Unley Symphony Orchestra - Conductor

Unley Symphony Orchestra
Peter Webb

Above: Peter Webb OAM

Peter Webb was born in Melbourne on the 29th of February, 1948. After attending school in Geelong, he graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1970 with a BA in Music and Philosophy, and in the same year obtained his Secondary Teacher's Certificate. After some years teaching in Victorian secondary schools, a career change saw him become a professional oboe and cor anglais player, which led to contract work with the Sydney Symphony, the Australian Opera Orchestra, and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, after which he became the Principal Cor Anglais with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, where he played from 1975 to 1995. From 1995 he was involved for some years in the orchestra’s Education Program.

Peter has been the conductor of the Unley Symphony Orchestra since 1983, and of Choir Cecilia since 1997. He has also conducted at State Music Camps, and has been a guest conductor of the Woodville Concert Choir, the Adelaide Harmony Choir, the Corinthian Singers of Adelaide, and the combined choirs of the South Australian Country Choral Association, as well as being a Council member of the Young Adelaide Voices (formerly the Adelaide Girls Choir) since 2004. In 2008, he was appointed Director of State Music Camp in South Australia.  Peter is a teacher and music arranger, and does regular adjudicating at various South Australian eisteddfods. He is well–known for his lectures on music at the University of the Third Age and other interested groups, and is also a performer on the didjeridu, both in a solo capacity, and as an accompaniment to various choir performances and recordings. In 1988, he was appointed Musical Director of the Bicentennial Closing Ceremony, composing, arranging, and conducting music for a large youth orchestra.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2007, Peter was awarded an OAM ‘for services to the arts as a musician, conductor, composer, and teacher’.

Peter says, ‘In composition, as in life, I strive for clarity and simplicity, and to speak openly and directly. I belong to no compositional school or "–ism", but try to express truth, experience, and self in a language that listeners can understand’.

Many of Peter's compositions have been published or recorded. A full list of his works (many of them commissioned) can be obtained from the Australian Music Centre.