B i o g r a p h y
Praised for his "dramatic performance" and "stunning orchestral playing," rising cellist Peter Swanson has performed across the United States as soloist, cutting-edge collaborator, and orchestral leader. Recent highlights include concerto performances with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and Northshore Philharmonic (both MN), as well as his first Upper Midwest solo tour of unaccompanied recitals last summer. His passion for the modern cello repertoire has led him to tackle the works of Hindemith, Crumb, Britten, Ligeti, Barber, Shostakovich, Dutilleux, Lutosławski, Augusta Read Thomas, Golijov, and John Luther Adams.
As an orchestral musician, his leadership positions span nearly a dozen orchestras at the community, collegiate, and professional level. Accolades include a full fellowship to the National Orchestral Institute, being named winner of the inaugural Prince George's Philharmonic Cello Internship (MD), and two years as endowed principal of the Luther College Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He can be heard on the Grammy-nominated NAXOS recording of the National Orchestral Institute performing masterworks by Ruggles, Stucky, and Harbison.
As a chamber musician, he is a founding member of Catchfire Collective, a new music ensemble based in North Carolina. Other chamber tenures include the Ekklesia Trio, Music In The Shape Of A Pear, the TEMPO Ensemble, the Gate City Camerata, and Present~Continuous. In these groups he has premiered numerous pieces and promoted recent compositions from around the world. He has also recently been appointed to a UNC-Greensboro Graduate Fellowship as part of the Di Domani Quartet.
He currently is pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro as a graduate assistant under the instruction of Alex Ezerman. He also holds degrees from the University of Maryland and Luther College (IA). He has performed in masterclasses for Andres Diaz, Cecylia Barczyk, Richard Belcher, Tulio Rondon, Christine Kim, Lawrence Stombeck, and Robert DeMaine. He is a winner of the National School Orchestra Award, the Luther Music Excellence Award, and the Burlington Industries Music Award. Peter plays a 2013 Beckmann cello specially commissioned by Givens Violins in Minneapolis.
Also an emerging composer, he has completed nearly a dozen works for a great variety of ensembles. In June 2016 he was named winner of the Iowa Composer's Forum's Student Commission Competition, for which he composed a new piece for oboist Heather Armstrong. He also has explored uncharted territory in his works, composing the first piece of classical music with screaming vocal technique. Peter studied with Steve Smith, Robert Gibson, and Joseph Bearns Prize winner Brooke Joyce