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Phillips received a Masters of Music degree in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1990. Since graduating, besides recording on his own, Phillips has concertized and recorded with fiddler Alasdair Fraser, guitarist Martin Simpson, harpist Aine Minogue, sitarist Anoushka Shankar and the legendary British rock group Camel.
Since 1996, Phillips has been a student of Ravi Shankar and has assisted him in the composing of a cello sonata and a quartet for sitar, cello, harp and tabla for Mstislav Rostropovich. In 2002 he assisted in the composition of Ravi Shankar’s Arpan for the Concert for George (George Harrison celebration) at the Albert Hall, playing cello in the Ravi Shankar Orchestra and also in the string section that played along with Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and others. He also played cello on Camel's 1999 album Rajaz.
- Simple Gifts (Gourd Music, 1990) - instrumental arrangements of melodies of the American Shakers
- Wondrous Love (Gourd Music, 1992) - instrumental versions of "Shape Note" tunes
- The World Turned Upside Down (Gourd Music, 1992) - colonial American folk and classical
- Tree of Life (Gourd Music, 1993) - instrumental arrangements of melodies of the American Shakers
- Music On The Mountain (Gourd Music, 1996) - instrumental arrangements of melodies of the American Shakers
- Cello (Gourd Music, 2000)
- Tråd (Gourd Music, 2005)
- Colonial Christmas (Gourd Music, 2009)
- Summer of Cello (Barry Phillips Music, 2011)
- Raga and Raj (East Meets West Music, 2013)
- "Best Bets, Nov. 12, 2011: Deby Benton Grosjean". Santa Cruz Sentinel. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2012.