Bruce Pennycook was born in Toronto, Canada in 1949. He studied composition at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto with Gustav Ciamaga, Lothar Klein and John Weinzweig graduating with a Master of Music in Theory and Composition in 1974. He was awarded the CAPAC Young Composer Prize in 1973. While still a student, Pennycook was an active performer, composer and arranger in Toronto recording studios and played regularly in the jazz clubs in the city. In 1976 he received a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship for graduate work at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University where he studied with Leland Smith and John Chowning. While at Stanford he was the Director of the Stanford Jazz Ensemble and Assistant Conductor for the Stanford Wind Ensemble. He also performed regularly in ALEA, the Stanford University new music ensemble.

In 1978 Pennycook became Assistant Professor of Music Composition at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario with a cross-appointment in the Department of Computing and Information Science. In 1987 he accepted the position of Associate Professor of Music at McGill University in Montreal where he developed the Music, Media and Technology degree programmes. He received numerous grants during this period for innovative research in new media including The Music Library of The Future project which was one of the first to utilize the WWW for audio and MIDI data. He was the recipient of numerous commissions for his interactive compositions from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and from Quebec organizations and these works have been performed internationally. In 1997 Pennycook was appointed the first Vice-Principal of Information Systems and Technology for McGill.

Pennycook relocated to Austin, Texas in 2002 and and became a professor of music (composition) in the The Butler School of Music and in the Dept. Radio-TV-Film at The University of Texas at Austin where he also chairs the Digital Arts and Media Bridging Disciplines Program. At UT Austin he has developed new courses in digital media and developed a studio and graduate program in film and media composition. In 2014 he was appointed Director of Digital Arts for the College and Fine Arts and Director of the Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies. 

In 2016 the Center became the Department of Arts and Enterainment Technologies with Pennycook as Chair of the Deparment. AET then joined the Department of Design in the newly formed School of Design and Creative Technologies


Professor Bruce Pennycook, DMA
The Butler School of Music
The Department of Arts & Entertainment Technologies
The College of Fine Arts
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX, 78712