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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.

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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


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


  • Thursday, June 20, 2024, 7pm EDT Virtual: Peter Dayton's 2024 Summer Solstice Livestream. Join Peter on YouTube for another piano livestream, featuring classic ballads, video game soundtracks, film scores, classical piano pieces, and more. Viewable any time after the broadcast starts. Link here.

  • Saturday, July 20, 2024, 3:30 CDT, Kansas City, MO: Saxophonist Nick May leads Ensemble Latitude 39 in a concert "East meets West" as part of the Charlotte House Concert Series. The program will include a performance of Peter's immense "Trio" for violin, alto saxophone, and piano. Get tickets here.


  • February 12, 2024, Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY: 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.

  • April 28, 2024, 4pm EDT St. John's United Church of Christ, Lansdale, PA: Saxophonist Nick May and the Latitude 39 Ensemble presented the east coast premiere of a new trio composed by Peter Dayton. Program information here.

  • May 5, 2024, Costa Mesa, CA: Meredith Crawford and Orli Shaham of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra performed 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 by the Cerberus Ensemble. Watch the streamed concert here.

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