Peter Fender – Conductor, Composer and Teacher

PeterAcclaimed conductor, composer, and conducting teacher Peter Fender shares his passion for music with audiences and orchestras in his native England and beyond, combining deep musical sensitivity, a strong stage presence and great motivational and communication skills.

As a conductor he is experieinced in orchestral, choral and operatic music, and in working with professionals, amateurs and children. He is currently Musical Director of Philharmonia Britannica and the Angel Orchestra in London, plus the Six Centuries Chamber Choir. He has conducted a number of other orchestras and groups in the UK, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Peter’s musical career began as a violinist and violist. He has played principally with period instrument groups such as the Academy of Ancient Music, the London Classical Players, the Consort of Musicke and The Sixteen. He has been leader (concertmaster) for many concerts, and also directed a good number from that position. In 2006 his focus changed to conducting, after studying with Michael Rose (MBE), Achim Holub, and Peter Stark (from the TV series ‘Maestro’), and participating in master classes in England, Italy, and Austria.

In 2007 he formed the orchestra Philharmonia Britannica. One reason for this was to create an orchestra which would regularly work with other art forms. PB concerts have subsequently included mixing live orchestral music with actors, poets, dancers, painters, live video displays, and even the great classical comedian Rainer Hersch! Through this Peter has been looking to draw in people who wouldn’t be interested by a ‘straight’ classical concert, and also looking for some interesting syntheses and juxtapositions. He also seeks to remove the ‘high brow’ from classical orchestral concerts. To this end he often gives short explanations of the music, interspersed with englightening comments about composers, aiming to make the music of interest to those who have never attended a classical concert – as well as those who are seasoned concert goers.

Peter teaches conducting privately and on courses and workshops.  He has created a course for those new to conducting (including non-musicians), and further courses leading up to weekend workshops with full orchestra for more experienced conductors. He also gives talks on music-appreciation both online and in person.  

As a composer Peter has now written a variety of works for different sized groups.  He strives to create music that is accessible to both players and audience alike but which is also compositionally interesting.  A number of his orchestral works are on a CD released in 2012, chamber music works on one released in 2019 and music for video game on a release in 2020.  

Peter has a blues harmonica which he hopes to learn one day!