At school in Mid-Sussex, Phillip studied piano and organ, and gained early experience as a rehearsal pianist for school Gilbert & Sullivan productions. He then read Maths and Music at Royal Holloway, London, graduating with a First in 1976. After that he then took several years out of concentrated music-making to qualify as an accountant in the City of London.
Although continuing his City career, in the 1980s Phillip gradually returned to piano playing, first as accompanist to operatic societies for musical theatre and operetta productions, then as rehearsal pianist for Sussex opera groups, including New Sussex Opera, Regency Opera, and Heber Opera (see list of shows worked on, below). He attended Martino Tirimo's advanced piano class at Morley College for some years and has given public or workshop performances of solo works by many neglected composers (see note below).
Phillip performs with singers and instrumentalists in concerts in London and the South East. For details of public engagements (excluding school concerts and educational engagements) since Spring 1998 see Events. Since autumn 2009 he has been accompanist to Burgess Hill Choral Society, and from 2013 he has also been accompanist for the Mid-Sussex Choir. Phillip also played for several years for two youth choirs at Crawley Music Centre. For ten years, Phillip was a house pianist at the AIMS International Music School - a singing summer school held in Eastbourne, Sussex which held its final course in 2017.
Other work includes playing for GCSE performance recordings, A Level recitals, diploma and grade examinations, and accompanying at music festivals including Springboard (Brighton). Until the scheme ended in 2014 Phillip also regularly accompanied concerts organised by West Sussex Music (formerly West Sussex Music Service) for pupils with awards for instrumental and singing tuition in their northern area, and he continued to work with them as accompanist to local performance practice platform events - until those were suspended by the COVID 19 pandemic.
As well as piano, Phillip also plays the church organ, and deputises at Haywards Heath Methodist Church, Ditchling Unitarians and elsewhere.
Below are details of operas, operettas and musical productions on which Phillip has worked on over the last 40 years:
With Surrey Opera: The Cunning Little Vixen, Macbeth (with conductor Jonathan Butcher), The Magic Flute, The Beggar’s Opera (Britten version). New Sussex Opera: Aida, Masked Ball, Flying Dutchman, Faust (1989 and 2023 productions), Tannhauser The Rhine Fairies (Offenbach - UK premiere performances), Hugh the Drover. Also participated in performances of Noyes Fludde and Amahl and the Night Visitors, (piano duet or two pianos). With Regency Opera: Madame Butterfly, Magic Flute. With Heber Opera: Magic Flute, Pilgrim's Progress, Hugh the Drover, Rape of Lucretia, Tosca, Don Giovanni, Carmen, Cav and Pag, The Dragon of Wantley (Lampe), Macbeth, La Boheme, La Traviata, Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Il Trovatore, Eugene Onegin, Cosi fan Tutte, Nabucco, L’Elisir d’Amore, Acis & Galatea, Savitri, Suor Angelica, Rusalka, The Pearl Fishers, Rigoletto, Norma. Other: The Station (by Howard Blake composer's own production for Platform Theatre, Haywards Heath, 1992); The Finnish Prisoner (by Orlando Gough and Stephen Plaice, premiere production, Lewes 2007) with Paddock Productions
Operetta and musicals (various Sussex groups)
Kiss Me Kate*, Call Me Madam*, Annie Get Your Gun*, The New Moon, Finian's Rainbow*, Guys & Dolls, Bitter Sweet*, Song of Norway*, No, No, Nanette *, Belle of New York, The Pajama Game, Die Fledermaus, Show Boat, Carousel*, Oliver!*, Half a Sixpence*, Hello, Dolly!, Blitz!*, Fiddler on the Roof*, My Fair Lady*, Calamity Jane*, Cabaret*, Brigadoon*, Oklahoma*, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story*, Of Rats and Men (musical based on The Pied Piper of Hamelin, by Jane Walters, performed at Capitol Theatre, Horsham), Salad Days*, The 39 Steps (musical adaptation, at Platform Theatre, Haywards Heath), Sound of Music, Anything Goes, The King and I*, Children of Eden, 42nd Street*, Cowardy Custard*, South Pacific*, Me and My Girl*, The Music Man*, A Christmas Carol (Mike Carter version), Annie*, Sugar, Wizard of Oz, Scrooge, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum*, Mack & Mabel, Godspell, The Likes of Us*.
For shows marked * Phillip has played keyboards in the bands for performances of at least one production. He has also worked on productions or concert performances of all the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. He played keyboards in the band for a production of Richard Stilgoe's children’s' musical Brilliant the Dinosaur with Jeremy Irons narrating, in the 1996 Brighton Festival.
Note: Less-performed composers whose piano music Phillip has played in public include (in no particular order, and with links to relevant composer sites):
Ernest Austin, Ricardo Pick-Mangiagalli, Charles Martin (of Greenwich), Franz Hünten, Charles Mayer, Ignaz Moscheles, Henri Rosellen, Francesco Berger, Réné Favarger, Vincent Wallace, Adolf Jensen, Anton Rubinstein, Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Viteslav Novak, Sergei Liapunov, Cyril Scott, Liza Lehmann, Maurice Besly, Ion Aulay, Erik Chisholm, John Heath, Emil Sjögren, Erkki Melartin, Leo Livens, Alec Rowley, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Joaquin Turina, Julia Rive-King, Ludvig Schytte, Louis Brassin, Eduard Schütt, William Rockstro, Cornelius Gurlitt, Joseph Rheinberger, Peter Benoit, Gustave Satter, Arthur Verhoeven, Lodewyk Mortelmans, Arthur de Greef, John Mayer, Henri Oswald, Franz Bendel, Joachim Raff, Friedrich Burgmuller.
On the lighter side: Raie da Costa, Zez Confrey, Ernesto Lecuona, Billy Mayerl, Franz Vienna, Ethelbert Nevin, Leroy Anderson, Fred Hartley.