Classical composer Peter WarePETER WARE
ANCIENT EVENINGS: "The orchestra reveled in the evocative and passionate passages of the musical epic."
-The London Free Press

PETER WARE (May 4, 1951) like Charles Ives has fashioned a melodic and harmonic vocabulary both distinctive and attractive. Frequently drawing titles from North American landscapes, Ware seeks to climb inside his sources creating an organic rather than narrative musical style. Expressionistic with driving rhythm and bold harmonic progressions, his music evolves through long-breathed polymodal melodies, spun out almost endlessly in a free-flowing contrapuntal texture. Ware's musical structures develop naturally from modal motivic cells that seem to grow and mutate in an evolutionary sense. Fascinating in its defiance of analysis, the music emerges from a primitive sense and communicates directly with the listener on a purely spiritual level. For this reason, its meaning can be interpreted and understood emotionally, but the message is encoded outside the realm of language.

Ware’s early musical training was in the church choir and under the piano tutelage of Florence Robertson in Beethoven's lineage. He studied composition at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Cincinnati and Yale University. His principal teachers include Krzysztof Penderecki, Scott Huston, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati and Toru Takemitsu.

While many composers claim inspiration from the works and spirit of Beethoven, Ware's orchestra music is large in gesture with the heroic always surfacing and a sense of undeniable majesty. It communicates the universal awe, a speechlessness that can only be captured in the language of tone. In the end, the process is clearly recognizable as an extremely personal testimonial: the individual artist struggling for context in the world, and through the workings out of their art, championing and empowering themselves with spirit transcending.

Ware attracts numerous commissions with grants from the Canada Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Ohio Arts Council. He has attracted commissions and performances from ensembles such as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony’s Composer-of-the-Season, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony, Orchestra London Canada, Virginia Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble/Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Queen's Chamber Orchestra, National Chamber Orchestra, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. He has received composition prizes from the Minnesota Composers Forum, St. Louis New Music Circle, University of Cincinnati, Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, Virginia Commonwealth University and Yale University. In 1993-94, Ware was Composer-of-the-Season for the Saskatoon Symphony. His music is available on the following CDs: The Many Moods of the Guitar (GXD 5732)  Impossible Dream (GXD 5733), Forest Scenes (GXD 5734), Americas (GXD 5736), and Angelica (5735).

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Last modified December 21, 2011
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