Photo by Arthur Elgort
Musical Excerpts

"...there is no more beautiful or evocative music being played in a New York theater at the moment than Richard Peaslee's haunting, piquantly orchestrated score."
- New York Times, 05/11/02

RICHARD PEASLEE has written extensively for the theatre in New York, London and Paris. In addition to numerous scores for Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatres, he wrote the music for the Peter Brook/Royal Shakespeare Company productions of The Marat/Sade, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, US and Antony and Cleopatra; for Sir Peter Hall and the Royal National Theatre, he wrote the music for Animal Farm; and for Terry Hands and the RSC, Tamburlaine the Great. For Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival he created scores for Richard III, Henry IV, Troilus and Cressida and Antigone; with Martha Clarke and Music Theatre Group, he wrote the music for The Garden of Earthly Delights, Vienna Lusthaus, The Hunger Artist and Miracolo d’Amore, produced by Joe Papp.
Among his Broadway credits are Marat/Sade and Midsummer Nights Dream (transfered from London) as well as scores for Indians, Teibele and Her Demon, Frankenstein and Boccaccio. He has also worked extensively with Joe Chaikin and The Open Theatre. His musicals for family audiences include The Snow Queen (NYS Theatre Institute), The Children’s Crusade, Tanglewood Tales and an opera, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Lincoln Center Institute, American Opera Projects/Family Opera Initiative commissions and premiere). His latest work, Moby-Dick, a music drama based on Melville's novel was recently produced in London.
In dance, Peaslee composed the score for Touch, commissioned and performed by the New York City Ballet with choreography by David Parsons, and The Four Humours, commissioned and performed by Pilobolus. His music for Elisa Monte’s Feu Follet, A Cajun Tale has toured Europe and America. Peaslee has also worked with choreographers Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch, Kathryn Posin, Grethe Holby and Elizabeth Keen.
His concert works have been performed by orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists, most notably the Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Buffalo Symphony Orchestras. His concerto for trombone, Arrows of Time, was premiered by the Seattle Symphony.
In jazz, his numerous works for big band have been played by William Russo’s London Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Stan Kenton and Ted Heath Orchestras and by soloists that include Gerry Mulligan (for whom he wrote Mulligan Concerto).
His scores for film and television include the Joseph Campbell/Bill Moyer series The Power of Myth (music nominated for an Emmy), Claudia Shear’s Blown Sideways Through Life (American Playhouse) and Time/Life’s Wild, Wild World of Animals.
Awards include: The American Academy of Arts and Letters Marc Blitzstein Award; Obie, Drama Desk, and Villager Awards; as well as NEA and NYFA Fellowships.
Peaslee was born in New York City, currently lives in Seattle, and received his undergraduate degree in Music Composition from Yale University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, he received both a diploma and a Master of Science degree from The Juilliard School, in addition to studying privately with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and William Russo in New York and London.
Peaslee has served on the faculty of the Lincoln Center Institute and New York University’s Music Theatre Program and is a former board member of The American Composers Orchestra and Jobs For Youth. He serves on the board of American Opera Projects and SCAN New York. A retrospective on his career was presented by Lincoln Center’s Composers’ Showcase at Alice Tully Hall.
Richard Peaslee’s music is published by Margun Music, a division of G. Schirmer, Inc., Boosey and Hawkes and E.C. Schirmer, Inc. and has been recorded on EMI, Columbia, Elecktra, Musical Heritage Society, and other labels.
Site intro music: "Sanguine" from The Four Humours (Pilobolus)
• Copyright 2008-12 Richard Peaslee •
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