Peter works as a composer and conductor, but also as a band-leader working collaboratively with musicians. His work instinctively and persistently crosses boundaries of genre and culture, between score, devising and improvisation, always seeking an alchemy of affinity and difference.
As director of Club Inégales he has, since 2011 brought together artists from across a prodigious range of cultures in a unique creative process, playing alongside his ensemble Notes Inégales. Club Inégales more than100 guests have included Ranjana Ghatak (India), Cheng Yu (China), Sura Susso (West Africa), Maya Youssef, (Syria), Lionel Loueke (jazz, New York), Horo Horomona (Maori shaman New Zealand) and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In June 2016 they presented, to sold-out audiences, a new version of Henry Purcell’s 17thC opera King Arthur for the Spitalfields Festival at Wilton’s Hall with an orchestra of 21 musicians, including musicians from jazz, Korean and Syrian backgrounds.
Peter’s recent compositions include “Scare-Fire” (Canticum, Cheltenham Festival), “He is armoured without”, for 180 musicians in the BBC Proms including musicians from Uzbekistan and the Queen’s Coldstream Guards, “Bow-Wave” for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and “The End of the Line” for 150 performers from the Royal Northern College of Music, for Manchester Piccadilly railway station. As a conductor, he has worked with the Composers’ Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Hourglass Ensemble and Symphony Nova Scotia and Alchemy, the new music ensemble within the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Co-curator John Cumming
John Cumming has been the main programmer and producer of jazz at Serious since he co-founded the company in the mid 1980s, initially as an international production and management company. Later joining forces with David Jones and Claire Whitaker, they have developed the company’s role in the UK and abroad as producer and commissioner of new music, and as a creator of concert series, festivals and touring projects. John has been a member of a number of Arts Council and Regional Arts panels and committees, and until recently was a long-standing board member of Europe Jazz Network. He received Services to Jazz Awards at the BBC Jazz Awards (2005), and from the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (2012). He was awarded an OBE in 2014.
Amongst projects developed over five decades, he has produced a series of projects to play the music of international composer/performers such as Carla Bley, Gil Evans, George Russell, Ornette Coleman, Hermeto Pascoal, Basement Jaxx, Hugh Masekela, Zakir Hussain, Wayne Shorter, Jason Moran, Robert Glasper and Miguel Atwood Ferguson, as well as working closely with successive generations of UK music creators.
Serious is responsible for the EFG London Jazz Festival (the Festival is also a member of the International Jazz Festivals Organisation) and is an Associate Producer at the Barbican Centre. The company’s activity covers a massive range of innovtive new music activity in all areas of creative music today, including a substantial learning programme alongside professional development schemes devised for working artists.