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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.

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.

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Featured Accolades
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 the album release video of All in the Sound: New Vocal Music by Peter Dayton Stories Out of Cherry Stems: Katie Procell sings works by Peter Dayton

R E C E N T  N E W S

Peter's new 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

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!

N E W   M E D I A

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


  • POSTPONED: (originally April 21) Amid the Noise & Haste, a concert of works exploring life's joys and sorrows for soprano voice, alto saxophone, and piano. Featuring star-collaborators Katie Procell, Valerie Hsu, and Kyle Blake Jones, the concert will include music by living composers, and showcase Peter's Desiderata

  • 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. Get tickets here!

  • 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.


  • February 22, 2023, 7pm EST, An Die Musik LIVE! (409 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201): WE RETELL LEGENDS: Adaptations and Retellings for Soprano & Viola. A celebration of Peter's birthday with an evening of retelling classic works of literature, starring Katie Procell & Christopher Lowry. Included the world premiere of Peter's Temptress Helen: Greek Legend Verse Excerpts.

  • March 10, 2023, 7pm EST, Youtube: The digital release event for  All in the Sound: New Vocal Works by Peter Dayton, including album sneak peaks, beautiful artwork, and interview excerpts. Watch here!

  • March 11, 2023, 5:30pm EST, Clifton Mansion (2701 St. Lo Dr., Baltimore, MD 21213): The in-person release concert for All in the Sound: New Vocal Works by Peter Dayton. The concert will include performances of works from the album and sales of the limited physical release of this digital album.

  • March 26, 2023, 7:30pm CDT, Music Institute of Chicago - Nichols Concert Hall (1490 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201-4768):  SongSLAM Chicago 2023! Peter Dayton is teamed up with Soprano Rachel Hanauer to compete in SongSLAM Chicago 2023. They premiered Peter's new song Night (text by Hilda Doolittle) before a live and livestreamed audience and came in second place!

  • 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.

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