Phillip formally began his musical education in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, went on to receive his Bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan studying with Yitzhak Schotten, and completed graduate work at Northwestern University under Peter Slowik. During this time, he won first prize in the Viola division of the 1994 National ASTA Music Competition, and spent his summers studying at the Aspen Music Festival.
While in Chicago, Phillip's chamber music career began as a founding member of the Sheridan Chamber Players. Currently, he participates annually in the Chinitimini Chamber Music Festival in Corvallis, Oregon, and is very active playing chamber music with various ensembles in the Denver area. In March 2010, Phillip performed in recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as part of the DCINY Distinguished Concert Artist Series.