top of page

Described by American Record Guide as “...a composer whose heart and care are palpable... who has a voice that deserves to be heard often” and by the Baltimore Sun as having “a refined sense of melodic arcs and harmonic motion,” Peter Dayton’s compositions have been performed across North America and in Europe. Peter holds degrees from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. At Peabody he was the winner of the Macht and Gustav Klem Composition Awards.


Peter’s creative output is directly shaped by his relationships and life experiences. Many of his works use visual art or poetry as the spark for an artistic response. His works responding to contemporary painters have generated friendships and connections across the globe, from England to Peru. Peter’s passion for literature has resulted in over a dozen settings of poems in art songs and choral works. In addition to his settings of modern American poets, Peter wrote the libretto for his own chamber opera May She | She May about the poet Gertrude Stein’s first love affair. His album of chamber music, Notes to Loved Ones presents pieces for piano and strings that “practically hum with the intensity of love and life, and they are presented in sequence in a way that makes the process of listening to them feel like looking through a beautiful photo album.” (American Record Guide).

Peter’s discography includes works for large ensemble, chamber music, and choral music. Recent outputs and features include Aspects of Landscape: Music from the world of John Hitchens (independent release), Notes to Loved Ones (Navona Records) –hailed by Whole Note as “an interesting and promising debut”– and Vanderbilt Virtuosi (Blue Griffin Records). His work has also appeared on compilation CDs released by Navona Records and Ablaze Records.


Peter has studied in England and Sweden, taken part in festivals and conferences in Louisiana, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Italy, Spain, and Hong Kong organized concerts of his work in Ohio, Tennessee, and Maryland, and exhibited his music at the Violin Society of America, Chamber Music America, and American Choral Directors Association conventions.

photo by Douglas Johnson
photo by Anne Purkiss
bottom of page