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Peter Dayton

Composer | Pianist

 

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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.

Peter Dayton, described as “a composer whose heart and care are palpable" (American Record Guide), is a composer passionate about poetry and song.  His previous release, Stories Out of Cherry Stems: Katie Procell sings works by Peter Dayton (Navona Records, 2022), was nominated for Critic's Choice by Opera News, which praised Dayton's "fresh and interesting sounds." His discography also includes All in the Sound: New Vocal Music by Peter Dayton (Navona, 2023) Aspects of Landscape: Music from the world of John Hitchens (Independent, 2021) and Notes to Loved Ones: New Music for Strings & Piano (Navona, 2018).  Peter holds degrees from Vanderbilt University and Peabody Conservatory. Peter is a proud resident of Baltimore, Maryland, where he regularly engages his community through concertizing and performance opportunities that support local musicians and create new artistic connections.

Peter is the Director of Operations 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.

New Media
Featured Accolades
F E A T U R E D   A C C O L A D E S

"...composer Peter Dayton...specializes in creating fresh contemporary repertoire for voice and accompaniment..."

Jonathan Rosenblum, for Opera News

"Dayton continually creates fresh and interesting sounds..."

Jonathan Rosenblum, for Opera News

"Dayton's compositional range is impressive; his emotional, personal touch remains consistent... I look forward to hearing more from him."

Nathan Faro, for American Record Guide

"...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... a voice that deserves to be heard often."

Stephanie Ann Boyd, for 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

Recent
R E C E N T  N E W S

Peter's 2023 album All in the Sound: New Vocal Music by Peter Dayton has received glowing positive press from Jason Rosenblum at Opera News. Read more:

  • "...composer Peter Dayton...specializes in creating fresh contemporary repertoire for voice and accompaniment..."

  • "[The Second Coming], featuring impressive performances by the singers and hornist Shona Goldberg-Leopold, this challenging work merited an instant replay."

Peter's album Stories Out of Cherry Stems: Katie Procell sings works by Peter Dayton has received praise from various outlets, including:

  • Opera Ramblings Blog: "This is clever and sophisticated music. The accompanying instruments are well matched to their texts and the moods range from very playful to really rather dark." Read More

  • Take Effect Reviews: "A powerful listen that can also at times be delicate, Dayton creates a stunning, original body of work that will certainly impress the chamber and vocal music inclined." Read More

  • The Clarinet (Online): "The album overall presents a diverse yet cohesive demonstration of Dayton’s skilled and thoughtful writing and brings the listener on a captivating and engaging sonic adventure." Read More

  • Opera News (Critic's Choice): "Dayton continually creates fresh and interesting sounds... while Procell enthusiastically illuminates his idiosyncratic explorations with her gleaming soprano." Read More

N E W   M E D I A

Watch the album release video of All in the Sound: New Vocal Music by Peter Dayton

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

Upcoming:​​​​​​

  • September 15, 2023, Kansas City, MO, 12pm CDT: Saxophonist Nick May and pianist Alex Li will perform Peter's Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (2022) on a concert program of duo saxophone music. 

  • September 22, 2023, Longmont, CO: Violist Scott Stewart and pianist Richard Shore will perform Peter's Sonata for Viola and Piano (2018) at a local house concert.

  • September 28, 2023, University of Oklahoma, OK: Saxophonist Nick May will perform Peter's Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (2022) on a concert program of duo saxophone music. More details to come.

  • October 8, 2023, University of Arizona, Tuscson, AZ: Saxophonist Nick May will perform Peter's Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (2022) on a concert program of duo saxophone music. More details to come.

  • October 13, 2023, 7PM Baltimore, MD: The Saunter into Autumn, a concert reflecting on the change of season with moody and intense music, featuring longstanding collaborators Arianna Arnold, Katie Procell, Aaron Thacker, and Valerie Hsu; will include multiple world premieres and also works by Michael Rickleton, Tania León, and Carl Smith. Get tickets here.

  • November 10, 2023, Kansas City, MO, 6pm CST: Saxophonist Nick May will perform Peter's Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (2022) on a concert program of duo saxophone music.

  • April 28, 2024, Philadelphia, PA: Saxophonist Nick May and the Latitude 39 Ensemble will present the world premiere of a new trio composed by Peter Dayton. More details to come.

  • May 5, 2024, Irvine, CA: Meredith Crawford and Orli Shaham of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra will perform Peter's Fantasy for Viola and Piano (2009) on a program of 20th and 21st century solo and chamber music. Part of the Pacific Symphony's "Café Ludwig" concert series. Details here.

  • June 2, 2024, St. David's Episcopal Church, Baltimore, MD: A performance of Peter's The Need of Comrades: A Gay Cantata (2017) at a Pride Evensong recital in Baltimore, MD, led by baritone artist Michael Manganiello. More details to come.

  • July 20, 2024, Kansas City, MO: Peter has been specially requested to appear again on the programming of the Charlotte House Concert Series for their upcoming year. Saxophonist Nick May and the Latitude 39 Ensemble will perform Peter's new trio. More details to come.

Recent:​​​

  • March 28, 2023, 7:30pm EDT, Vino Theater (274 Morgan Ave Suite 201, Brooklyn, NY 11211): A Ghost's Endeavor Concert by countertenor James M. Brown to benefit True Colors, Inc., an LGBT charity. The concert featured Peter's Walt Whitman song cycle The Need of Comrades: A Gay Cantata.

  • April 15, 2023, Kansas City, MO, 3:30pm - 6pm CST: M2 Duo (Nick May and Maya Tuylieva) presented the world premiere of Peter's Sonata for Soprano Saxophone & Piano as part of the Charlotte House concert series.

  • April 29, 2023, 7pm EST, Owen Brown Interfaith Center (7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia MD 21045) The Earth is Good: Spring Songs & Arias with Arianna Arnold & Valerie Hsu.  Soprano Arianna Arnold and pianist  Valerie Hsu will present an evening of song, featuring settings of female American poets and opera arias! Included will be Peter's song cycle If They Delight, setting poetry by Gertrude Stein.

  • April 30, 2023, 2pm CST, Regina, Canada. Stacy Allan and the Wascana Voices will be performing Peter's setting of Vickie Hearn's poem The Tree that Plucks Fruit on their spring concert. The concert will be streaming on the Wascana Voices Facebook Page.

  • June 22, 2023, 7pm EST, Baltimore, MD. Peter Dayton, James M. Brown, Michael Manganiello, and Aaron Thacker performed The New of Comrades: A Gay Cantata as part of Stillpointe Theatre's first Queerscape event celebrating Baltimore Pride. The event took place at Area 405, 405 E Oliver St., Baltimore, MD 21202.

  • September 13, 2023, 7:30pm MDT, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO: Saxophonist Nick May and pianist Alex Li performed Peter's Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (2022) on a concert program of duo saxophone music.

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