Paul Alan Price-Brenner, originally from Brookfield, WI, began composing at the age of thirteen. Thanks to the encouragement of his school orchestra director, Anne Marie Peterson, and his private violin instructor, the late Terry E. Bjorklund, Price-Brenner continued to compose through high school, winning the Wisconsin School Music Association’s State Composition Contest four years in a row; a first in the contest’s history.
Subsequently, Price-Brenner chose to pursue composition in college and is currently completing his Doctoral Degree at the University of Iowa. He also has his Masters of Music in composition (with extra studies in viola performance) from DePaul University and his Bachelor of Music in music education (with extra studies in composition and violin performance) from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He currently studies composition with David Gompper, and his past composition teachers include Lawrence Fritts, George Flynn, Kurt Westerberg, Thomas Miller, Joel Nauman, Stephen Dembski, and John Downey.
Price-Brenner can be equally described as a composer, an arranger, an educator, and a performer. Existing as both a creator and performer of music, he crafts compositions that attempt to bridge the gap between new and traditional music while engaging the performer in an enjoyable playing experience. Additionally, he has composed many works for the education of young musicians.
Price-Brenner has had works performed throughout the Midwest. He has accepted numerous commissions by local musicians and ensembles, both professional and educational. While in Chicago, he won the first annual DePaul Chamber Orchestra Composition Contest with his string orchestra composition Sinfonia. The piece was premiered in May 2004, under the direction of Tom Hall. Two years later, Sinfonia won yet another performance at the Midwest Composer’s Symposium, hosted by the University of Illinois. Most recently, and through a competition cosponsored by the Iowa Composer’s Forum, the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Symphony has commissioned a new work by Price-Brenner. This new, Halloween-themed piece will be premiered in October 2016.
Residing in Dubuque, Iowa, Price-Brenner is an adjunct faculty member of the music department at Loras College. He currently teaches music history, applied viola, and applied composition lessons. Furthermore, he also maintains a private viola and violin studio out of his home. Price-Brenner is also member of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, having played with them for over ten years.