Peck, Russell

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Russell Peck


Born: January 25, 1945

Died: March 1, 2009

Country: Detroit, Michigan

Studies: Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan (B.M.1966, M.M.1967, D.M.A.1972)

Teachers: Clark Eastham, Leslie Bassett, Ross Lee Finney, Gunther Schuller


Russell Peck's orchestral compositions have received thousands of performances by hundreds of orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. These include the major American orchestras of Boston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Milwaukee, etc., Britain's London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic, and orchestral performances at Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center, and in Berlin, Warsaw, Barcelona, Kiev, Montreal and Singapore. Peck's music is notable for colorful and idiomatic orchestration and an exceptionally accessible personal style combining the classical idiom with a recognizable influence of popular American musical language.

An Albany Records compact disk of four of the composer's orchestral works (TROY 040) features recordings by the London Symphony. Other recordings are on Koch International and Channel Crossings (Netherlands). His Peace Overture was among the first serious contemporary American orchestral works played in the People's Republic of China (Shanghai Symphony).

In 2000-2001 a consortium of 39 American orchestras - the largest in history - commissioned Mr. Peck's new Timpani Concerto Harmonic Rhythm. The premiere performances began in September 2000 with the Louisville Orchestra and include orchestras throughout the country.

The best known works by Mr. Peck include his percussion trio concerto, The Glory and the Grandeur; Signs of Life for string orchestra; and The Thrill of the Orchestra, a narrated orchestral instrument demonstration piece which was recorded for the Discovery video series by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, and has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Korean and Cantonese.

Russell Peck (born Detroit, Michigan) is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he also received Master and Doctoral degrees in composition. His teachers have included Clark Eastham, Leslie Bassett, Ross Lee Finney, Gunther Schuller, and George Rochberg.

Mr. Peck also performed extensively as narrator of his own orchestral works for young (and adult) audiences, and appeared as guest artist with orchestras throughout the United States.[1]

Works for Percussion

Harmonic Rhythm - Timpani; Orchestra
In the Garden - Drum Set; Organ
Lift-Off - Percussion Trio
Lion's Breath - Multiple Percussion; Double Bass
The Glory and the Grandeur - Percussion Trio; Orchestra