Biography

Peter Lewis is a San Francisco-based, yet internationally active, composer of modern classical music. His music has been commissioned and/or performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Conspirare, New York Virtuoso Singers, Orion String Quartet, Alexander String Quartet, Ciompi Quartet, Bakken Trio, Merling Trio, Dorian Wind Quintet, members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Chamber Symphony of Princeton, Seattle's Intiman Theater, and many distinguished soloists and conductors including Kent Nagano, Alan Gilbert, Craig Hella Johnson, Kees Hülsmann, Susan Narucki, Keisuke Nakagoshi, Stephen Gosling, Miranda Cuckson, William Winant, and David Tanenbaum. He has also worked closely with poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Robert Sund on his vocal projects. His music has been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Japan, and has been broadcasted over National Public Radio in the United States, the BBC in England, World Broadcasts, and various other stations and programs throughout the world.

His major compositions include Pacific Triptych (for orchestra or piano solo), two violin concertos, two cello concertos, Guitar Concerto, Where The Heart Is Pure (for mezzo soprano and chamber orchestra or piano), two string quartets (Night Lights and River Shining Through), Beaming Contrasts (for guitar and string quartet), two piano trios (Rhapsodic Images and Second Piano Trio), Serenade for Winds (woodwind quintet, with or without bass clarinet), two cello and piano duos (Through The Mountain and Duo Concertante), A Whistler’s Dream (flute and piano), The Changing Light (vocal quartet SATB and piano), Five Love Motets (vocal quartet SATB), as well as other compositions for orchestra, various chamber ensembles, and solo instruments.

Naxos, New Albion, and his own widely distributed Lapis Island Records have produced 7 CDs devoted to his music. They are Home Stretch, The Four Cycles (composer, conductor, and lyricist), Riving Shining Through, Atlantic Crossing/Rhapsodic Images, Three Suites for Guitar (composer and soloist), Where the Heart Is Pure, and Beaming Contrasts.

His most recent recording is Home Stretch, which will be released in November 1, 2019 and features Miranda Cuckson, violin; Christopher Gross, cello; and Stephen Gosling, piano, all leading New York-based musicians.

He is currently developing a new opera.

Additional information and performances of existing compositions are listed on the Works page of his web site under their titles, when known.

Peter Scott Lewis was born on August 31, 1953, in San Rafael, California, and grew up in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington State. A graduate of the Yale School of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he studied composition with Andrew Imbrie, Jacob Druckman, Nicholas Maw, and Morton Subotnick; studied guitar with Alirio Diaz and Carlos Barbosa-Lima; and conducting with Arthur Weisberg.

He has taught at the University of Washington and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In addition, he has completed composer residencies at Yaddo Corporation, the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Foundation, and has been composer-in-residence at Seattle’s Intiman Theater, Festival for New American Music, SFMOMA, among others. He has also worked as a conductor, classical and jazz guitarist, clarinetist, lyricist, and producer. His music is published by Theodore Presser Company/ASAP and Lapis Island Press/ASAP.

****Upcoming CD to be released on November 1, 2019. The recording is titled Home Stretch and features Miranda Cuckson, violin; Christopher Gross, cello; and Stephen Gosling, piano.