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Peter Schaefer : Represented Artist

The pervading theme of everything I do, is seeking the expression of wholistic spirituality...

Photo of Peter Schaefer


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

With extensive dual training and experience in Eastern and Western music/arts, sitarist/composer/artist purusa Peter Schaefer currently works in three interrelated creative areas: sitar performance (both traditional North Indian and contemporary fusion styles); mainstream concert/film/dance composition; and visual art.

He has studied sitar since 1980 (receiving a Commonwealth scholarship and fellowship award, and Australia Council international study grant, for sitar studies in India and the USA respectively) within the Maihar (Ravi Shankar) gharana with such performers as Krishna Chakravarty and Chandrakant Sardeshmukh (disciples of Ravi Shankar), Ali Akbar Khan, and his disciple Ashok Roy.

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

He studied Western composition at Sydney University with Peter Sculthorpe between 1979 and 1983 (B Mus hons), and completed a creative arts doctorate from Wollongong University in 2002.

His compositions have been performed and broadcast both in Australia and overseas by diverse ensembles including the Seymour Group; Petra, Gagliano, Elektra and Kurilpa String Quartets; Tucana; ABC Sinfonia; and State Symphony Orchestras.

Composition awards include the Sarah Therese Makinson Prize for Toward for string quartet (also selected as the Australian entry for the 6th 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 Jian ... still, 1984; and was featured on ABC Classic FM Composer profile in 1994.

Fusing these Eastern and Western elements, he has led various performance ensembles, each consisting of a flexible line-up (including sitar / tabla / percussion / basses / voice / synthesis / winds / string quartet) and drawing upon diverse genres - raga/world music; Western concert/jazz/electronic forms - within original compositions.

Some of his 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; music/dance collaborations; art gallery/audiovisual projects.

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

His artistic preoccupation within all activities is a fluid ongoing conception of form, and the spirituality of sound and light.

Peter Schaefer — current to August 2014