Paul Paccione

Paul Paccione was born in New York City in 1952. 

Paccione’s love of the popular music of the 1950’s and 1960’s awakened his initial musical interests. He studied classical guitar and music theory at the Mannes College of Music (B.M. 1974). While at Mannes, he was influenced by composer Eric Richards to begin composition study. Subsequently, he began private composition studies with composer Harley Gaber. He continued composition studies at the University of California, San Diego, with composer Kenneth Gaburo (M.A., 1977). He later studied composition with composer/conductor William Hibbard, at the University of Iowa (Ph.D., 1984). 

Paccione joined the music faculty at Western Illinois University in 1984. During his teaching career at Western, he received six Faculty Excellence Awards, was named the 1988 Outstanding Teacher in the College of Fine Arts and received the Outstanding Creativity Award from Western’s College of Fine Arts in 1988 and 2012. He was named Western Illinois University’s Distinguished Faculty Lecturer for 2002 — the first Music faculty member to be so recognized. He was co-founder and co-director of Western’s annual New Music Festival. He retired from W.I.U. in 2018 as Emeritus Professor of Music Theory/Composition.

He is an active composer whose works are widely and frequently performed, both nationally and internationally. He has composed music for acoustic instruments, voices, and electronics and he has written music for both dance and opera. He has maintained a sustained interest and attachment to vocal music and has set to music texts by Arnaut Daniel, Thomas Campion, John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christina Rossetti, and Stéphane Mallarmé. In December of 2014, Western Illinois University’s Opera Theatre Company presented first performances of his opera The World Is Round, based on the children’s book by Gertrude Stein.

He has been described as “a composer who has a personality of his own and the ability to express that personality within more than one musical idiom” (Music Web International, 2010). His music has been described as “consistently compelling, and often extraordinarily moving” (Fanfare, 2010); and characterized by “lyricism, clarity and eloquence” (Textura, 2021). Paccione’s music is published by Frog Peak Music, Lingua Press, American Composers Edition, and SCI Journal of Music Scores. In 2012, New World Records released a recording (Our Beauties Are Not Ours) devoted entirely to his chamber and vocal music. A recording of his most recent solo piano music was released in October, 2021 (MUSIC FOR PIANO, Navona Records). Additional recordings of his music are available on the Frog Peak, Navona Records, and Capstone labels. 

He has lectured and written numerous articles on various aspects of modern music. His writings on music have appeared in Perspectives of New Music, ex tempore, College Music Symposium, American Music, the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy and as liner notes for New World Records. He has been a frequent pre concert lecturer for the Chicago Symphony.


Brass Tacks 2

Brass Tacks 2

Release Date: September 8, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6556
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Large Ensemble
It's no secret that brass instruments can infuse any musical setting with a hair-raising surge of untamed energy and fervor. On BRASS TACKS VOL 2 from Navona Records, the brass family finds itself the spotlight, showcasing unique tones and unhindered expressiveness that’ve been carefully extracted by a variety of seasoned composers and performers. Spanning joy rides in stylish sports cars, jazz-influenced passages, fusions with percussive instruments, and more, this release explores a wide range of emotions and compositional styles, each uncovering an inherent intensity and bravado that pushes the boundaries of brass repertoire.

Music For Piano

Release Date: October 8, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6376
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Paul Paccione and Navona Records are pleased to present Paccione’s latest album, MUSIC FOR PIANO. This collection of solo piano pieces was composed especially for noted pianist Jenny Perron. Paccione’s compositions are carefully crafted to highlight and build upon Perron’s unique gifts as a musician. The music featured on the album moves freely among various shades of coloristic harmonies, with a through line of lyricism running throughout.


Release Date: November 13, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6318
21st Century
Wind Ensemble
The Society of Composers, Inc. continues its decades-long mission to promote and disseminate contemporary music on DRIFT, the 34th installment of the SCI Composers’ Series. DRIFT marks the 10th album in the series to release on Navona Records, and SCI continues to curate new works by luminaries that span generations.