Eric Peterson Music Services

Eric Peterson is a New York City-based conductor with a background in both instrumental and theatrical conducting.  He has worked with the Big Apple Corps concert band, the Queer Urban Orchestra, Blue Hill Troupe, Troupers Light Opera and the Savoynet Performing Group, among others.  He is also a hornist, accompanist, vocal coach and arranger.

See sidebar for information and services provided, and the blog below for upcoming performances.

Summer 2019

posted Jul 30, 2019, 3:53 AM by Eric Peterson

I have not been good about even a quarterly update here, but nothing much to update.  I have no music projects happening, I'm finding my muggle job interesting, but somewhat overwhelming, and the state of the country leaves me without a lot of extra energy.

I ticked off some bucket list items this winter and spring, though.  Playing the horn book for Britten's Albert Herring, one of the world's funniest theater pieces, was a decades-long dream.  That book is hard, by the way, and I worked my tuchus off, but I was playing very well by the run and it was a terrific experience.

I also saw not only Falstaff at the Met, which was delightful, but the last two Ring Cycle Operas. I'm not a big Wagner fan, but I can certainly appreciate his accomplishments and particularly his skill with supporting the theatrical drama and emotions with the music, which is not something all famous opera composers have in their toolbox.  I've now seen the entire Ring Cycle (in pieces, not all the same production) and was intrigued enough to acquire the scores for a study and listen-through - although, once again, no time and energy.  Maybe I can dump that into the bin of projects for the retirement I'll never actually get. :(

My Savoynet G&S buddies are about to descend on Harrogate again for Princess Ida.  I wish I were with them!  I'm going to put myself in for G&S music-directing gigs over the next few years for the specific shows I have my eye on.  I've never conducted Pinafore, for example and that's the only one of the big three left for me (I've done Pirates and Mikado). 

Horn gigs are the same way: I'm only going to get back into practice mode for specific literature.  I'll be intrigued to see what Utopia Opera's season looks like: one possibility is The Turn of the Screw.

Happy Summer!

Winter 2019: Upcoming Performances

posted Feb 3, 2019, 7:05 AM by Eric Peterson

Playing horn for these upcoming gigs:

Utopia Opera: Gilbert & Sullivan: The Sorcerer
Ida K Lang Recital Hall, Hunter College, NY, NY
Saturday, Feb 9th, 7:30 pm
Sunday, Feb 10th, 3:00 pm
Saturday, Feb 16th, 7:30 pm
Sunday, Feb 17th, 3:00 pm

Queer Urban Orchestra (QUO): Queer We Are: Come Together
Saturday, March 2 at 8 pm
Church of the Holy Apostles, 296 Ninth Avenue, NY, NY

Samuel Barber: Second Essay for Orchestra
William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1, "Afro-American"
Sayed Safavynia: Discovery
Toshiro Mayuzumi: Concertino for Xylophone and Orchestra  (Paul Robertson, soloist)
Beatles Fantasy for Violin (Lindsay Deutsch, soloist)

Utopia Opera: Britten: Albert Herring
Ida K Lang Recital Hall, Hunter College, New York, NY
Friday and Saturday (time TBA), April 5, 6, 12, 13


(also: I got a job! but that's not music stuff)

Winter 2018-2019

posted Dec 31, 2018, 12:24 PM by Eric Peterson

It's the last day of the year, and here we are.

Not much to update from an EPMS standpoint.  I lost my muggle job, so I'm trying to get a new position.  (I'm a technical communicator, specifically a senior business analyst.)

I did some really nice music-related things as an audience member over the last month or so: saw the Met Opera's Il Trittico, the New York City Ballet's famed Nutcracker (which I'd never seen) and a lovely early-music chamber version of the (almost) complete Messiah.  About the Nutcracker in particularly - I've always liked the score, but this Christmas season I've gained a new appreciation for how lovely and skillfully-written it is.

But 2019 has some interesting prospects for music.  I've already volunteered to play horn for Utopia Opera's February Sorcerer and April Albert Herring, mostly because I have loved Albert Herring since I first encountered it in college - one of the funniest pieces of theater (of any genre) I've ever seen.  Also, the orchestration is for a chamber orchestra of solo-caliber musicians, and the horn part is tough, so I'll be working hard to get up to it.

I've also got my eye on two shows for next season that I could MD.  More detail on those if I apply and if I get one of them.

Happy New Year!

G&S Festival Wrap-Up

posted Aug 29, 2018, 4:10 AM by Eric Peterson   [ updated Feb 6, 2019, 3:45 AM ]

So, as threatened, I went to the annual International G&S Festival in Harrogate, England to conduct Patience.  This was my 7th G&S festival and third time on the podium.  It was the 25th festival, and many many people came who I hadn't seen in years and year.  It was a great deal of fun!

The rehearsal process went fairly smoothly, our director and cast were amazing, and I had the assistance of Ms. Marisa Green, a very talented MD in her own right, who really helped me enormously.  The day-of-show orchestra rehearsal went quite well.  Then the show - well, one of the best things about theater is when things hit their peak in performance, and we did that night.  The audience loved it and the feedback was terrific.
There was another week of festival to go after I went home, so I didn't really see any other adjudicated shows, but this past weekend they announced the awards.  Our show won and we are International Champions!  We won (or were nominated for) several other awards, including Best Musical Director!  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be recognized like this.

You can see clips from the show on my Youtube channel here.  And I'll update my video page here soon.

What a wonderful experience!

Update on fall goings on soon, too, I promise.

Here We Go!

posted Jul 22, 2018, 7:38 AM by Eric Peterson

I've been very bad about keeping this blog going, even though my goal was only quarterly.  Anyway, I cleared spring and summer to work on Savoynet's "Patience", and two weeks from now, I fly to England to actually put the show together, along with the rest of the staff and our marvelous cast.  It's really been a joy revisiting this wonderful weird little show that I first fell in love with in college.

The upcoming season will be an interesting one for me, because I'm not planning to perform at all.  I have no gigs coming up and do not plan to accept any.  My priorities are, for this season:
 - focus more on my health, particularly weight loss and body agility
  - piano lessons (possibly)
- writing.  And by 'write', I mean words on a page, not music.  I feel like I've been preparing to write for decades - I now need to carve out time to actually sit down and do it.  You may soon see a reference to a different web page or blog, for "E.D. Peterson, Author" or some such.  It will probably get as much traffic as this one.  *watches tumbleweed blow by*

I still very much want to help people as a vocal coach, so if you have any audition coming up, let me know, I'd be happy to work with you.

Upcoming Performances: March 2018

posted Feb 8, 2018, 1:17 PM by Eric Peterson

As threatened, I'm playing in the orchestra for productions of two fascinating works.

March 9th-11th, Utopia Opera presents Stephen Sondheim's Passion.  I was lucky enough to see this unusual work in its original Broadway run with its original stars, especially the amazing (and hitherto-unknown) Donny Murphy.  It's not my favorite Sondheim, but I can't really say I know it with any depth; I pursued this gig in part to force myself to really get to know it.

March 17-31, Blue Hill Troupe presents Gilbert & Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard.  I'm very excited about this for several reasons.  First, Yeomen is an amazing score, the most operatic (and saddest) of the G&S canon.  Second, I'm a former Trouper: my first show with them was their last production of Yeomen in 2007 (I was in the chorus).  Third, they're introducing a new chamber orchestration, which means that I'll probably have a lot more to do than the full orchestration's two horns usually do.  Nobody likes to see TACET in their book; I suspect there will be very few.

After that, we have the NY G&S Society concert Patience in May - more on that later!

Winter 2018

posted Jan 23, 2018, 3:43 PM by Eric Peterson

I get a lot of notices that people view my EPMS Facebook page, and I'm sure some find their way over here.  I'm sorry I don't keep this page updated more than I do.  Fall, for instance, seems to have completely slipped by.

I got home from a great trip (a Baltic cruise) in October to find out that I would be conducting Savoynet Performing Group's Patience at the International G&S Festival next summer in Harrogate (UK).  This will be my 7th festival and third time conducting.  I went immediately into planning, auditions and casting with our stage director, Robert Ray (he's Australian - we have to plan our Skype meetings around the very few hours we're awake at the same time).  The show is cast now; I can really delve into the score.  

This is the first show I've conducted for a second time; my first Patience was my first-ever show as music director, over three decades ago.  It's all in there somewhere still, but now I get to bring so much more experience to this show, which I adore.  It's going to be a lovely experience.

Other than that, the most exciting event for me was getting to play principal horn for Beethoven's Eroica Symphony with the Queer Urban Orchestra.  My orchestral experience has been weirdly light on Beethoven symphonies and I only knew the piece vaguely (except, of course, for the famous horn excerpts, which every hornist works on).  I just loved it.  It was such a joy, and it really kept me on my toes.  I'll have to post a link to some of the recordings when it's available.

I'm trying to keep my schedule clear this winter and spring, except for very specific events.  I'll be putting together a preparatory concert Patience for the New York G&S Society in May (more on that soon) and there are a couple of pit orchestras for shows happening in March and April that I have my eye on.  

As always, I'm available for audition and chamber music coachings as well.  Keep me in mind!

Summer 2017

posted Jun 3, 2017, 3:50 AM by Eric Peterson

June already - what happened to Spring?  So, anyway, the winter was about Blue Hill Troupe concerts.  We did four this year - two runouts to churches in suburban Long Island and New Jersey, and two in Manhattan.  A terrific themed program assembled by the concert committee, it was a lot of fun and went beautifully.

The American Prize finally announced their winners for Opera Conducting, and I placed third in my category for Savoynet’s “Pirates” two summers ago.  I have been a finalist before and an Honorable Mention/Citation winner before, but I have never placed before!  So, progress, if incremental.  

I didn’t have any horn gigs this spring, but suddenly I’m doing a lot of playing.  I’m substituting for the principal horn for QUO’s Pride Month concert: fun repertoire that includes both On the Town and West Side Story, fun Shostakovitch pieces and a conga!  I’l also be performing with French Horn Nation for the annual “Make Music New York” this month.  

I also, either bravely or insanely, volunteered to play bassoon for a student concert this afternoon with no rehearsal.  Bassoon is one of my doubles, and I love playing bassoon, but haven’t in years and didn’t get a lot of prep time for this concert.  And it’s real repertoire, mostly classical warhorses (selections from Carmen, William Tell, a Beethoven symphony).  It will be FINE I’M SURE.  Fun, anyway.

I’m delighted to announced that Dr. Craig Scott Symons has asked me back to lead another Gilbert & Sullivan summer sing at First Congregational Church of Greenwich!  We had such a great time last year - this year’s sing is on Wednesday, July 26th, and everyone is welcome!

A sad note, but not unexpected: Blue Hill Troupe, which is going through some transitions, is changing their concert format (to what, I’m not sure) and they are not renewing my contract.  I’ve been assured that they were very happy with my work; the job itself has been cut.  Well, I fought like hell to get that job and I did it for two years and I proved to everyone, especially myself, what a good fit it was, and we all had a great time!  I wish them the best of luck.

So the possibilities are now boundless.  There are two shows going up in 2018 that I am applying to music-direct, and either would be a significant project: getting both would pretty much block out the school year.  Outside of those, it may be time to put more energy into growing my coaching business, or start gigging more as a horn player.  Or finish up those arranging and publishing projects that have been 95% done for years.

Happy Summer!

American Prize Finals

posted Feb 18, 2017, 3:57 AM by Eric Peterson

I've made the finals for my category for The American Prize!

A mixed blessing.  There were four semifinalists, and I was two of them.  :)  I'm still in the running for "Pirates", but got dropped for "Night Music".  I'd have switched those, myself.  "Pirates", a festival production, had the inherent disadvantages of only one performance and minimal rehearsal time with the orchestra.  But I'll take it!

Winter 2017

posted Feb 3, 2017, 2:28 PM by Eric Peterson   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 2:29 PM ]

I am terrible about keeping this up-to-date, or marketing my wares, but you all should definitely know about Blue Hill Troupe's concert, "Art Imitates Art".  We have been rehearsing since October and are about to start our run of performances.  It's a very fun program - set up as a competition between Gilbert & Sullivan and Broadway, it includes G&S greats from Pirates, Yeomen and Ruddigore, and Broadway selections from BHT's upcoming City of Angels, plus other greats such as the "Tonight" quintet from West Side Story, "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" from Guys and Dolls, Gershwin's "Summertime", and others.

The only public performance (which is free, guys) is on Friday, February, 24th, at the New York Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St. in New York City, at 7:00 pm.  If you're a local, this is your chance!


After that, it looks like I'll be playing in the orchestra for Utopia Opera's  The Grand Duke.  Not my favorite G&S, but not the worst either (that would be Utopia, Ltd.), and it will get me playing horn again, always a good thing. 


Still waiting to hear about The American Prize.  They have been very late this year - I think the last time I applied,  the winners were announced in September, and here we are months later and they haven't even announced finalists yet.  Ah well.

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