A native of North Carolina, Peter Stafford Wilson studied at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, where his primary mentor was the late Thomas Schippers. Mr. Wilson also studied at the Aspen Music School, where he studied with Dennis Russell Davies, Eastern Music Festival (on whose faculty he subsequently served), Pierre Monteux School, Boris Goldovsky Summer Opera Institute and Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, where he was associated with Franco Ferrara. After his advanced studies, he was appointed Assistant, and later Associate, Conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra appointed him Regional Pops Conductor for the 1995 summer season, during which he led the orchestra in a series of widely acclaimed performances in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. In 1996, the American Symphony Orchestra League featured him in its Conductor Preview event, a program that encourages emerging conducting talents in the United States. From 1990 to 2008, Peter Stafford Wilson held the posts of Assistant and Associate Conductor of The Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Wilson is also Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, which he has regularly led in local and regional concerts. Peter is now in his eleventh season as Music Director of Ohio's Springfield Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his work with Tulsa Ballet, Peter Stafford Wilson's current season includes his continuing duties as Music Director of the Westerville Symphony, a community/collegiate orchestra based at Otterbein College, work with Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, and a quartet of holiday performances of The Nutcracker with BalletMet Columbus.
One of the artistic high points of my season is approaching, a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 with the Springfield Symphony. I have put off programming Mahler with this orchestra for a myriad of artistic, financial, and political reasons, but I finally put the first symphony on the docket for this season. I love Mahler. His music deals with every imaginable aspect of life, the joys and sorrows, in such vivid and human terms. I think his music gets a little too personal sometimes, and for that reason, audiences sometimes find it hard to embrace. This will be my fourth trip through the score, and every time I approach it, like any work, I find new and intriguing things.BWW Blog: Peter Stafford Wilson - A Century of Spring February 20, 2013
Igor Stravinsky's epic, The Rite of Spring, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Stories of its eventful premiere on May 29, 1913 in the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris are legendary. A veritable riot erupted in the theatre, more the result of Vaslav Nijinsky's choreography than Stravinsky's music (or Pierre Monteux's conducting). Insults were shouted from the audience, slapping and punching took place, it must have been quite an evening. And the Parisians' reaction was, I suppose, predictable. Graphic depiction of pagan Russia was hardly what the audience was expecting, and Stravinsky's primitively pulsating music full of angular harmonics and orchestral histrionics was more than the proper public could tolerate.BWW Blog: Peter Stafford Wilson - Reflections February 8, 2013
I have encountered a lot of anniversaries that end in zeros lately. My twentieth season with the Columbus Symphony occurred in 2010. My tenth season with the Springfield Symphony was last year. This year marks my twentieth at the helm of the Westerville Symphony at Otterbein University. My first professional conducting job was some 35 years ago (I know there is no zero in that figure, but it seems worth noting). Do the math, and you will rightly assume that I am approaching a significant personal milestone with the aforementioned digit.BWW Blog: Meet Maestro Peter Stafford Wilson January 28, 2013
January is usually a light month for musicians. We tend to spend that glorious time
recuperating from countless Nutcrackers, Messiahs, Strauss waltzes and polkas
and a plethora of other Holiday extravaganzas that many colleagues rely on for a
large portion of their annual income. Like retailers, musicians count on the Holiday
Season's musical embrace to help them survive a somewhat lean winter.