Paul Novak

Paul Novak
Cohort Year: 2020
Research Interests: Composition
Education: BM, Rice University


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 draw influence from literature, art, and poetry, have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. Novak was selected for a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has recently received honors from the ASCAP Foundation and National Association of Composers of the USA. He has received commissions from the American Composers Orchestra, ASCAP and Society of Composers, Inc., Music from Copland House, Lynx Project, Boston New Music Initiative, Blackbox Ensemble, and Kinetic Ensemble.

Each of Novak’s pieces immerses listeners in a shimmering and subtly crafted musical world, guided by a sense of empathy for the performers playing his music. Originally from Reno, NV, he is currently a PhD student at the University of Chicago.

Workshops & Seminars

  • Composition Seminar

Teaching Experience

  • Course Assistant — MUSI 15300: Harmony and Voice Leading III (Spring 2023)
  • Course Assistant — MUSI 15200: Harmony and Voice Leading II (Winter 2023)
  • Course Assistant — MUSI 15100: Harmony and Voice Leading I (Fall 2022)