Brian McWhorter

Profile picture of Brian McWhorter
Professor of Music
Music Director, Eugene Ballet & Orchestra Next
Clark Honors College, Music
Phone: 541-346-3783
Office: 152 Gerlinger Annex
Research Interests: Performing Arts, nuance, gesture
Office Hours: T, H: 9-11am


  • MMus 2000, The Juilliard School
  • BMus 1998, University of Oregon




Brian McWhorter is Professor of Music at the University of Oregon and Faculty in Residence at the Clark Honors College. Previously, he held positions at Manhattan School of Music, Louisiana State University, and Princeton University. He holds degrees in performance from the University of Oregon and Juilliard.
Among the classes that he has taught, a sampling might include: Louis Armstrong, the Sound of a Century; Film, Music, and Glass Ceilings; and The Velocity of Gesture, or Intro to Air Guitar. McWhorter’s research interests include the creative process, the art and design of practice, cross-disciplinary notions of nuance, and the socio-economic challenges that accompany a life in the performing arts.
Having survived a passing fixation with the trumpet, McWhorter is now primarily focused on conducting. (Paradoxically, conducting doesn’t yield much sound, yet he still considers himself a musician.) He serves as the Music Director and Conductor for Orchestra Next and the Eugene Ballet. Since 2012, he has conducted every major production for the Ballet and has appeared as guest conductor for numerous ensembles and productions.
McWhorter’s discography spans many genres from contemporary chamber to orchestral, improvised music to pop and rock. McWhorter’s lone foray into the world of sculpture – The Extract-o-Rama – became the subject of an award-winning documentary on the creative process called I Live for Art (2014).