John Supko

Associate Professor of Music

External Address: 
059 Mary Duke Biddle Building, Box 90665, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90665, Durham, NC 27708-0665
(919) 660-3361

Called “spellbindingly beautiful” (Steve Smith, Time Out New York), "hypnotic...eerily beautiful" (Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times), and "fascinating" (Philip Clark, The Guardian), the work of composer John Supko (b. 1980, NY) explores intersections: chance and intention; traditional music notation and real-time score generation; sound and spoken text; installation and performance; human and computer creativity. In recent years, Supko has been developing generative software to navigate his vast archives of field recordings, sampled acoustic and digital instruments, noise, and voice recordings. He uses this software to find unexpected compositional possibilities as well as to create dynamic sonic environments that are integrated into live performance with human musicians. Supko has also been experimenting with new forms of documentation for his music. Works such as A Free Invention for George Pitcher exist solely as software that ‘performs’ a new version of itself each time it is activated. He is a recipient of the Fulbright (2002) and Georges Lurcy (2007) fellowships, both for Paris, France, where he studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique. He has won numerous prizes and grants, among them the BMI Student Composer Award, two ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composers Awards (including the 2008 Leo Kaplan Award), the Grand Prize of the National Young Composers Competition, the Perkins Prize of the Princeton University Music Department and a Commissioning Music/USA Meet the Composer commission. His work has been published in collaborative editions with the poet Philippe Denis by Collection Mémoires (Paris) and by Harpo & (Marseille), and has been released on the New Amsterdam and Cotton Goods labels. His 2014 collaborative album s_traits (with Bill Seaman) was named in "Best of 2014" recording lists in The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Currently the Hunt Family Assistant Professor of Music at Duke University, where he co-directs The Emergence Lab with Bill Seaman, Supko holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (BM) and Princeton University (PhD).


  • Ph.D., Princeton University 2009
  • M.F.A., Princeton University 2005
  • B.Mus., Indiana University at Bloomington 2002

Supko, JP. "This River." (April 2009).

Supko, JP. "Songs of a Landloper." (2009).

Supko, JP. "Littoral." (2007).

Supko, JP. "Dream Cuisine." (2007).

Supko, JP. "Everybody Says Everything." (2007).


Inland Ocean. Composer. (2009)


I have accepted a commission from Duke University's resident string quartet, the Ciompi Quartet, to compose a new work for their Spring 2011 concert. I have provisionally entitled this work "Inland Ocean".

Straits. Composer. (2009)


I was commissioned by the Meehan/Perkins Duo, with the support of Meet The Composer's Commissioning Music/USA fund, to compose "Straits", a 16-minute work for 2 percussionists and electronics. More information on the commission is available here: http://l

This River. Composer. (2009)


This River (April, 2009) (percussion soloist & electronics; commissioned by Andrew Bliss & the University of Kentucky, Lexington.)

Songs of a Landloper. Composer. (2009)


Songs of a Landloper (2009) (ten-song cycle for soprano soloist and chamber ensemble; written for The Newspeak Ensemble; 25 minutes.)

Dream Cuisine. Composer. (2007)


Dream Cuisine (2007) (cantata for 2 sopranos, 1 alto, 3 baritones, string quartet, 2 percussionists & 2 keyboard players; written for the Flux Quartet; 15 minutes.)

Everybody Says Everything. Composer. (2007)


Everybody Says Everything (2007) (electric guitar quartet & electronics; written for Catch (Amsterdam); 9 minutes.)

Littoral. Composer. (2007)


Littoral (2007) (flute, percussion & 5.1 surround-sound electronics; on texts of Cees Nooteboom & Richard Hakluyt; commissioned by Due East; 35 minutes.)