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Peter Barber

Performer, Commissioner

Born: 1957 Died: 2022


Peter Barber performed in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as Assistant sub-principal violist. In addition he taught the viola privately, and performed as a chamber musician. He was born in Lower Hutt in 1957.

Peter learnt from Zillah Castle, before becoming a member of the NZSO Schola Musica, studying with NZSO Principal Viola Emeritus, Vyvyan Yendoll. He was also a graduate of the Cologne Music Academy, where his course of study included tuition from professor of viola, Rainer Moog and members of the Amadeus String Quartet.

Over the years Peter played in the NZSO Chamber Orchestra, New Zealand String Quartet, the New Zealand Soloists, Nevine String Quartet and the Amazon Trio. He also worked regularly with his sister, concert accompanist Mary Barber, and was a viola tutor at the New Zealand Music School. Peter played a viola made in the early ’70’s by Otto Erdesz.

His New Zealand repertoire included Douglas Lilburn's "Salutes to Seven Poets" for viola and piano. As a solo violist he performed the following NZ works: Matthew Davidson's "Magyar Rondo", John Rimmer’s “Mahurangi”, John Elmsly’s “Stillscape” & "Four Echoes", and David Farquhar’s “Chap-chap”.

A recording of Peter accompanying Roger Wilson in “Three Songs for Baritone and Viola” by Douglas Lilburn (to texts by James K. Baxter) has been included on The Waiteata Collection of New Zealand Music Volume IX: Douglas Lilburn: Salutes to Poets.

Peter was involved in SOUNZ's ReSound project, recording Chris Blake's "A Viola on Skye", and with Rachel Vernon clarinetist and Andrew Joyce cellist recording Chloe Moon's "Trio for clarinet, viola and cello".

Peter also enjoyed choral singing and sang in Cantoris, Bel Canto and Nota Bene. He passed away in 2022.

Commissioned (1)

Four Echoes

for viola