Randolph Peters | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Randolph Peters

Randolph Peters. Composer, pianist, b Winnipeg 28 Dec 1959; B Sc (Winnipeg) 1980, BA (Winnipeg) 1981, M Mus (Indiana) 1987. Randolph Peters began piano studies at age five and completed the Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 10.

Peters, Randolph

Randolph Peters. Composer, pianist, b Winnipeg 28 Dec 1959; B Sc (Winnipeg) 1980, BA (Winnipeg) 1981, M Mus (Indiana) 1987. Randolph Peters began piano studies at age five and completed the Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 10. He attended the University of Manitoba, graduating with a double major in physics and religious studies in 1981. He kept up his music studies, however, and was accepted to the University of Indiana's graduate program in composition, where he pursued M MUS and then D MUS studies. There he studied mainly with John Eaton. He had contact with other resident and visiting faculty such as Donald Erb, Fred Fox, Harvey Sollberger, Earle Brown, and Leonard Bernstein. In 1986, Peters travelled to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Gabon, where he recorded the local music, returning to Canada in 1987.

Compositions by Peters

In 1989, Randolph Peters won the Music Inter Alia composers' competition for his piece Analogia, which had been a finalist in the CBC Young Composers Competition in 1984. His orchestral work, Free Fall, won a PROCAN award in 1988 and the Audience Award at the du Maurier New Music Festival in 1993. In 1990, Peters was appointed composer-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company (COC), during which time he composed Nosferatu, his first opera. It was premiered by the COC in 1993 and reprised by the Manitoba Opera in 1995. From 1996 to 2001, Peters was composer-in-residence at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and curator of the Winnipeg New Music Festival. The COC approached him for a second opera, The Golden Ass (libretto by Robertson Davies), which was performed to sold-out crowds at the Hummingbird Centre in 1999 and nominated for a Dora Award. Peters has since received commissions for the Quebec Symphony Orchestra (Butterfly Wings and Tropical Storms, 2002) and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (Violin Concerto, 2006, premiered by Gwen Hoebig). In 2005, Peters's orchestral version of Juggernaut was the Canadian submission at the International Rostrum of Composers. In 2008 Peters's third opera, Inanna (libretto Margaret Atwood), was scheduled to be premiered by the COC. In addition to his work in opera and concert music, Peters has written the soundtracks to more than 100 productions, including The Diviners and Lost in the Barrens. He has also written for television, radio, dance and theatre.

Additional Commissions and Awards

Randolph Peters's work has been commissioned by and performed by the Winnipeg, Quebec, and Edmonton symphonies; the Vancouver and Manitoba chamber orchestras; the Hannaford Street Silver Band; the COC; the Kronos and Penderecki quartets; the Agassiz Trio; and Soundstreams. He was named composer of the year by the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990, and artist of the year by the COC in 1999. He is a member of the Canadian Music Centre.

Selected Works

Nosferatu. (lib. Marilyn Powell), 12 singers, chamber orchestra, tape, 1993. Ms

The Golden Ass. (lib. Robertson Davies) 6 soloists, chorus, orchestra, 7 dancers. 1999. Ms

Free Fall. Orchestra. 1987.

Dreaming-tracks. Orchestra and tape. 1991. Ms

The Orpheus Interludes. Orchestra. 1997. Ms

Concerto for Orchestra. Orchestra. 2001. Ms

Butterfly Wings and Tropical Storms. Orchestra. 2002. Ms

Juggernaut. Arr for string orchestra and electronics. 2005. Ms

Orchestra with soloist
The Adventures of PianoWoman!® Solo piano and orchestra, 1994. Ms

The Seven Gates of Kur. Solo trombone and brass band. 2000. Ms

Violin Concerto. Violin and orchestra. 2006

Chamber Music
Analogia. Flute, oboe, clarinet, alto/tenor sax, and bassoon. 1982. Ms (1982)

Three Quarks For Muster Mark! Soprano/alto sax, baritone sax, and piano (also version for piccolo, cello and piano). 1990. Ms

Tango for string quartet. 1991. Ms

Juggernaut. Electric string quartet and tape. 1993. Ms

Intrada. Double piano trio (version 1), and piano quintet (version 2). 2007. Ms

Out Of The Night. Soprano and live electronics. 1990. Ms

Survivors. Mezzo-soprano and string quartet. 1994. Ms

Keys to the Unseen. SATB adult choir, SATB youth choir, percussion, organ, and strings. 1999. Ms

The Poster Above the Urinal. Baritone, string quintet. 2007. Ms

Film and television
Tramp At The Door. 1986

Crime Wave. 1986

Lost in the Barrens. 1990

Curse of the Viking Grave. 1991

Smoked Lizard Lips. 1991

The Diviners. 1992

Heck's Way Home. 1995

For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down. 1996

Edge of Madness. 2002

Cowboys and Indians: The Killing of J.J. Harper. 2003

Further Reading