Originally from Rochester, New York, Peter James Learn began composing in his late teens, first focusing primarily on electronic soundscapes and EDM, then branching out into concert art music. In addition to composing, Learn is also a trained percussionist and avid amateur pianist. Learn earned a BM in composition and theory from Heidelberg University, studying with Brian Bevelander, where he was awarded the Ars Nova prize for composition, then going on to earn a MM in composition, studying with Dana Wilson at Ithaca College in New York. Peter also holds a Doctorate in composition from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, where he studied under composers Dennis Kam and Dorothy Hindman, also working closely with Charles Norman Mason and Lansing McLoskey.
Learn recently completed his first opera in collaboration with soprano Sarah Toth and Australian poet Geoffrey Lehman, Nero Monologues, which opened in London in August 2017 and was also performed in 2018 by Knoxville’s Marble City Opera Company. Another recent major commission, GALT, an hour-long tone poem for ten pianos and percussion, was premiered by the Miami Piano Circle in May of 2017, receiving both audience and critical acclaim. Other recent compositional activities of note include the premiere of his symphonic work Mosäique by The Cleveland Orchestra, a commission for brass trio, Dumas, by trombonist Andrew Friedrichs, the inclusion of his Shant, for string quartet on the Henri Mancini Institute Quartet’s recent recording, and the premier of his chamber work Apollonian Echo by members of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Learn’s Babylon Incisions: Snippets of War Porn, for soprano ensemble and piano, commissioned by Laura Libby McCall and the Syracuse University graduate vocal department, was recently premiered New York, his Schumann Resonances was premiered by the Baltimore-based Lunar Ensemble, and his Benevolent Machinations for piano duo was premiered by international pianists Daniel Manoiu and Larisa Soboleva. Dr. Learn is currently a member of the music theory and composition faculty of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he continues to be an active composer, performer, and educator