Join us for a special Master Class with composer/conductor/arranger Peter T. Myers. Listen and discover some of the innovative techniques he has developed through the years as he has travelled through contemporary music with individual artists and big bands and orchestras, music for film and television, and the symphonic world. Mr. Myers has established a reputation for himself in Hollywood and throughout the world as an unrivaled innovator who constantly probes, experiments and re-invents the boundaries of his singular musical landscapes.
Master Class with Peter T. Myers, Composer/Conductor/Arranger
“Surviving As an Arranger in Hollywood”
Moderated by Kim Richmond
Saturday, January 30, 2015 – 11:00am
5800 Fulton, Van Nuys, CA
Composer and musical architect Peter T. Myers joyfully crafts detailed compositions, illuminating lively stories through counterpoint, textured harmonies and striking rhythms. His inventively-orchestrated works and productions showcase the colorful range of each individual instrument and capture the exciting emotional impact of a live performance. With five decades of experience in the music and entertainment industries, he has worked extensively with many gifted artists, groups and professionals, including Sarah Vaughn, Sammy Davis, Jr., Marvin Gaye, Bill Conti, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Doug Cramer, Doc Severinsen, Olivia Newton-John, The London Symphony Orchestra and Placido Domingo. His diverse work on film, television and theatre projects demonstrates his natural ability to interpret the voices of many different types of artists and to create exceptional music that perfectly expresses a specific story and genuine feeling. He uses his finely-tuned knowledge of theory and natural improvisational abilities within any musical style to illustrate how music is integral to creating lasting memories and portraying the delights, sorrows and mysteries of life’s complex moments.
Mr. Myers was nurtured in Manchester, England by highly-skilled musicians. His grandfathers – one a composer of early 20th century theater music and the other an amateur violinist – as well as his parents, both expert pianists, encouraged him to take piano lessons and introduced him to the unparalleled thrill of live music through theater and the ballet. At just 13, Myers took up the trombone and by 17 had slid easily into the life of a professional musician, playing in brass bands and numerous other ensembles and attending the prestigious Royal College of Music in London. Even as a teenager, he sensed that a great deal of the contemporary music he was playing was poorly written and uninspiring and began to passionately explore the magical, enigmatic harmonies of his favorite works by master composers and orchestrators such as Dimitri Schostakovich, Bela Bartok, Richard Strauss and Maurice Ravel while he simultaneously polished his own creative process.
After working diligently in the trenches as a trombonist and absorbing all he could about orchestration across both classical and contemporary music, Myers decided to move to Los Angeles in the early ‘60s, hopeful of becoming a composer in Hollywood. His love of pop and theater music deepened as he observed what visionaries like Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Stephen Sondheim and George Gershwin were doing with harmony, rhythm and dynamics. Myers’ unflagging work ethic, flexible imagination and sharply-honed technique launched his career powerfully in the late ‘60s and led to a string of successes working with renowned artists, directors and musicians on groundbreaking projects.
In 1969, Myers was the music director of Della Reese’s daily television show, where he wrote arrangements for Reese as well as Billy Eckstine, Cannonball Adderly, Gladys Knight and others. Beginning in 1973, he worked as the arranger on The Carol Burnett Show, The Sonny and Cher Show and The Academy Awards for a number of years, where he wrote for Tom Jones, Natalie Cole, Steve Lawrence, Sammy Davis, Tony Randall and others. He also arranged the big dance numbers for these programs in conjunction with celebrated choreographers.
1977 marked the beginning of Mr. Myers’ extensive partnership with Oscar®-winning composer Bill Conti, who hired him to provide orchestrations for a dozen films featuring acclaimed actors and actresses, among them Five Days from Home (George Peppard), Unmarried Woman (Jill Clayburgh), Rocky III (Sylvester Stallone), The Seduction of Joe Tynan (Meryl Streep/Alan Alda), The Wiz (Diana Ross), Private Benjamin (Goldie Hawn), For Your Eyes Only (Roger Moore) and The Formula (Marlon Brando/George C. Scott). Many of the films he collaborated on with Conti also afforded him the opportunity to record with the London Symphony Orchestra to reconnect with fellow instrumentalists from his days at the Royal College of Music.
Beginning in 1981 and for 30 years, he composed for Aaron Spelling, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Lorimar and Viacom. He provided weekly scores for wildly-popular television shows including Dynasty, Falcon Crest and Jake and the Fatman. These projects allowed Myers to exhibit his solid grasp on various compositional methods, from Italian operatic, to pop, jazz and Americana and gave him the opportunity to work with a large orchestra and feature outstanding soloists that together complemented each show’s on-going drama.
Mr. Myers has also written numerous symphonic works that have been performed and recorded by world-class musicians, including “Concert for Trumpet” (Doc Severinsen), “Core ‘n Grato” (Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, 60-voice choir and 85-piece orchestra) and more. In the mid ‘80s, he designed his own self-contained digital recording studio where he learned how to work with synthesizers, samples and computer programs and developed extraordinary skills in the world of electronic music.
Mr. Myers has established a reputation for himself in Hollywood and throughout the world as an unrivaled innovator who constantly probes, experiments and re-invents the boundaries of his singular musical landscapes. In the mid-2000s, he founded Century City Masterworks, LLC, a fine-music publisher of baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century and contemporary works as well as concerti, solos, art songs and dance pieces for a variety of ensembles. He has recently freshly scored masterpieces by feted composers Domenico Scarlatti, Johann Sebastian Bach, Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus and many others. As he continues to compose, conduct and arrange music as well as collaborate with talented performers and directors, he stays true to his theatrical foundation, jubilantly accepting his commitment to entertain audiences, whether in Hollywood, Las Vegas, New York, or in theaters and living rooms around the world.
THE MODERATOR – KIM RICHMOND
Kim is an active and versatile musician based in the Los Angeles area. His first love is jazz, and his primary jazz voice is the alto saxophone. He has, however, been involved in nearly every facet of the professional music industry, both as a player and as a composer/arranger. His instruments are alto, soprano, tenor and baritone saxes, clarinet, bass clarinet, and flutes. Kim has been a member of the orchestras of Stan Kenton, Louis Bellson, Bob Florence, Bill Holman, and Vinny Golia among others. His own Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra is a workshop for his writing, conducting and leading. His Ensemble (sextet) is a platform for more free-form expression and improvsation with the members playing and Kim’s writing being the key factors. He is also the newly elected President of ASMAC.
A consummate educator, Kim was for 12 years an adjunct professor in the Jazz Studies department of University of Southern California (teaching combos, composition and saxophone), and does numerous jazz camps and clinics in the Spring and Summer of each year. He is on staff at many of the Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camps, and is involved in running the Northwoods Jazz Camp for grown-ups. He most recently was an instructor in the Jazz Department of California Institute of the Arts, and at present is teaching at California State University, Fullerton. Whatever his mode of expression, be it instrumental performance, composition, arranging and conducting, KIM RICHMOND is striving to express a uniquely original voice, combining his extensive experience with the new sounds of our evolving musical world.