John Supko

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, J. P. I asked for names of all that is. July 2012.

Supko, J. P. ALL SOULS. 2012.

Supko, J. P. Drawn Only Once. New Amsterdam Records, Nov. 2011.

Supko, J. P. This City. Oct. 2011.

Supko, J. P. USINE. Sept. 2011.

Supko, J. P., and Bill Seaman. S_traits. Feb. 2011.

Supko, J. P. Inland Ocean. Dec. 2010.

Supko, J. P. Rooms. Nov. 2010.

Supko, J. P. Straits II (acoustic version). May 2010.


NC Music Teachers Association. Composer. (2011)


The NCMTA commissioned my work, "This City," for piano & generative electronics for a performance at their annual convention on 29 October 2011. Chicago-based pianist Mabel Kwan was the soloist.

This City. Composer. (2011)


J.P. Supko, This City (October, 2011) "This City" is a work for piano & generative electronics written for pianist Mabel Kwan & based on a text by Robert Fitterman. Duration 17 mins. ca.

USINE. Composer. (2011)


J.P. Supko, USINE (September, 2011). "USINE" is a 24-hour work for bass clarinet, melodica, saxophones, electric guitar, double bass, drum set & generative electronics.

Inland Ocean. Composer. (2010)


J.P. Supko, Inland Ocean (December, 2010) A new string electroacoustic quartet, commissioned for the Ciompi Quartet. This work explores existential questions in the context of texts generated from recombinations of writings by Thomas Browne, Joseph Conrad

Rooms. Composer. (2010)


J.P. Supko, Rooms (November, 2010) This is a series of 12 musical environments for chamber orchestra (9 instruments) & 8-channel electronics. Composed for the Duke New Music Ensemble's "Covers Concert", it is a re-imagining of two of Erik Satie's pieces o

Without Stopping. Composer. (2010)

Straits II (acoustic version). Composer. (2010)


J.P. Supko, Straits II (acoustic version) (May, 2010) Acoustic revision of an electroacoustic work ("Straits") composed in 2009. This new version is scored for percussion duo alone, 16 minutes.

This Window Makes Me Feel. Composer. (2010)


J.P. Supko, "This Window Makes Me Feel", new version for alto flute (February, 2010) This is a new version of my 2005 multimedia work, "This Window Makes Me Feel", prepared for the upcoming September 2011 commercial release on New Amsterdam Records.

_. Composer. (2010)

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".