher Stiftung archive, which provided funding to research Gerard Grisey's manuscripts and sketches. He is currently working on a comprehensive analysis of Les Espaces Acoustiques.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, where he was the president of the Society for Composers chapter. Additionally, he is the business manager for Melos Music, a composer's collective based out Rochester, NY (


Ph.D., University of Iowa


  • Music Theory
  • Aural Skills
  • Composition



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