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.

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)

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.

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