Pianist/composer Peter Kater is known for his scores for television, film, and theater, as well as for his own recordings of light jazz and new age music. He has sold over one million records and written the music for over seventy television and film programs, including eleven On and Off-Broadway plays. His 28 critically acclaimed releases in 17 years range from World Fusion and Native American collaborations to contemporary jazz, vocal ensembles, full orchestrations and of course, his signature solo piano recordings.
Receiving extensive world-wide airplay on a diverse array of radio formats, Kater's broad creative stroke has touched millions of hearts. In addition, because of his commitment and dedication to the environment and humanitarian causes, Peter was honored with the Environmental Leadership Award by the United Nations.
After completing the theme music for the 1999 World Ski Championships; collaborating with Kenny Loggins on his newly released December CD; a recent performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City; and many appearances with Best-Selling New Thought authors such as Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God), James Redfield (Celestine Prophecy) and Deepak Chopra. . . Peter's creative passion and depth is more alive than ever before.
Kater with his recent Nomination for Best New Age album of 2003 for RedMoon, still continues to garner awards such as, First Place in New Age Voice magazine's Best Meditation/Healing Award for 1998 with his Compassion CD. Tower Records' Pulse magazine placed his Dance Of Innocents recording with Nawang Khechog in the Top 100 Independent Records; and the 1998 Visionary Retailers First Place Award for World Flutes I. Various other finalist kudos went to Kater's Essence and Eco-Challenge recordings. These join six NAIRD "Indie Award" nominations for "Best New Age Album" between 1989 and 1996. His critically acclaimed album, Migration, with Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, won the award in 1992. The majority of his albums have appeared in the Top 10 of National Airplay charts and in the Top 20 of Billboard's New Age and Contemporary Jazz charts.
Scoring for television, film and video occupies much of Kater's time. Recording in his own 32-track automated digital recording studio complete with the Yamaha C-7 Disklavier (the midi interfaceable concert grand piano) and state of the art outboard gear and microphones, has enabled him to compose and record to picture some of his highest quality work to date. Included in his scoring resume are three Discovery Channel mini-series; "Our Time in Hell: The Korean War", a symphonic score; "Eco-Challenge", a diverse score including world percussion and contemporary rock and vocal styles; and the award winning "How The West Was Lost", a 13-part series on the destruction of our native american cultural heritage, and most recently, "God Speed John Glenn", all of which are award winning. He's written music for a multitude of PBS programs including Joseph Campbell's Mythos series and Marty Stouffer's Wild America. In addition his music has been heard on television in the Olympics, the Wide World of Sports, Entertainment Tonight, Bay Watch, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Hard Copy, E! True Hollywood Story and feature films such as Scenes From a Mall with Woody Allen and Bette Midler and Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers with Woody Harrelson.
An early love for theater has in recent years resurfaced for Kater, as he has now scored four Broadway and seven Off-Broadway plays, all winning various Tony and Drama Critic awards. He has collaborated with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Lanford Wilson; legendary director Marshall Mason; and actors including John Malkovich, Tyne Daly, Tony Randall, Joan Allen, Christopher Reeve, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Judd Hirsch, Christine Lahti, Jon Voight and Ethan Hawke to name a few. Also through invitations to various exclusive events at Robert Redford's Sundance Institute, John Denver's Choices for the Future and countless Environmental and Humanitarian symposiums around the world, Kater has had the honor of performing for celebrities and dignitarys such as Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gerald Ford, Ted Turner, Shirley Maclaine, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Connery, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dennis Weaver, Griffin Dunne, Raul Julia, Karl Malden, Laura Dern, James L. Brooks, Mike Ovitz and many others.
Of German birth and descent, Peter moved to New Jersey from Munich, Germany at the age of four and began studying the piano, at his mother's demand, when he was seven. Seven years of classical training led into playing Rock & Roll and Top 40 bands around New Jersey and New York while studying contemporary improvisation. Moving to Boulder, Colorado at the age of eighteen, he began a six-year period of playing only improvisationally in clubs throughout the Rocky Mountain region. "I didn't want to play anything the same way twice, being in the moment and spontaneous was very important to me, both musically and personally", said Kater. When he was twenty years old he accepted a scholarship to the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles but quit after two months, preferring his life as a professional musician. When Kater realized that his next step was composing and recording his music, he moved back to Colorado "to a less external, more inspiring natural environment" and released his first album of piano solos, SPIRIT, in 1983.
Peter and his
Peter Kater will
appear at the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder
Story and Photos courtesy Peter Kater