Originally from Rochester, New York, award-winning and internationally-performed composer Peter James Learn began creating original music in his late teens, first focusing primarily on electronic soundscapes and EDM, then branching out into acoustic concert music and media scoring. In addition to his primary role as a composer, Learn is also a trained percussionist, reformed punk rocker, and avid amateur pianist. He holds a BM in composition from Heidelberg University, where he studied with Brian Bevelander, and a Master’s in composition from Ithaca College in New York, where he studied with Dana Wilson. Learn also holds a Doctorate in composition from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, where he worked closely with composers Dennis Kam, Dorothy Hindman, 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 2017 with Toth and the Phaedra Ensemble as part of the Opera in the City Festival, and was given its US premiere run in 2018 by Knoxville’s Marble City Opera Company and the Inner Voices ensemble, both of which garnered positive critical reception. Another recent major commission, GALT, an hour-long tone poem for ten grand pianos and percussion with visual media, was premiered at New World Symphony Hall by the Miami Piano Circle, receiving both audience and critical acclaim. Other noteworthy performances include his symphonic Mosaique written for the Cleveland Orchestra, a commission for brass trio, Dumas, by acclaimed trombonist Andrew Friedrichs, the inclusion of his Shant, for string quartet, on the Henri Mancini Quartet’s recent release, and performances of his works Of Flurries and Clarion and Apollonian Echo by Cleveland Orchestra chamber ensembles.
Learn’s Babylon Incisions: Snippets of War Porn, for soprano ensemble and piano, was recently premiered by members of Syracuse University’s graduate vocal department, his Schumann Resonances by clarinetist Gleb Kanasevich and the Lunar Ensemble, and his Benevolent Machinations for piano duo was premiered by international pianists Daniel Manoiu and Larisa Soboleva. 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 is an active composer, performer, and educator.