Skip to page content

Peter Snyder

Performer

About this Artist

PETER DAVID SNYDER was born in Brooklyn, New York of Russian/Romanian heritage. His early start in music began at the age of three with the piano, his mother being his first teacher. At age 5, he began the study of the cello and by 10 years of age, he had been able to have lessons with the famed Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. He soon auditioned for the California Institute of the Arts and was granted a full scholarship and became the student of Cesare Pascarella. Peter was a very active performer as a child. His first performing experiences really started with his mom and his brother as the "Snyder Trio", performing in and around the city of Los Angeles for women's clubs and other organizations. His teacher, Cesare Pascarella was the cellist in the famed Roth String Quartet and as such was a wonderful chamber music coach. Peter was in his earlier years, a first place winner two out of the four times he was entered in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. He made his first solo appearance with an orchestra at the age of 13 playing the Lalo Cello Concerto with the Peter Meremblum Junior Symphony. He became principal cellist of that orchestra soon after. His teacher started him playing little recitals anywhere he could to have Peter heard. As he got older, throughout high school and college, he would become a very seasoned performer. He was regularly performing in southern and northern California, at many of the college campuses.

Upon graduation from Cal-Arts with a degree in Music as well as Art, he made his first solo recital debut in Western Europe in 1966, playing in Vienna, The Hague, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, and Zurich where he received wide acclaim, and was invited back the next year. Previously, he was very active with many of the local orchestras as well including the California Chamber Symphony with Henry Temianka, the Glendale Symphony with Carmen Dragon and the Burbank symphony with Leo Demiani. He gradually began to freelance in and around Los Angeles as well as in the studios. In 1967, he was offered an Assistant Professorship at Wichita State University, where he taught cello, chamber music and string methods. He was the cellist in the resident string quartet as well as the principal cellist of the Wichita Symphony. He left Wichita State to become principal cello with the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia until its demise. After which, he went to Indiana State University were he held a similar position as he had had at Wichita State University. In 1969, he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony under the direction of William Steinberg and in 1973, became a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Over the years, he has performed with many orchestras not only in California but with many others as well, including those of Wichita, lndiana Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia to name a few. In 1979, he founded the Tonart Piano Trio which at the time was Trio in residence at Biola College in La Mirada, California.

Peter Snyder comes from a very rich music and arts background, having both mother and father being professional pianists. His mother's family as far back as one can trace (1800), everyone had been either a musician or an artist, so his love of both fields really was in his blood. The family tradition continues with his eldest daughter and former student of his, attending the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Some of his former students are currently members in major symphony orchestras as well. An interesting side note in his earlier musical career was when he made his debut in Europe, his mother was his accompanist and she as well made her debut, never having previously played there. How wonderful this was for both, to share twenty years of studies and concerts and practice to have it culminating with "their debut" in Europe. With his degree in creative arts, he followed his passion for design and drawing. He studied cartooning with the noted animator Norman Mcgary of Disney and Warner Brothers fame and in 1988 developed two comic strips while on tour with the Philharmonic and was shortly after this able to have them published regularly in many different newspapers. With his designing ability, he started working in gold and silver, creating many different "objets d'art," among them being designs with a musical motif. He also designed small silver and gold bicycles for table top collections. Some of his designs have been done for Tiffany's and the Lincoln Center gift shop as well as a design for the centennial celebration of Carnegie Hall.

Over the years, Peter's vast chamber music background has led him to perform with many different groups, not only his own, but many times with musicians of the Philharmonic as well. His love of music in general, led him to study yet one more instrument. That instrument being the "classical guitar." Having been a pianist and cellist, the study of the guitar was a very natural transition for him. This enabled him to play a different variety of music, not only classical and flamenco, but chamber music as well. He continues to have a somewhat busy teaching schedule as well, teaching both instruments.