Peter Stafford Wilson enters his twenty-eighth season as Music Director of the Westerville Symphony at Otterbein University. A Westerville resident, Maestro Wilson leads the Orchestra’s three Ron Lykins Masterworks series concerts in addition to the ever popular Independence Day Concert, and the Sounds of the Summer celebration. Wilson has been actively involved in the Westerville Symphony’s collaboration with the Westerville Public Library, Tunes-n-Tales, a unique collaboration that was featured at the 1996 meeting of the Ohio Library Conference. In 2007, the Orchestra appeared, under Wilson’s leadership, at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, and has been a regular feature on Classical 101 radio’s popular program, Music in Mid Ohio. Wilson, is a member of the adjunct faculty at Otterbein University where he has also conducted performances of the Otterbein Opera Theater.
The Springfield Symphony Orchestra welcomed Wilson as its Music Director in 2002, and he leads that orchestra in 10 concerts per year. Concurrent with his activities in Westerville and Springfield, Wilson is also Principal Conductor of the Tulsa Ballet where he leads four productions each season. In 2019 Wilson made his debut conducting the Pennsylvania Ballet at Philadelphia’s iconic Academy of Music to great critical acclaim. He also travelled to China for performances with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. This season, he returns to the Detroit Opera House to conduct the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra in BalletMet’s production of The Nutcracker.
Wilson recently concluded a 28-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra where he led the nationally renowned educational concerts as well as classical and pops subscription events. As Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra he has led concerts at the national conferences of the Music Educator’s National Conference and the League of American Orchestras, and has led the ensemble on four international tours, including a highly acclaimed tour to China in 2005. In 2015, he led the Orchestra in its debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and returned to that venue with the CSYO in June, 2018. Upon his departure the CSO bestowed the George Hardesty Award for Leadership, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council awarded its Educator of the Year award to Wilson.
Wilson’s schedule of guest appearances continues to be extensive, with recent invitations from the Seattle Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, and the orchestras of Phoenix, Dallas, Charlotte, North Carolina, Syracuse, Erie, and Chautauqua. During the summer of 2004, Wilson made his South American debut with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Montevideo and returned for his fifth concert appearance in Hong Kong. Wilson was one of six conductors invited to participate in a Conductor Reading Project with the New York Philharmonic in 2002, and in 1996 he was a featured conductor at the League of American Orchestras’ Conductor Preview with the Kansas City Symphony, an event designed to showcase emerging conducting talent from around the nation. Wilson conducted the Independence Day Concert with Peter Nero’s Philly Pops Orchestra in 1995, and subsequently led the Cincinnati Symphony on a highly acclaimed tour through Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Wilson served the Cleveland Orchestra for several seasons as cover conductor.
Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, Wilson studied at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he was a leading advocate of contemporary music. He has studied with such noted conductors as Thomas Schippers, Claudio Abbado, Louis Lane, Dennis Russell Davies, and Richard Lert.
When not conducting, Wilson is an avid golfer, and is a gourmet cook and wine enthusiast. Wilson is married to Barbara Karam Wilson, Director of Corporate Tax for White Castle System, and they reside in Westerville with their two kitties, Murphy and Smidgen.