Peter Ware

Ware, Peter (Highsmith). Composer, teacher, b Richmond, Va, 4 May 1951 B MUS (Virginia Commonwealth) 1974, M MUS (Yale) 1976. At Yale he studied with Krzysztof Penderecki, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, and Toru Takemitsu.

Ware, Peter

Ware, Peter (Highsmith). Composer, teacher, b Richmond, Va, 4 May 1951 B MUS (Virginia Commonwealth) 1974, M MUS (Yale) 1976. At Yale he studied with Krzysztof Penderecki, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, and Toru Takemitsu. He was a lecturer in music 1976-7 at Queen's University and 1977-9 at Brock University, and was a graduate assistant 1979-83 at the University of Cincinnati while doing post-graduate work there in composition with Richard Rodney Bennett. He is recipient of the Frances E. Osborne Kellogg Prize from Yale (1976) and the St Louis New Music Circle Competition award (1986). Since 1979 he has worked exclusively as a freelance composer, editor and music publisher for his own Acoma Company/Nambe Edition in Toronto, and as a private teacher of composition, theory, and counterpoint.

Ware has received commissions from Northern Kentucky U (Libera Me Domine, 1981), the cellist Gisela Depkat (Kluane 'Dream of a Dark Winter Waltz, ' 1981), the North York Symphony Orchestra (Kusawa, 1982), the Canadian Saxophone Trio (Takhini, 1984), York University (Aishihik, for piano and orchestra, 1985), the Canadian Chamber Ensemble (Baca Location No. 1, 1986), the Lockerbie String Quartet (Kabah, 1987), the Cincinnati Composers Guild and the University of Kansas (Chama ' The Eagle and the Plumed Serpent,' 1989), and Trio London (London Trio, 1990). His works have also been performed by the Cincinnati Symphony, the Richmond (Virginia) Symphony, the Iceland Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Buffalo New Music Ensemble, pianists Adam Fellegi and Yvar Mikhashoff, and in a number of festivals in Canada and the USA. His music is published by Acoma.

Ware's compositions have been inspired by the North American landscape and its rich Indian heritage. The titles of many of his works reflect that heritage, and have been taken from Virginia's Piscataway River (the two piano pieces Piscataway I 'On Looking Deeper into the Water' and Piscataway II 'The Hibiscus on the Water' of 1979 and 1981), a Yukon glacier lake (Kusawa, for orchestra, 1982), and an Indian ruin in New Mexico (Tsankawi, also for orchestra, 1978, rev 1982). His earliest works were influenced by the music of his teachers, particularly Penderecki, and later his economical use of wide intervallic relationships contributed to a dramatic and openly communicative language. Artua (1973) for string orchestra exploits both the percussive and lyrical aspects of the ensemble, while the Three Pieces for Voice, Clarinet and Piano (1979), a setting of a text by e.e. cummings, makes use of 'sudden bursts of dynamic energy and flourishes of sound' (Harting) contrasting with more sustained passages. Richard Brooks, writing in Musical America (February 1984), remarked that in this work 'the music perfectly matches the wit and sonic playfulness of the text.' Three Pieces was recorded in 1983 at the 4th Annual New Music Festival, Bowling Green State U on Access S-101.

Ware is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre, a member of the CLComp and the American Composers Alliance.

In 1985 Ware married the guitarist Lynn Harting - b Kettering, Ohio, 14 Dec 1959; B MUS (Cincinnati College-Cons) 1983, M MUS (Kent State) 1985. Harting-Ware studied guitar with Clare Callahan and Christoph Harlan and attended master classes by Oscar Ghiglia, Sergio Abreu and others. In Canada she has given recitals, composed and arranged pieces for the guitar, and edited music for the Acoma Company/Nambe Edition guitar series. She was founding editor 1985-7 of Guitar Canada magazine. In 1988 she recorded five works, including her own Fantasy and Ricercare and Peter Ware's Nakina, on Acoma GXT-5731 (cass), and her Dance, Fantasy and Ricercare and Ware's Nakina are included on her CD The Many Moods of the Guitar (1990, Acoma GXT-5732).


Further Reading

  • PRO Canada Ltd. 'Peter Ware,' pamphlet, 1987

    Harting, Lynn. 'Peter Ware's cartographical composition,' MSc, 345, Sep-Oct 1985

    Guitar Toronto, vol 5, Apr-May 1990.