John Peterson

Senior Lecturer

John Peterson is a well-known Australian composer. He has Bachelor Music (1st Class Honours) and Master of Music degrees, and a PhD (Composition) from the University of Sydney. John studied composition with Peter Sculthorpe, Eric Gross, and Ross Edwards, and he has written works for many Australian chamber music groups and soloists. His original music for orchestra has been performed in Australia by the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and the Sydney Youth Orchestra; in New Zealand by the Auckland Philharmonia and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; and his work Rituals in Transfigured Time (1998) was recorded in Britain by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

On two occasions, in 1997 and again in 2001, John Peterson was shortlisted as a semi-finalist for Masterprize, an international competition for new orchestral music run jointly by BBC Music Magazine and the London Symphony Orchestra. 

In Australia in 2005, John Peterson was the winner of the prestigious Albert H. Maggs Composition Award.

His major choral works include Shadows and Light (2004), for SATB chorus, vocal soloists,string orchestra and percussion (commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia Choir); Mourning and the Light Within (2006), for SATB chorus and large orchestra (commissioned by the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic); and Dreams and Visions (2011), a 50 minute work for SATB chorus, soloists, string quartet and piano (commissioned by Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir for their 20th Anniversary). Other recent chamber works include Fabulous Beasts (2012), for clarinet trio (commissioned by the Omega Ensemble); The Flames of Ancient Fires (2012), for Concert Band and Taiko Drum Ensemble (commissoned by MLC Burwood); Double Entendre (2013), for string quartet and piano and two dancers (commissioned by the UNSW Music to Movement Festival, and the result of a collaboration between Peterson, choreographer/dancer Sue Healey, and dancer Raghav Handa); The Immortal Spark (2013) for Double SATB Chorus and small ensemble (for Sydney Philharmonia Choir); and See, the Prismatic Colours Glisten (2013) for soprano, mezzo-soprano, clarinet, cello, and vibraphone (for vocal ensemble Halcyon). Shadow Dances, his work for gamelan ensemble and tenor saxophone, was performed at the 37th Bali Arts Festival in July 2015.

John Peterson's book, The Music of Peter Sculthorpe, is an analytical study of the music composed throughout Sculthorpe's life, during a career spanning more than sixty years. This book was published by Wildbird Music in 2014, and is available from www.wildbirdmusic.com.au.

In 2015 John Peterson won the Australian Flute Festival Composition Competition with his work for flute sextet entitled Emergence.

At UNSW, John Peterson teaches within the areas of music composition, film music, music theory and analysis.

Subject areas
lensMusic

Publications

Books
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Peterson J, 2014, The Music of Peter Sculthorpe, 1, Wildbird Music Pty Ltd, Singapore, http://www.wildbirdmusic.com.au/
2014
Conference Papers
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Peterson J, 2008, 'Computer Notation-Based Music Composition and the delayed Introduction of Musical Expression Markings', in Malpica F; Tremante A; Welsch F; Voss A; Schultyz MPR (eds.), Proceedings of the 2nd International Multi-Conference on Society, Cybernetics and Informatics, Orlando Florida USA, pp. 61 - 65, presented at 12th World multi Conference on systemics, Cybernetics and informatics, Orlando Florida USA, 29 June 2008 - 02 July 2008
2008
Peterson J, 2007, 'Repetition and Structure in Composition: Guilty Pleasures: the Influence of Musematic and Large-Scale Discursive Repetition.', in Inaugural International Conference on Music Communication Science, ARC Research Network in Human Communication Science (HCSNet), Sydney, Australia, presented at 2nd International Conference on Music Communication Science, University of New South Wales, 05 December 2009 - 07 December 2009
2007
Peterson J; Schubert E, 2007, 'Music Notation Software: Some Observations on its Effects on Compuser Creativity', in Inaugural International Conference on Music Communication Science, ARC Research Network in Human Communication Science (HCSNet), Sydney, Australia, presented at 2nd International Conference on Music Communication Science, University of New South Wales, 05 December 2009 - 07 December 2009
2007
Creative Works (non-textual)
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Peterson J, 2006, Mourning and the Light Within, 01 January 2006
2006
Peterson J, 2004, `Shadows and Light` for soprano and tenor soloists, SATB semi-chorus, SATB symphonic chorus, string orchestra and percussion, Sydney Philharmonia Choir Concert, 01 January 2004
2004
Creative Written Works
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Peterson J, 2006, Auguries of Innocenc, Voice of Australia, Miller D; Dixon W; Foulsham L, (eds.), Publications by Wirripang
2006
Journal articles
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Peterson J, 2009, 'Computer Notation-based Music Composition and the Delayed Introduction of Musical Expression Markings', Journal of Education, Informatics and Cybernetics, vol. 1, pp. 37 - 41, http://www.journaleic.com/index
2009
Music Compositions
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Peterson J, 2018, Time Zones for Wind Quintet, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, NSW, publication category: Music Compositions
2018
Peterson J, 2018, Moon-Struck, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, NSW, publication category: Music Compositions
2018
Peterson J, 2017, Visions in Blue (for oboe and piano), Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/drive-score-1
2017
Peterson J, 2017, Visions in Blue (for flute and piano), Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/visions-in-blue-oboe-score-and-part
2017
Peterson J, 2017, Satellite of Love and Fear, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/satellite-of-love-and-fear
2017
Peterson J, 2016, String Quartet No. 3, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, NSW, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/string-quartet-no-3-score-and-parts
2016
Peterson J, 2016, Songs for the Moon, Publication: Wirripang Pry Ltd, Wollongong, NSW, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/songs-for-the-moon
2016
Peterson J, 2015, Emergence (for mixed flute sextet), Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, NSW, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson?Page=1&Items=12
2015
Peterson J, 2015, Shadow Dances, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, NSW, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/shadow-dances-for-tenor-saxophone-and-gamelan-ensemble
2015
Peterson JM, 2013, The Immortal Spark (for double SATB chorus, string quintet, piano, and percussion), Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, 18/106 Corrimal Street
, Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/immortal-spark-the-score
2013
Peterson JM, 2013, Illawarra Music for orchestra, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, 18/106 Corrimal Street
, Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/illawarra-music-score
2013
Peterson JM, 2013, Double Entendre (for String Quartet and piano, and two dancers), Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, 18/106 Corrimal Street
, Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/double-entendre-score
2013
Peterson JM, 2013, See the Prismatic Colors Glisten (for soprano, mezzo-soprano, clarinet, cello, vibraphone), Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, 18/106 Corrimal Street
, Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/see-the-prismatic-colors-glisten-score-and-parts
2013
Peterson JM, 2013, Rituals in Transfigured Time for orchestra, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, 18/106 Corrimal Street
, Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/rituals-in-transfigured-time-score
2013
Peterson JM, 2012, Anniversary Fanfare, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions
2012
Peterson JM, 2012, Fabulous Beasts, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions
2012
Peterson JM, 2011, Dreams and Visions, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/workversion/peterson-john-dreams-and-visions/26051
2011
Peterson JM, 2011, Shadows and Light, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/workversion/peterson-john-shadows-and-light/26153
2011
Peterson JM, 2011, A Quiet Obsession for solo piano, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/print-music/piano/wirripang-australian-piano-anthology-2011-book-one
2011
Peterson JM, 2011, Watching the River Flow, Publication: WirripangPty Ltd, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/print-music/piano/wirripang-australian-piano-anthology-2011-book-two
2011
Peterson JM, 2011, Lucky Thirteen, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/print-music/piano/wirripang-australian-piano-anthology-2011-book-two
2011
Peterson JM, 2010, Five Bagatelles, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd., Wollongong, Australia., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/five-bagatelles-score
2010
Peterson JM, 2010, Impressions of Shanghai, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd., Wollongong, Australia., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/impressions-of-shanghai-score
2010
Peterson JM, 2010, On Crests of Waves, Publication: ReedMusic, Melbourne, Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.reedmusic.com/2276/concert-band/band-class-3/band-class-3-score
2010
Peterson JM, 2010, Waves, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/workversion/peterson-john-waves/24541
2010
Peterson JM, 2010, Ex Tenebris Lux for orchestra, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/workversion/peterson-john-ex-tenebris-lux/24542
2010
Peterson J, 2010, Guilty Pleasures II, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/workversion/peterson-john-guilty-pleasures-ii/24540
2010
Peterson JM, 2010, Encomium, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd., Wollongong, Australia, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/race-aganist-time-score-and-parts
2010
Peterson JM, 2010, Race Against Time, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd., Wollongong, Australia., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/race-aganist-time-score-and-parts
2010
Peterson JM, 2010, Veni Creator Spiritus, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/veni-creator-spiritus-for-unaccompanied-satb-chorus
2010
Peterson JM, 2009, Anniversary Music for orchestra, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/anniversary-music-for-orchestra
2009
Peterson JM, 2009, Sailing for the Sun for unaccompanied SATB chorus, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/
2009
Peterson JM, 2009, Tallawarra, Publication: Publications by Wirripang, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/tallawarra-score-and-parts
2009
Peterson JM, 2009, Taking Flight, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/
2009
Peterson JM, 2009, Spirit of the South Land for string quartet, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/
2009
Peterson JM, 2009, Illawarra Dances, Publication: Publications by Wirripang, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/
2009
Peterson JM, 2008, Under Sydney Skies (On Crests of Waves), Publication: Publications by Wirripang, Wollongong, N.S.W., publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/
2008
Peterson JM, 2007, Guilty Pleasures, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/guilty-pleasures-for-mixed-instrumental-ensemble
2007
Peterson J, 2007, Drive (Clarinet and Piano), Publication: Reed Music Pty Ltd, Melbourne, publication category: Music Compositions
2007
Peterson JM, 2007, Pacific Ocean Blue, Publication: Wirripang Pty Ltd, Wollongong, publication category: Music Compositions
2007
Peterson J, 2007, Voice of Australia, Publication: Publications by Wirripang, Wollongong, NSW, Australia, publication category: Music Compositions
2007
Peterson JM, 2007, Mourning and the light within : for SATB chorus and orchestra, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions
2007
Peterson JM, 2007, Drive, Publication: Reed Music Pty Ltd, Melbourne, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.reedmusic.com/2041/clarinet/clarinet-piano-level-c/drive-2
2007
Peterson J, 2007, Mourning and the light within : for SATB chorus and orchestra, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions
2007
Peterson J, 2007, Mourning and the light within : for SATB chorus and orchestra, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/mourning-and-the-light-within-for-satb-chorus-and-orchestra
2007
Peterson JM, 2006, Remembering Illawarra for solo piano, Publication: Publications by Wirripang, Wollongong, publication category: Music Compositions
2006
Peterson J, 2006, Eternity?s Sun Rise, Publication: Publications by Wirripang, Wollongong, publication category: Music Compositions
2006
Peterson JM, 2006, Songs From a Sunrise Land, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/songs-from-a-sunrise-land-for-ssaa-voices-and-string-quartet
2006
Peterson J, 2006, Drive, Publication: Reed Music Pty Ltd, Melbourne, publication category: Music Compositions
2006
Peterson JM, 2005, Slowburn, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/slowburn-for-mixed-ensemble
2005
Peterson JM, 2005, The Earth that Fire Touches, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/the-earth-that-fire-touches-for-soprano-soloist-satb-chorus-two-pianos-and-percussion
2005
Peterson J, 2004, Portraits: Music for brass ensemble, Publication: Red House Editions, Australia, publication category: Music Compositions
2004
Peterson J, 2004, Not quite, but not quite not, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/not-quite-but-not-quite-not-for-mixed-ensemble
2004
Peterson J, 2004, Shadows and Light, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions, http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/shadows-and-light-soprano-solo-tenor-solo-satb-semi-chorus-satb-symphonic-chorus-string-orchestra-timpani-and-percussion
2004
Peterson J, 2003, The Velocity of Celebration, Publication: Australian Music Centre, Sydney, publication category: Music Compositions
2003
Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)
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Peterson J, 2018, 'Italian Serenade' (Bowral Autiumn Music Festival), Independent Theatre, North Sydney, NSW, 'Italian Serenade' (Bowral Autiumn Music Festival), Publication: String Quartet No. 3, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance), https://www.bowralautumnmusicfestival.org.au/program
2018
Peterson J, 2017, Outback Odyssey, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia, Washington, USA, Outback Odyssey, Publication: Dreams and Visions, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance), http://www.washingtoncenter.org/event/outback-odyssey/
2017
Peterson J; Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir , 2014, Publication: Dreams and Visions (CD Recording), Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)
2014
Peterson J; Carrigan (piano) J, 2012, Publication: Narrative and Detours (CD Recording), Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance), http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/narratives-and-detours-1
2012
Peterson JM, 2010, Publication: Australian Song Cycles Volume 1, Wirripang Pty Ltd, 2010, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance), http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/songs-from-australia-cd
2010
Peterson J, 2007, Publication: Drive (for saxophone and piano), Reed Music Pty Ltd, 2007, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance), http://www.reedmusic.com/2024/cds/cd-albums/hinterland-vcehsc-saxophone-cd
2007
Peterson J, 2006, Publication: Auguries of Innocence, PUBLICATIONS BY WIRRIPANG, 2006, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)
2006
Peterson J, 2006, Publication: Five Islands, Publications by Wirripang, 2006, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)
2006
Peterson J, 2006, Publication: Ancient Rivers, Wirripang Pty Ltd, 2006, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance), http://www.australiancomposers.com.au/authors/john-peterson/ancient-rivers-cd-cd
2006
Peterson J, 2005, Armidale Youth Orchestra Tour of Tasmania, Armidale Youth Orchestra Tour of Tasmania, Publication: New England Dances, 2005, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)
2005
Peterson J, 2005, The Earth that Fire Touches, Australian Music Centre; Sydney, The Earth that Fire Touches, Publication: The Earth that Fire Touches, 2005, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance), http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/workversion/peterson-john-earth-that-fire-touches/13141
2005