Eric Peterson is from Virginia, right outside of Washington, DC and studied piano and guitar as a child. In middle school, he discovered band, and played clarinet until switching to horn in high school. Majoring in music at The College of William & Mary, he made his conducting debut with the college orchestra and conducted his first show, Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience. He obtained a Master of Music degree in horn performance at Peabody Conservatory, while also studying voice and continuing to explore conducting.
Moving to Philadelphia on graduation, he performed opera and musical theater and became involved in the LGBA community. He was a founding member of the Philadelphia Freedom Band, serving as PFB's artistic director for two seasons and guest-conducting other LGBA bands. Moving to New York City, he joined the Big Apple Corps, then stepped up to its podium in 1998. Eric led the BAC for seven seasons in over 20 concerts, including its Carnegie Hall debut, and was honored beyond belief when, the day of his farewell concert, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields declared it to be Maestro Eric Peterson Day. Eric returned to lead chamber music workshops at the 2008 LGBA national conference, guest-conducted at the BAC's 30th anniversary concert and guest-conducted QUO's November 2010 concert, Jubilation.
Eric is now primarily a theater conductor, concentrating on light opera. A Gilbert & Sullivan enthusiast since he played The Learned Judge at sixteen, Eric is an active Savoynetter who has traveled up and down the east coast to sing through the canon with like-minded folk. He served as Concerts and Choral Director for the Blue Hill Troupe, where he appeared in Yeomen, Sorcerer and Thespis and music-directed Mame, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and A Little Night Music. With Troupers Light Opera, he conducted The Gondoliers, Die Fledermaus, Gilbert & Sullivan on Wall Street and The Mikado. He has been invited twice by Dr. Craig Scott Symons to lead Gilbert & Sullivan summer sings at The First Congregational Church of Greenwich.
In August, 2012, Eric made his international debut conducting the Savoynet Performing Group's production of The Sorcerer at the 19th annual International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England, for which he received a special judge's citation from The American Prize. He returned to the festival in Harrogate in 2015 to conduct Savoynet's The Pirates of Penzance, which earned him an American Prize third place. His third time on the podium, 2018's Patience at the 25th festival, won Savoynet the title of International Champions and Eric the festival award for Best Musical Director.
Eric also has a career in technical communication; currently, he is a senior business analyst in software development.
He lives in historic Jackson Heights, Queens with his spouse, Charles Keiser.