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.

Two More Inventions

posted Dec 23, 2020, 5:03 AM by Eric Peterson

The C minor took a lot of work, it's very tricky.  The D Major sort of fell together.  Now it'll just be Xmas music until the new year, but the D minor is coming along nicely, that'll probably be next.

Holidays 2020

posted Dec 16, 2020, 8:10 AM by Eric Peterson

Or "A hunkered-down holiday".  My father was supposed to come visit us over Thanksgiving, and I was supposed to go visit him and my brother for their mid-December birthdays this week, but rising COVID cases made both of those trips a Bad Idea.  Well, there is light at the end of the tunnel: vaccinations started yesterday, and we have Jan. 20 to look forward to.

Thanksgiving was just us two, then, carving into individual game hens (very tasty).  But of the joyous Thanksgiving experiences was seeing my beloved Big Apple Corps marching band make their debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!  (after some forty years of trying to get in)

So here's the deal, if you've never been involved in an LGBTX-identified musical organization, you may not understand why having a Gay Marching Band is a big deal.  It's functionally equivalent to any other marching band, right? just more rainbows on the flags and more male twirlers.  But the importance of seeing something as wholesomely normal as a gay marching band on TV, for those kids struggling with their identity, especially in flyover states, cannot be underestimated.   Visibility has always been our key to acceptance.  And reading the Twitter reactions to the band's appearance, including such spot-on statements as "I cannot imagine how helpful it would have been to see something like this in high school", had me leaking tears as I scrolled through.  

So... I am so proud of them, and so proud of the work that they and all outreach performance organizations do.  Because it Makes a Difference.


I haven't recorded any inventions in a while, but I have three of them that are close to ready - hope to get at least one up this week.  In the meantime, here's a holiday treat:

I can then start work on a short piano version of the Sugar Plum Fairy, maybe that will come up soon too!

Happy Holidays to all who see this!

Fall 2020

posted Oct 3, 2020, 10:05 AM by Eric Peterson

Despite best intentions, haven't been good about keeping this up.  But of course there are no gigs or performances.


 - I was awarded third place in the opera division (professional) for The American Prize!

 - After over a half year of unemployment, I got a new 9-5 job at the Practising Law Institute!

 - Me and mine remain healthy, knock wood.

I also have spent more time at the piano in the last few months than in a long long time.  Here are some more videos I recorded.  I can now pretty much play (under tempo) all the 2-part inventions, and will record each as I get it up to speed.

As always, I'm available for audition coaching (although I don't think anyone's holding auditions now) or to help anyone with repertoire.

American Prize Finals

posted May 15, 2020, 9:29 AM by Eric Peterson   [ updated May 15, 2020, 9:30 AM ]

I've been moved up to the finals for the American Prize in Opera Conducting (professional division)!  Announcement here.

We all remain locked down in NYC, but me and mine are still healthy, knock on wood.  I've been spending more time at the piano than I have in years.  (Note: I would never describe myself as a 'pianist'.)  I'm working on all the Two-Part Inventions in a rotating schedule and when one is ready, I record it and take it off the list.

Bach Two-Part Invention #1 in C Major

Also using some easy Scarlatti as 'palate cleansers'.

Scarlatti D Minor sonata, L. 423

Working on some bigger pieces too, I'll post them when they're ready.  What else have I got to do?

Hunkered Down

posted Apr 27, 2020, 9:57 AM by Eric Peterson

My, a good deal has happened, hasn't it?

Like everyone else, C and I are hunkered down at home.  My gigs, such as they were have been cancelled.

I'm spending more time at the piano than I have in years.  I'm doing a casual, yet structured, run at the 2-part inventions (some of which have been under my fingers at some point or other).  I'm going to post them one at a time as they get solidified.

In the meantime, here's something I did for my mom, who we lost three months ago.

Edward MacDowell: "An Old Garden"

Spring Things

posted Feb 29, 2020, 11:26 AM by Eric Peterson

I'll be playing horn for Utopia Opera's next two shows:

 -  Bizet:Carmen (non-traditional, probably kinda goofy): April 1, 3, 4, 5

 - Mozart: The Impresario and Salieri: Prima la Musica e Poi la Parole: May 2,3, 8, 9

Well, I may not be able to do the May 3rd perf, because we're finally seeing Hamilton!  (tickets bought almost a year ahead of time)

I also saw Aggripina at the Met.  It was fantastic.

American Prize Semifinals

posted Feb 7, 2020, 5:23 AM by Eric Peterson   [ updated Feb 7, 2020, 5:25 AM ]

I am delighted to announce that I am in the semifinals for this year's American Prize for opera conducting (professional division).

This is for Patience, the festival-award-winning show I conducted in August, 2018.  I am very amused that the other semi-finalists all conducted big meaty operas, where Patience, although brilliant, is a trifle of a comic operetta.  I look forward to the announcement of the finalists!


In other news, my mother, Yvonne Peterson, passed away on January 23 after a fairly quick bout with cancer.  She was an amazing woman with a fascinating career and post-retirement life.  She is survived by my dad, my brother and me, and her brother Paul and his family.  I'll post an obituary once it's available.

Winter 2019-2020

posted Dec 29, 2019, 9:04 AM by Eric Peterson

Hello, all!

As always, I've been poor about updating this.  The truth is, I haven't been that active as a performer this year, not since "Albert Herring" in April, which was the year's highlight.  I started a new and draining muggle job in February that was taking most of my energy.  Sadly, it was a poor fit for me and for them.  I'd already been looking for a new job when they laid me off a week before Christmas (!!!).  Astute readers will remember that I was also unemployed last year at this time, so I know the drill.

I'd start looking for a new job right away - and I know far better now what to look for - but I also have some family issues happening so it's actually better for me to keep my schedule free for a while.  I'll probably temp or something. 

However, I did coach some friends in auditions this past month - successfully!  That's always nice.  I got pulled in to sing the Boatswain in a concert of "HMS Pinafore" as well, which was a ton of fun, and will be singing Sgt. Meryll in a "Yeomen of the Guard" concert in January.  What happens after that depends on my family issues and also what my friend's opera company season ends up being.

As always, I'm available for coaching and (short-term) horn and singing gigs.  Even rehearsal accompanying, which is always fun.  Let me know, thanks!

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)

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