At the beginning of his undergraduate education at the Eastman School of Music, Peter would spend hours in the practice room working on excerpts of Richard Wagner’s operas and other pieces in the German canon. While this was certainly musically rewarding, he found himself increasingly interested in facets of music beyond the notes written for tuba. He eventually put his tuba down and picked up a pen, looking to combine his performance experience with his intellectual (and philosophical) curiosity. In 2012 he received a BMus in Musical Arts with distinction from Eastman, while also graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in German Studies from the University of Rochester. Peter wrote two honors theses: one on philosophical responses to Wagner, the other on ambiguous time and space in a short story by Kafka. After spending a year in Germany at the University of Cologne on a teach/study fellowship, he began pursuing a PhD in Columbia University’s German department. His current work looks through an interdisciplinary lens at musical form in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Peter has primarily taught undergraduates, first in English grammar and conversation classes at the University of Cologne and currently in Columbia’s German language program, where he supplements his instruction with office hours and counseling. In addition to these teaching positions, Peter has tutored students of varying ages in German and writing and has edited and translated works of German and English. While he caters to each individual’s personal needs and learning style, a common thread that runs through all of Peter’s teaching is a focus on promoting self-reliance in the student—teaching them to teach themselves when the instructor isn’t there. Self-reliance proved crucial for Peter both in the practice room and when he was improving his German abroad, and he enjoys sharing with others the methods and tips he has learned.
In his spare time, Peter enjoys riding, fixing, and even just thinking about bikes. When he can pry himself away from things vélo, he enjoys reading on the beach, listening to music, and attending concerts.