Peter Dayton

Composer | Pianist


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Aspects of Landscape Album Cove

Aspects of Landscape has been launched! The album was released on March 12, 2020 at the opening of John Hitchens's 80th birthday retrospective exhibition, and is available online!

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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

Peter is the Deputy Director 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.

F E A T U R E D   A C C O L A D E S

"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

Watch videos from Peter's Feb 2020 30th birthday celebration concert "To Celebrate the Need: New Vocal Music," featuring works for lower voice ranges: tenor & piano, TTBB & piano, and more!

Watch Peter's performance of From Sombre Lands at the opening of the John Hitchens: Aspects of Landscape 80th birthday retrospective opening at the Southampton City Art Gallery on March 12, 2020

R E C E N T  N E W S

Peter recorded 2 albums-worth of vocal music this summer which will be released consecutively in the late springs of 2022 and 2023! Stay tuned for more information!

More music in 2021! Peter's work was featured on two CD's being released this year.

  • Vanderbilt Virtuosi, an album featuring the wind faculty of the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music will be available for digital purchase. Produced by Blue Griffin Records, the album includes Peter's duo for oboe & guitar Mar de Lurin, after paintings by Fernando de Szyszlo, performed by Vanderbilt oboe professor Jared Hauser and guitar professor Richard Todd,  released in February, 2021.

  • Milestones, the Centaur Records re-release of composer/violist Christopher Lowry's album of chamber music released in April, 2021. Alongside pieces by Lowry and Chris Hallum, the album includes Peter's Fantasy for viola and piano.​

Peter's album Aspects of Landscape: Music inspired by the world of John Hitchens received a favorable review in American Record Guide's September/October 2020 issue. "Dayton's compositional range is impressive; his emotional, personal touch remains consistent. There is plenty to enjoy in this fantastic album. I look forward to hearing more from him." Read the whole review here.

Fanfare Magazine reviewed Peter's suite of choral works from his An American Mass choral cycle: Beyond All Change: "Dayton’s setting [of By Disposition of Angels, text by Marianne Moore] is highly beautiful, its dissonances moving the listening into an interior space. The world of the second setting, that of Vicki Hearne’s The Tree That Plucks Fruit is more mobile, an almost kaleidoscopic patchwork that leads to the lushness of Midsummer (text William Bronk) where solo voices radiantly illuminate the glowing harmonic basis. This is a lovely piece, lovingly performed" (review by Colin Clarke, Jan/Feb 2020 issue).

Multi-instrumentalist Ronnal Ford has created a virtual saxophone quartet performance of Peter's Still Wing On: Three Transcriptions for Saxophone Quartet Watch & listen below!

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


  • January 9, 2022 & February 1, 2022, 3pm EST: Oboist Jared Hauser and guitarist Richard Todd will perform Peter's Mar de Lurín, after paintings by Fernando de Szyszlo at First Presbyterian Marietta: 189 Church Street Marietta, GA 30060.

  • February 16, 2022: Stay tuned for more information about violist Christopher Lowry performing Peter's Recurring Dream: Second Fantasy, for Viola & Piano at University of Louisiana (Lafayette)!

  • March 11, 2022: Stay tuned for more information about violist Christopher Lowry performing Peter's Recurring Dream: Second Fantasy, for Viola & Piano at Northwestern State University in Nachitoches, LA!

  • April, 2022: Stay tuned for more information about soprano Katie Procell giving the world premiere of Lost Daughter: Songs on the Myth of Persephone along with other works in Baltimore, MD! 


  • December 5, 2021: Cellist Kyle Pearl performed via livestream Peter's Cello Suite: Los Visitantes de la Noche at a recital of new pieces for solo cello at the University of Miami Frost School of Music in Miami, FL. Watch the livestream here.
  • November 6, 2021: Soprano Gina Hanzlik and harpist Amy Nam will performed some of Peter's art songs, along with works by Debussy, Fauré, Strauss, and more, at the Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth, MN.
  • Saturday, October 16, 2021: An Evening of Song with Katie Procell, brilliant soprano Katie Procell sang some of Peter's songs along with works by contemporary composer Garth Baxter and works from the standard repertoire. Tickets are $20. Watch it here until November 16!