“Superb artistry in the lost art of organ transcription . . . To play that many lines with only ten fingers is technical wizardry, but to do it with feeling and magic is indeed rare.” (American Record Guide)
The nearly unparalleled technical facility, brilliantly exacting ear for lush tonal color, and innovative programming style have made Peter Richard Conte one of the most revered and sought-after “orchestral” organists in the United States. He was appointed Wanamaker Grand Court Organist in 1989—the fourth person to hold that title since the organ first played in 1911—where he presides over the world’s largest fully-functioning musical instrument, at over 29,000 pipes, located in the Macy’s Department Store in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. The organ is heard in recital twice daily, six days per week, with Mr. Conte playing a majority of those recitals. He is also Principal Organist at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA and, since 1991, has served as Choirmaster and Organist of Saint Clement’s Church, Philadelphia, where he directs a professional choir in a music program firmly rooted in the high Anglo-Catholic tradition. He is also a frequent collaborator and soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and a guest artist with the Philly Pops for their annual Christmas Spectacular.
Mr. Conte is widely revered as a skillful performer of the standard organ repertoire, arranger of orchestral and popular transcriptions, and a silent film accompanist. His recitals include such diverse works as Bernstein’s Overture to ‘Candide,’ Dupré’s Symphonie Passion, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, “period pieces” such as Londonderry Air, opera arias and choruses by Mascagni and Strauss, and works by little-known American composers such as Firmin Swinnen and Oliphant Chuckerbutty. He has been featured several times on National Public Radio, and on ABC television's “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight.” For 13 years he was heard on “The Wanamaker Organ Hour” radio show, broadcast via the internet at WRTI.ORG. He has appeared as a featured artist at numerous conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society, and as soloist with orchestras around the country.
Peter Richard Conte has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Organ at Rider University's Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, where he taught organ improvisation. He is the 2008 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington. In 2013, the Philadelphia Music Alliance honored him with a bronze plaque on the Avenue of the Arts’ Walk of Fame. His recordings appear on the Gothic, JAV, Pro Organo, Dorian, Raven, and DTR labels. His most recent solo CD, Virgil Fox Remembered, was released in May 2016 on the Raven label.
Peter Richard Conte is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.
E-mail: [email protected]
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