Peter is the Musical Director of the Paris-based Ensemble Via Luce which he conducts. He founded the ensemble in 2016 with Agathe Mayeres who is currently Director of the Municipal Conservatoire in the 9th Arrondissement of Paris.
Although his primary focus is now conducting, the organ has remained Peter’s main love since he started to play it at the age of 6. It is his instrument of choice which he has adapted to continuo work particularly since his time in German opera. Since 1986, Peter has held the post of organist at the Pentemont United Protestant Church in Paris.
Apart from his work with Via Luce, he is regularly invited to adjudicate or preside the Paris Conservatoire end of year instrumental, theory and jazz exams.
His musical education started as a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge. He was then Music Scholar at Brighton College before being awarded a Choral Scholarship and Music Exhibition to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge from which he graduated in 1975 with a Master’s degree (M.A.Cantab). He completed it at the Conservatoire de Paris with a Diploma in Electroacoustical Music.
Throughout his career, Peter has worked predominantly in France, but also in Germany and the Netherlands. He is fluent in all three languages.
His posts have included
Producer for France Musique and France Culture (radio channels of Radio France) and one of the first producers of Radio Classique
Organist of the Cathedral of Le Puy-en-Velay and Director of the École Nationale de Musique et de Danse de la Haute-Loire
Organist and Repetiteur / Assistant Conductor or Conductor in Maastricht (Netherlands), Koblenz, Trier and Krefeld-Mönchengladbach (Germany) and Nice (France)
From 2001 until 2016, Peter was the Director of the Frédéric Chopin Conservatoire in Paris.
His musical philosophy
He is passionate about the meaning of music and belongs to that species of musician who strive to get the varnish off the best known works of the repertory so their original lustre reappears…
In the same way, he is convinced that the crisis of classical music is largely due to the actions of a few well-intentioned music lovers but also the musicians themselves, who have unduly occupied the composer’s place, by usurping what should be a normal relationship between creator and public by placing themselves between them as unnecessary filters of the written works.
He is equally a fervent opponent of any movement that divides the musical community into mutually exclusive chapels, and has fought (while director of the Frederic Chopin Conservatoire) for contemporary music, renaissance music and baroque instruments and performance practice to be introduced as normal components (and not specialities) of the mainstream curriculum, so that the pupils would understand that music is a continuum.