Greg Knowles was born in Minneapolis and received his BMEd from Aquinas College, his MFA from Honolulu University of the Arts, and his PhD from Central Pacific University. He completed postdoctoral studies in ethnomusicology at Harvard. He studied conducting with Vincent LaSelva and Judith Clurman and he studied harmony with Kendall Briggs.
Knowles has worked as a record producer and label executive in Los Angeles and New York for more than 30 years. He is co-owner of Bimperl Entertainment & Media, which has an artist development deal to produce and record young artists in jazz, classical, and indie rock. He has written textbooks Reading Exercises for Solfège and A Composers Treatise for Scoring Percussion. He is extremely active with the Grammy Awards, having served more than 20 years on the board of governors, as a national trustee, and for three terms as Los Angeles president of the Recording Academy.
Knowles has worked as a studio and touring drummer for many recording artists and was the former timpanist for the National Festival Orchestra; principal percussionist for Northwinds Symphonic Band; and a founding member of the recording group Aegean Chamber Percussion. In 2015, he scored a percussion fugue for the movie Sedona. He’s produced albums for many Juilliard-affiliated artists, including the Tony Lustig Quintet’s Taking Flight, Emi Ferguson Plays the Flute Music of Kendall Durelle Briggs, Edson Scheid’s Paganini Caprices for Baroque Violin, Samora Pinderhughes’s The Transformations Suite, and Ulysses Owens’s It’s Time for U. He produced debut albums for the Juilliard Jazz Quintet and Juilliard Jazz Orchestra.
He has been an Evening Division faculty member since 2000, a Pre-College faculty member since 2007, and was a College Division faculty member from 2002-16.
Away from music, Knowles is a cast member of Hudson Valley Improv, which performs several shows per month. On the non-performance side, Knowles is an airline-rated pilot and has flown everything from single and multi-engine airplanes to helicopters, jets, antique airliners, seaplanes, and gliders, and is a flight instructor for all of them. He also is a collector of historical and musical autographs and manuscripts, with a collection of over 700 pieces.