PETER BREINER – Conductor/Pianist/Arranger/Composer
…. ” his arrangements delight the aural palate and tease the intellect ” …… ” sensitive, emotional and breathtaking ” ….. ” his scorings are idiomatic and tasteful ” …. ” the music delivers treasure upon treasure ” ….. ” conducted by him with passion and sympathetic understanding ” ….. ” not only a brilliant virtuoso but also a consummate entertainer “….
Known as a conductor, pianist, arranger and composer, Peter Breiner has conducted, often doubling as a pianist, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, the Hungarian State Radio Orchestra, the Nicolaus Esterhazy Orchestra Budapest, the Polish Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra, the Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Capella Istropolitana, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra National de Lille, France, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, to mention just a few. He is one of the world’s most recorded musicians, with over 200 CDs released and record numbers sold ( 1.5 million reached by 2008 alone ) both as albums or online streams.
Peter’s new ballet, Slovak Dances, in collaboration with world renowned choreographer Natalia Horecna was premiered to tremendous acclaim in 2016. This ballet is based on Peter’s own 90 minute orchestral suite of dances which were premiered in its orchestral version in 2015. Initially, Slovak Dances, Nasty and Nice was a project that pulled together all the latest trends in technology and communication across the world today as a huge Transmedia project consisting of audio recording, several interactive videos, and audience-involvement platforms. Peter has built a successful and collaborative relationship with the Slovak National Theater, premiering new ballets and presenting traditional ones as conductor, working with some of the world’s finest choreographers.
In addition to the full orchestra and ballet versions, Slovak Dances for Triango and Orchestra, a version bringing together Peter’s acclaimed Triango ensemble with small orchestra, debuted in Carnegie Hall in December 2016 and was part of a program that toured major cities in Europe and Scandinavia throughout 2016 presented and produced by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic as part of Slovakia’s EU Presidency celebration.
Some of Peter’s most acclaimed recordings include Beatles Go Baroque (over quarter of million CDs sold worldwide) and Elvis Goes Baroque representing the collections of his commercially most successful Baroque arrangements together with Christmas Goes Baroque I and II. His arrangements of national anthems of ALL participating countries were used during the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and illegally in Beijing in 2008. He recorded his own arrangements of the anthems of the participating countries of the Rugby World Cup 2011 and a new 10 CD set of the National Anthems of the World 2013 Edition was written to coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games in London and was released in July 2013 by Naxos. Beatles Go Baroque Vol 2 is currently being prepared.
Over the past few seasons Peter recorded his own arrangements of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Songs and Dances of Death and The Nursery, and Tchaikovsky’s Operatic Suites from The Voyevoda and The Queen of Spades for Naxos. These recordings, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Peter, are the subject of a new movie documentary entitled Bask also released in October 2012. In addition, September 2012 saw the much anticipated release of Peter’s own orchestral arrangements of Debussy’s 24 Preludes also for the Naxos label and to much worldwide critical acclaim. These arrangements have already be chosen for ballet choreography and live concert performances worldwide. The world premiere recording for Naxos of his own arrangements of Janacek’s Six Operatic Suites with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and himself conducting earned similar acclaim, Gramophone stating “ Splendid disc …. conducted with passion and sympathetic understanding .. “ the Chicago Tribune adding “ Breiner fills the void with beautifully crafted symphonic suites based on the music of Jenufa”. All of these albums achieved places on worldwide Top Seller and Best Recording lists. His trio, Triango’s mpst recent album was released in the fall of 2011 by First Impression Music.
Peter’s compositions and arrangements have been played in concerts worldwide. Films that include his musical scores have enjoyed very wide international exposure. (such as Anne of Green Gables, Timothy Findley’s Piano Man’s Daughter, produced by Whoopi Goldberg, and The Magic Flute ) and his music has been featured many times on the most popular TV shows ( including CBC television show Wind at My Back and Seasons of Love)
It is difficult to assign a title to this artist – is he the conductor who composes or is he the pianist who arranges ? As he simply states, “I am a musician”. In this age of high specialization, it is not so easy to find someone who, with the same ease, takes the podium for a popular light classics concert, play / directs from the piano, conducts a symphonic orchestra in Barber or Janacek or in a program of his own arrangements, a chamber orchestra with baroque programme while playing harpsichord or a group of almost 200 musicians recording a score for Universal Studios’ movie.
Peter was the curator of “Sounds of Serendipity” – a 3 year series of Contemporary Classical Music Concerts featuring new and emerging composers and performers with a unique connection to both Peter and Czech and Slovak music culture. The annual series was presented at the Bohemian National Hall, New York.
Peter began to study piano in his early childhood (1961) and his exceptional artistry led to his early acceptance at the Conservatory in Kosice (1971). He studied piano (L. Kojanova), composition (J. Podprocky), conducting and percussion. In 1975-1981 he studied composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (former Czechoslovakia) with Prof. Alexander Moyzes, one of the most significant figures in modern Slovak music. Peter Breiner lived in Toronto, Canada since 1992 till 2007 when he moved to New York.
He is proficient in seven languages. He has hosted various TV and radio programs about music, in 1993, was a co-host and music director of the most popular TV talk show in Slovakia, attracting over 2 million viewers in a country with a population of 5,5 million, has his own column in one of Slovakia’s most influential weekly newspapers, while his first book “Maple Leaves” came out in April 1998 and became a No.1 non-fiction national bestseller immediately. His second book “ Is There Another Globe “ was published in late 2015.