Paul Novak, composer

Paul Novak headshot

Rejecting grandiose narratives, the music of Chicago-based composer Paul Novak is driven by a love of small things: miniature forms, delicate soundscapes, and condensed ideas. His compositions, which explore the subtleties of instrumental color and draw influence from literature, art, and poetry, have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. Novak’s collaborators have included the Austin Symphony, Orlando Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, NYO-USA, and American Composers Orchestra.

Collaboration is at the center of Novak’s creative practice, and in recent years he has worked on interdisciplinary projects with poets, dancers, and visual artists. He recently received the Underwood Commission for a new orchestral work that the American Composers Orchestra will premiere in Carnegie Hall, and has also received commissions from Kinetic Ensemble, ASCAP and Society of Composers, Inc., and Boston New Music Initiative, among others. Novak’s music has been selected for numerous awards, most recently from the ASCAP Foundation, League of Composers/ISCM, Tribeca New Music, Webster University, and YoungArts Foundation.

Originally from Reno, NV, Novak recently graduated from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and is pursuing his PhD at the University of Chicago.