Peter Richard Conte
PETER RICHARD CONTE'S nearly-unparalleled technical facility, brilliant ear for tonal color, and innovative programming style have made him one of the most revered and sought-after “orchestral” organists of this era. He was appointed Wanamaker Grand Court Organist in 1989 — only the fourth person to hold that title since the organ first played in 1911 — where he presides over the world’s largest fully-functioning musical instrument, at over 29,000 pipes, located at the Macy’s Department Store in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. The organ is heard in recital twice daily, six days per week, with Mr. Conte playing a majority of those recitals. He is also one of the producers and lead artist in the popular Christmas holiday shows at Macy’s and the annual Organ Day every June, each presenting truly grand music befitting of the grand space to routinely sold out crowds. Mr. Conte is also Principal Organist at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, and, since 1991, has served as Choirmaster and Organist of Saint Clement’s Church, Philadelphia, where he directs a professional choir in an extensive music program firmly rooted in the high Anglo-Catholic tradition.
Mr. Conte is highly regarded as a skillful performer of the standard organ repertoire, arranger of orchestral and popular transcriptions, and silent film accompanist. His recitals can include such diverse works as Bernstein’s Overture to ‘Candide’, Dupré’s Symphonie Passion, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, “period pieces” such as Londonderry Air, and works by unknowns such as Firmin Swinnen and Oliphant Chuckerbutty. He has been featured several times on National Public Radio and on ABC Television's Good Morning America and World News Tonight. He has two radio shows: The Wanamaker Organ Hour, which airs on the first Sunday of each month, at 5:00pm (EST), and can be heard via the internet at WRTI.org; and each Wednesday evening at 7:00pm (EST) his Grand Court concert is streamed live on YesterdayUSA.com. He has appeared as a featured artist at numerous conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society, and has also performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philly Pops, and with numerous orchestras around the country.
Peter Richard Conte has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Organ at Rider University's Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, where he taught Organ Improvisation. He is the 2008 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington. In 2013, the Philadelphia Music Alliance honored him with a bronze plaque on the Avenue of the Arts’ Walk of Fame. His numerous recordings appear on the Gothic, JAV, Pro Organo, Dorian, Raven, and DTR labels. His most recent CD, Virgil Fox Remembered, was released in May 2016 on the Raven label.
Peter Richard Conte is represented exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.