Jeffrey Kowalkowski
Instructor, Theory and Composition, Computer Music, Songwriting
Music and Dance
College of Arts and Sciences
(773) 442-5911
Composition, music theory
Courses Taught
Musical Experience
Music Concepts
Form and Analysis
Research Interests
Music theory and composition

D.M. Northwestern University
M.M. DePaul University
B.M. DePaul University


Instructor, Jeffrey Kowalkowski, is a composer who has focused primarily on collaborative forms of composition for the past several years. He was Artistic Director of the Milkwood Foundation from 1998-2012; a not-for-profit sound art production company, which he co-founded. In 2009, he co-founded the Chicago Scratch Orchestra.

His opera collaboration Bosch tapped the gas pedal and the Caprice moved forward was premiered in Hamburg in 1996, and subsequently released on CD by No Harm Done Digital Media and Publishing, New York, 2000. With Marquette, MI percussionist, Carrie Biolo, he toured and released three CDs under the name Jack the Dog (Uvullittle Records, Maidson, WI).

His music has been performed by ensembles in both the U.S. and Western Europe: Chicago Scratch Orchestra and Prop Theater Group (Chicago); Ensemble Modern (Cologne); Interzone Perceptible (Essen); Het Trio and ASKO Ensemble (Amsterdam), and Ensemble Integrales (Hamburg). His radio works have been broadcast in Ireland (A.A.R.T.), Canada (Boreal), Berlin (Sender Freies), and the U.K. (BBC 3). He has been invited to the Center Acanthes in Avignon, France; June in Buffalo; the Gaudeamus; and Darmstadt festivals; and he received a commission from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for a sound installation and CD.

Jeff completed a sound installation for the Chicago Park District/Experimental Sound Studio's Floresonic Series at the Lincoln Park Conservatory (Fern Room). His most recent installation, "Holly," was chosen for the DePaul Art Museum's faculty show, summer 2013.

In 2011 Jeff was the recipient of an ‘Award of Artistic Achievement’ from the Helen and Tim Meier Foundation for the Arts, which recognizes artists with over twenty years of innovation in their discipline.

As a keyboardist, Jeff has recorded and toured with Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra, and he also is music director for Julia Miller's Articular Facet; an improvised opera company, which is holding a residency at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, IL in the summer of 2014.

As a composer and guest-lecturer, Jeff has taught at the Oberlin Conservatory, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been the recipient of several Illinois Arts Council Arts-in-Education grants. He received a Met Life Meet the Composer Grant for the composition of a double percussion concerto, which was premiered by the Marquette Symphony in 2009. Jeff has performed and toured with the Chicago art collective Lucky Pierre since 1998, and co-organized the ‘New Music at the Green Mill’ concert series since 1991.

He recently completed two film scores of original music for Mark Siska's Compass Cabaret 55, a documentary about the pioneering comedy troupe from the late 1950s in Hyde Park; and Patrick Meegan's Cinewava, which is a short virtual-reality/interactive play.

A full catalogue of Compositions by Jeff Kowalkowski (including over 40 original scores), discography, and complete CV are available upon request.

Room FA 121
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

(773) 442-5911
Office Hours
Wednesday: 9:30-11:00 a.m.
Main Campus