Peter is a clarinettist and improviser based in Edinburgh and has performed extensively in the UK and Europe, giving recitals at venues such as the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, London’s Purcell Rooom, as well as in New York, Seoul and Edinburgh.

His many premières include solo pieces by Richard Dudas (Sonata, Prelude), Michael Kaulkin (American Standard), and Raul Rothblatt (solo clarinet version of Trio for Cello, Sox and Underwear), as well as works by Robin Holloway, Dai Fujikura, Thomas Ades, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Elliott Carter, John Adams, Nigel Osborne, Peter Eotvos, Arelene Elizabeth Sierra, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and others.

He has performed solo concerts with live electronics at the Forum Neues Musiktheater, Stuttgart, ICMC Copenhagen, Edinburgh University in association with IRCAM, Paris). At the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, South Korea, he played Boulez’s Dialogue de l’Ombre Double among other works with Shadow Play, featuring cellist Robin Michael and pianist Sarah Nicolls.

As an improviser he has performed with Fritz Welch, Anne La Berge, Susan Alcorn, Diemo Schwarz, Michael Edwards, Spontaneous Broadway, Impropera and the London Improvisers’ Orchestra, and is a member of both Edimpro and Impropera. He took part in a CD recording with Indian sarod legend Amjad Ali Khan, released in 2011. He will also be contributing to Not So Silent Movies, a new project devised by Philip Sheppard at Kings Place, as part of a resident band of improvisers playing unseen to classic silent films. Guest appearances this summer included the Edinburgh Jazz Festival with Discordian Trio and an improvised set response to the scupltures of Tony Cragg at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art with guitarist Hafter Medboe.

With Impropera – “the world’s only (and arguably best) improvising opera company” – Peter has taken part in completely spontaneous operatic performances at festivals in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Sweden and at the World Impro Games in Helsinki. The company has had residencies at Den Anden Opera, Copenhagen, Oslo Opera Festival, Teatro di Porto San Giorgio in Italy and for 2011-12 will undertake regular performances at London’s Kings Place (see reviews).

He still performs regularly as a guest with many British orchestras, as well as touring with Camerata Ireland under the direction of pianist Barry Douglas. He has worked with many contemporary and chamber ensembles, such as Red Note, Brewhouse, Okeanos, Chroma, Hebrides Ensemble, New Music Players, London Concertante, the Scharoun Ensemble (Berlin), Artisan Trio and Uroboros. He has played at many festivals, including the Vale of Glamorgan, London Soundings, Windsor, York Late Music, St Magnus (Orkney), Jerusalem’s Classical Winter and at the 1st Festival of Contemporary Music in Baku (Azerbaijan).

Peter’s recordings include the Mendelssohn Concert Pieces Op. 118 and 119, with Dimitri Ashkenazy and Karl Andreas Kolly (Pan Classics 510 070); and the recital disc Time Pieces, 60 years of American music for clarinet and piano with David Leiher Jones, for Clarinet Classics CC0054, which includes world première recordings of works by Richard Dudas and Michael Kaulkin, as well as pieces by Bernstein, James Cohn, Victor Babin and Robert Muczynski (see reviews).

As a committed teacher for over 20 years, Peter is involved as animateur, composer and conductor in a number of innovative projects. He is currently teaching in private practice in Edinburgh and mainatains a commitment to all levels of musicmaking.

He has conducted and compered performances of his children’s song settings The Farmyard Suite in Belfast, London, Canterbury and in Norwich Cathedral with 720 Norfolk school children. A second orchestral piece in this series for the DaCapo Music Foundation, Finn and Friends, was premiered in 2010 with the Aurora Orchestra in London.

Professional Work (recent)
Orchestras: Academy of St Martin In The Fields, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, British Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, English National Opera Orchestra, Impropera, New Mozart Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra.
Chamber Ensembles: Okeanos.
Shows: Les Miserables.
Education Work: BBC Symphony Orchestra Education.

Peter’s orchestral work also includes the BBC Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, English National Ballet, Brunel Ensemble, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, International Symphony & Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem and Kirov Orchestra of the Marjinski Theatre, St Petersburg.

Peter’s web links
http://www.peterfurniss.co.uk/
http://www.impropera.co.uk/
www.dacapo.co.uk
www.aboutthecomposer.com
www.stevengerber.com
www.sarahnicolls.com