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Peter Schaefer : Represented Artist

Photo of Peter Schaefer


Artist website: http://www.purusa.net

From a background of extensive dual training and experience in eastern and western musics, composer/performer Peter Schaefer currently works in three interrelated musical areas : traditional Hindustani performance; mainstream concert/film/dance composition; and the fusing of these and other world music elements within his own performance ensemble.

Peter has studied North Indian sitar since 1980 within the Maihar (Ravi Shankar/Ali Akbar Khan) style with such performers as Krishna Chakravarty (disciple of Ravi Shankar), Ali Akbar Khan, and his disciple Ashok Roy. He has received several study grants including a Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Award, and Australia Council International Study Grant, for sitar studies in India and the USA respectively.

Amongst innumerable raga performances, Peter also featured as a performer in Emerald City, the film version of the acclaimed David Williamson play.

He also studied mainstream western composition at Sydney University with Peter Sculthorpe between 1979 and 1983 (B. Mus. Hons.) His compositions have been performed and broadcast both in Australia and overseas by diverse ensembles including the Seymour Group; Petra, Gagliano, and Elektra String Quartets; ABC Sinfonia; Perth and Sydney Symphony orchestras.

His composition awards include the Sarah Therese Makinson prize for Toward for string quartet (also selected as the Australian entry for the sixth Asian Music Rostrum, Korea, 1983; and ISCM World Music Days, 1984); the Frank Hutchens composition prize for Petal...Silence for two pianos; and a 2MBS-FM radiophonic composition prize for See.

He also received a fellowship to the National Composers' Orchestral School for Chien ... Still, 1984; and was featured on ABC Classic-FM 'Composer Profile', 1994.

Fusing these eastern and western elements, the Peter Schaefer Ensemble consists of a flexible line-up (including sitar / tabla / percussion / basses / voice / synthesis / winds / string quartet) drawing upon diverse genres - raga/world music; western concert/jazz/electronic forms - within original compositions, and other related contemporary repertoire.

Formed in 1986, Ensemble activities to date include : Wollongong University residency/video project, 1992/93; diverse performance/broadcasts: ABC Classic-FM 'Sunday Live' 1989, 1993, 1997; jazz/world music festivals; SIMA/Jazzgroove; tertiary campuses; new music/dance collaborations (eg. Seymour Group); art gallery/audiovisual projects.

As composer and performer within the Ensemble, Peter is committed to the interaction of acoustic and electronic forms; his sitar style mirroring both traditional Indian performance and contemporary/jazz/world music styles.

Further, all of these activities mirror his consuming artistic preoccupation with the psychic/emotional impact of sound within the shaping forces of world culture.

Biography provided by the composer — current to September 2005