College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Isaac Schankler

Isaac SchanklerContact Information:

Faculty Office Telephone: (909) 869-3564


Music Department Office: (909) 869-3548

Fax #: (909) 869-4145



  • Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition, University of Southern California
  • Master of Music degree in composition, University of Michigan
  • Bachelor of Music degree in composition, University of Michigan


  • Music Industry Studies
  • Music Technology
  • Composition
  • MIDI Ensemble


Isaac Schankler is a composer, accordionist, and electronic musician living in Los Angeles. His music has been described as “powerful” (Sequenza21), “ingenious” (The Artificialist), “masterfully composed” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), and “the antidote to sentimentality” (LA Times).

Schankler’s recent commissions include works for the Ray-Kallay Duo, Friction Quartet, gnarwhallaby, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Lorelei Ensemble, Juventas New Music Ensemble, flutist Meerenai Shim, and bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood. Recent honors include awards and grants from Meet the Composer, the National Opera Association, the American Composers Forum, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the American Prize. He is a past winner of the USC Sadye J. Moss Composition Prize and the ASCAP/Lotte Lehmann Foundation Art Song Competition, as well as a finalist in the ASCAP/SEAMUS Commission Competition.

As a composer for collaborative works, Schankler has worked with poets Amaranth Borsuk (The Familiar Spirit) and Jillian Burcar (Light and Power); video game designers Christine Love (Analogue: A Hate Story), Zoe Quinn and Patrick Lindsey (Depression Quest), and Mitu Khandaker (Redshirt); filmmakers Quintan Ana Wikswo (Sonderbauten) and Christopher O’Leary (Blocking the Exits); and computer scientists Elaine Chew and Alexandre François (MIMI: Multimodal Interaction for Musical Improvisation).

As a writer and critic, Schankler has written numerous articles for NewMusicBox, the multimedia publication of New Music USA, and in 2013 was a winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism. His writing has also appeared in the International Journal of Arts and Technology, Computer Music Journal, and the proceedings of international conferences including MCM (Mathematics and Computation in Music), ISPS (International Symposium of Performance Science), and ICME (International Conference on Multimedia & Expo).

Schankler is the artistic director of the concert series People Inside Electronics. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the University of Southern California, as well as Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in composition from the University of Michigan.