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COMPOSER SHOWCASE

Randolph Peters: Biography

Randolph Peters
1959 -
Region: Prairie

Randolph Peters

Peters, Randolph (b. 1959, Winnipeg). Canadian composer of stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and film works that have been performed across Canada and abroad to acclaim and that have earned him several awards.

After Mr. Peters obtained a degree in physics and religious studies from the University of Winnipeg, he pursued his masters and doctoral music composition studies at Indiana University. He returned to Canada in 1987 following a world trip that led him throughout India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Egypt, and the jungles of Gabon, where he recorded and studied music from those areas.

Mr. Peters served as the composer-in-residence of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra from 1996-2001. In addition to writing numerous works for the WSO, he is also the curator of their annual New Music Festival, which is held every January. The festival, which has just celebrated its tenth anniversary, is the largest attended event of its kind in the world.

As composer-in-residence with the Canadian Opera Company (1990-93), he was commissioned to write Nosferatu. This opera also appeared in the 1995 season of the Manitoba Opera. The Canadian Opera Company has recently announced that he will join forces with Margaret Atwood to write a new opera, Inanna's Journey, to be premièred in April 2004. The new opera will be his third and will help inaugurate a new opera house in Toronto. Mr. Peters' previous collaboration was with the late Robertson Davies and resulted in a new opera for the Canadian Opera Company entitled The Golden Ass - it premièred to sold-out houses in April 1999 at the Hummingbird Centre, Toronto.

He was a finalist in the 1984 CBC Young Composers Competition, for his piece Analogia. He was also a finalist for the Ben McPeek Award for best original television score, Tramp at the Door (it also received a 1986 ACTRA nomination). He was named Composer of the Year in 1990 by the Winnipeg Free Press, and was winner of the 1989 Interalia Composers Competition (for his piece Analogia). In addition, he was the winner of the 1988 Orchestral Music category at the PROCAN Young Composers Competition (for Free Fall); this same piece won him the 1993 Audience Award at the du Maurier New Music Festival. He received a nomination at the 1994 Gemini Awards (Best Music Score for a TV Film category for The Diviners) and at the 1997 Blizzard Awards (Best Music Score for a Film category for Heck's Way Home). He was the recipient of the Major Arts Grant (1994) from the Manitoba Arts Council and was nominated for Best New Musical at the Dora Awards, 1999 (for The Golden Ass). He was the winner of the 1999 Artist of the Year Award (from the Canadian Opera Company), for his The Golden Ass.

Mr. Peters has received numerous commissions, including ones from trombonist Alain Trudel and the Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. In addition, pianist Shirley Sawatzky, the Canadian Opera Company, the Penderecki String Quartet, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Cambrian Quartet, and the Agassiz Trio, among others, have all commissioned works from him.

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