PETER MATHEWS was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1944 and studied violin and piano under the Toronto Conservatory system.
EDUCATION: His early piano training was with Edward Parker, of the renowned Parker family of Canadian pianists. In 1963-64 he studied in England with Morris Taylor, one of the last students of Dame Myra Hess, and received a Licentiate Diploma in Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, London. His undergraduate degree in Music and History is from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Graduate studies include both a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he worked with Eph Ehly.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Dr. Mathews conducts choirs, teaches piano, music history, theory, composition, orchestration, and form and analysis. For the past 30 years he has received choral anthem and instrumental commissions from churches and individual musicians from many parts of the United States. While composing music for worship, Dr. Mathews’ commissions have also included art songs and chamber music with voice and instruments in varying combinations.
From 1977-1982 he was the Composer-in-Residence at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral under John Schaefer in Kansas City. As a male alto, he has sung in the Early Music Consort of Kansas City and in various cathedral churches. Dr. Mathews gained a significant reputation as a conductor and composer in central Florida where he directed the Florida Hospital Chorus, a community choir in Orlando, from 1984-1997; and Orlando XIII, an a cappella group, from 1993-2002. From 1999-2010 he served as Choirmaster for St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in DeLand, Florida and currently teaches music history and form & analysis at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
As a conductor and workshop clinician, he conducted (a commissioned work, “Song of the Three Young Men” for SATB, brass and organ) at the 1993 Southeast Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists. The 1994 Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida Choir Festival also featured the composer in this dual capacity. Dr. Mathews was awarded the anthem commission in 1999 for the 49th Annual Sewanee Church Music Conference, long recognized for excellence by the Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Church Music. In January 2000 he conducted two commissioned choral premières at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Augusta, Georgia as part of their 250th anniversary celebration. A fanfare for brass and organ and an anthem were commissioned for the 150th anniversary of the First Congregational Church in St. Joseph, Michigan in 2004.
COLLABORATIONS: Dr. Mathews has been supported and encouraged by various individuals, including Dr. Rick Effinger, whose commissions have resulted in works such as Christus factus est, O vos omnes, Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and A Prayer, among others. Peter Mathews' music is regularly performed at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Orlando, Florida under the direction of Ben Lane and Claire Hodge. In 2005 he completed a two-part treble Missa brevis setting for their childrens’ choirs and organ for their European tour during the Christmas season, now available from Alliance Music Publications. The same venue saw the première of his Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in 2007 for the 20th anniversary of the Orlando Deanery Girls Choir conducted by Hazel Somerville, founder of the choir. In 2012, Mathews was commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida to compose a setting of Ubi caritas for the consecration service of the new bishop.
RECORDINGS AND COMPOSITION PERFORMANCES: Commissioned works of Peter Mathews continue to gain exposure through live performance and compact disc projects for the choirs of Edith Ho (Church of the Advent, Boston), Anton Armstrong (St. Olaf College) and David Brensinger (Atlanta Singers). The 1994 Florida All-State High School Chorus, Boston's Youth Pro Musica, DePauw University, Stetson University, Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal and the Vancouver Chamber Choir have included works by Peter Mathews on their CDs and in their choirs' concerts and tours. His liturgical music was featured in June 2000 at the Regional Convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians held in Orlando. In 2006, the Centaur label issued a CD with his “Four Seasons” for cello and organ, performed by Donald Moline, Chicago Symphony cellist, and Holy Name Cathedral organist Ricardo Ramirez. His “Intermezzo” has also been recorded by the Murray-Lohuis Duo in their CD series in Volume 5, “All American Works for Violin and Organ” by Raven Recordings. Recent performances have been given at the American Cathedral, Paris; St. Thomas' Church, New York; and Winchester Cathedral, England.
PUBLISHERS: Dr. Mathews has written 185 compositions, of which over 80 are published by Alliance, Choristers Guild, H.W. Gray, Kjos, Lawson-Gould, Lorenz, MorningStar, St. James Music Press, and Southern. The complete works have been engraved by the composer and are available upon request.
TOURS OF FRANCE: His interest in French culture has taken him on a number of bike trips to study the cathedrals and great churches of France. Some photos from these trips are being shared on this Web site in the hope of giving pleasure to those already familiar with these magnificent monuments and to those discovering them for the first time.