Arthur Gottschalk was born in California, but raised in the Northeastern United States. He attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor as a student in the Honors College and in Pre-Med, but after two years he switched to the study of music, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition, a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition and English Literature, and his Doctorate in Music Composition, studying with William Bolcom, Ross Lee Finney, and Leslie Bassett. He is currently a Professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, in Music Theory and Composition, and where he chaired the department until 2010. In 1986 he co-founded Modern Music Ventures, Inc., a company which held a recording studio complex, a record production division, four publishing firms, and an artist management division, and for whom he produced records for PolyGram and Capitol. In 1998 Gottschalk abandoned these pursuits, in order that he might devote himself more fully to music composition. Gottschalk's teaching specialties include music business and law, film music, music theory, music composition, and counterpoint.
As a film and television composer he numbers six feature films, twelve television scores, and numerous industrial films and commercials among his credits. Among other awards, he is a recipient of the Charles Ives Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, annual ASCAP Awards since 1980, and has been a Composer-in-Residence at the famed Columbia/Princeton Electronic Music Center and for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. He has recently been honored with the First Prize of the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Originale of Corciano, Italy for his Concerto for Violin and Symphonic Winds, a First Prize from the Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition, and a First Prize from the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra. Approaching two hundred compositions in his catalog, his music is performed regularly in Europe, Asia, and Australia, is recorded on New Ariel, Crystal, Summit, Capstone, Beauport Classical, ERMMedia, Golden Crest, Ablaze Records, and AURecordings, and is published by Subito Music, Shawnee Press, European American Music Distributors, Potenza Music, Alea Publishing, TrevCo Music, and The Spectrum Press (ASCAP). His book, Functional Hearing, is published by Scarecrow Press, a division of Rowman & Littlefield.