Peter Dayton

Composer | Pianist


Home Page Navigation

Click here to go to the EventBrite page for To Celebrate The Need: New Vocal Music by Peter Dayton, an evening of music featuring some of the finest musical talents of the mid-Atlantic. Come join Peter on his 30th birthday to celebrate the need of friendship and comrades during the coldest, darkest season. A journey of music for soloists, and TTBB ensembles, setting texts by Paul Blackburn, William Bronk, A.E. Housman, Walt Whitman, and W. B. Yeats, presented as always at Studio 5N.​

N E W   M E D I A

Welcome to Peter Dayton's official website! Here you can learn more about Dayton's many artistic endeavors, peruse his catalogue of scores and discography, order music for study or performance, and stay up to date on news of recent and future concerts.

Baltimore-based, freelance composer Peter Dayton writes music that appeals to diverse listeners through its remarkable combination of energy and intimacy. His compositions have been performed across North America and in Europe; his orchestral pieces have been recorded by the Brno Philharmonic for the Ablaze label. Peter Dayton is involved in LGBT community activism, and was one of the founders of the Baltimore artist collective and multimedia series Amplified Cactus


In 2014, a recording of Dayton’s orchestral piece From Sombre Lands, inspired by a painting by John Hitchens, was released on Vol. 2 of Ablaze's Orchestral Masters series, performed by the Brno Philharmonic in the Czech Republic. His string orchestra composition Grounds, inspired by the countryside surrounding Hitchens's home, appears on Orchestral Masters Vol. 3 (2016) and was re-released on Vol. 1 of Ablaze's Sinfonia Series (2017). A suite of choral pieces by Dayton has appeared on Ablaze's New Choral Series Vol. 1 (2016) and Vol. 2 (2018) each. His first album of chamber music, Notes to Loved Ones (2018) was published by Navona Records.

Peter is the Program & Administrative Coordinator for Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS), a Baltimore-based, statewide non-profit that advocates for and advances equitable access to quality arts education for Maryland's public school students.

R E C E N T  N E W S

Peter has started a blog page after leaving Facebook. Read the blog here or subscribe to get notifications about new blog posts below!

"Double Portrait" for String Quartet is a new piece Peter composed to celebrate his sister's engagement. Listen to a recording of the piece and learn more on the work's info page.

Peter has completed a new song cycle for tenor and piano,

"Just a Leaf," 3 songs celebrating the mysterious beauty of plant-life, setting poetry by William Bronk and Paul Blackburn. Visit the work page for more information!

New recordings from Peter's concert May She Love: Songs & Opera Celebrating Sappho and Stein, including the world premiere recording of "Entwine Our Tongues: Sapphic Fragments" are now available!

Peter's trio for clarinets and guitar, "Inkwash", was recently premiered at International ClarinetFest 2019. Visit the work's page to learn more and listen to a recording of the premiere.


  • January, 2020: Peter's chamber opera "MAY SHE | SHE MAY" will be performed in Baltimore, MD by Opera Alchemy. Check back for more information.

  • January 4, 2020, 8PM: Peter's nature song cycle "Botticellian Trees" for soprano and violin will be performed at a Thrive Music Live event at Baltimore's Studio 5N by Duo Cortona

  • February 22, 2020, 8PM: Peter will be putting on a concert of vocal chamber music showcasing his works for lower voices: To Celebrate the Need: New Vocal Music by Peter Dayton. Works featured will include several world premieres and a performance of Peter's Whitman cantata: "The Need of Comrades." Follow the link to RSVP for the concert! Suggested donation of $15 at the door.

  • March 12, 2020: Peter will release an album of his music inspired by the paintings of British artist John Hitchens in conjunction with an 80th retrospective of John Hitchens's paintings in Brighton, UK.


  • November 8, 2019: A recording of Peter's duo for oboe and guitar, "Mar de Lurin, after paintings by Fernando de Szyszlo," was released on the PARMA Records album "Figments, Vol. 2." Follow the link to learn more!

  • September 14, 2019, 8PM: The revised "Recurring Dream: Second Fantasy, for Viola and Piano" received its DC premiere at the second annual DC New Music Conference at The Catholic University of America, performed by Christopher Lowry and Peter Dayton. (620 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20064)

  • September 13, 2019, 8PM: Peter Dayton and composer/violist Christopher Lowry presented a concert of their works for viola and piano, celebrating the Centaur Records re-release of Lowry's debut album "Milestones." The concert  included the world premiere of the revised "Recurring Dream: Second Fantasy, for Viola and Piano" as well as other works. The performance took place at Studio 5N (302 E Federal St., Baltimore, MD 21201)

  • August 2, 2019, 8PM: Peter Dayton presented a concert of vocal music inspired by the two most notorious Lesbian poets in history: May She Love: Songs & Opera Celebrating Sappho & Stein took place at Studio #5N (302 E Federal St., Baltimore, MD, 21202), featuring Dayton's frequent collaborator Katie Procell, and included performances of Dayton's song cycle "If They Delight," his chamber opera "MAY SHE | SHE MAY," and the world premiere of "Entwine Our Tongues," a new song cycle for soprano and winds. Go to the facebook event page here.

  • July 27, 2019, 8:30AM: "Inkwash," a trio for 2 clarinets and guitar, was performed as part of the ensemble programming at International ClarinetFest 2019, in Knoxville, TN. It was be performed by Laura Bouffard, Leonel Marulanda, and Joey Grimaldi. The performance took place in the Sub-Auditorium of the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1741 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37916)

  • June 10-11, 2019: Peter Dayton recorded his "Symphonic Poem: From Forgotten Lands," inspired by a painting by British artist John Hitchens with the Aire Born studio orchestra in Zionsville, IN. These recording will be part of an upcoming album, to be released in conjunction with Hitchens's 80th retrospective in April, 2020.

  • April 28, 2019, 4 PM: "Recurring Dream: Second Fantasy," for viola and piano received its world premiere at the Intimacy of Creativity Conference in Hong Kong, performed by Curtis Institute CEO and violist Roberto Díaz and composer/pianist Bright Sheng. The concert took place at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (1 Gloucester Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong).

Listen to Peter's new album, Notes to Loved Ones, Music for Strings and Piano on Spotify!
Read more about the album on the "Writing Notes To Loved Ones page"
A new video recording of the world premiere of Peter's "Entwine Our Tongues, Sapphic Fragments" for Soprano and Reeds is now available! Listen on YouTube or through the embedded video below
F E A T U R E D   A C C O L A D E S

Listen to Peter's newly-recorded "Symphonic Poem: From Forgotten Lands, after a painting by John Hitchens" for Orchestra

A new recording of Peter's "Mar de Lurín, after paintings by Fernando de Szyszlo" is available on a newly-released album "Figments, Vol. 2" by Navona Records. Listen below!

"...This experience will live with me for a very long time, and it is no exaggeration (though perhaps partly influenced by post-concert afterglow) to say that this is a new high watermark in my musical life."

Casey Mullin, Violist, co-commissioner of the Sonata for Viola and Piano

"...a composer whose heart and care are palpable. His melodic sensibilities are at center stage...Dayton is a young composer who has a voice that deserves to be heard often."

American Record Guide

"...a refined sense of melodic arcs and harmonic motion..."

Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun


"Thanks to you for the pleasure you have given me with your music and for understanding what I search for in painting."

Fernando de Szyszlo, Painter, Winner of the Order of the Sun of Peru

R E C E N T  &  U P C O M I N G  A P P E A R A N C E S

© 2019 by Peter Dayton. Proudly created with

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • w-youtube
  • SoundCloud Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon

Read Recent Blog Posts