Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Peter Reynolds (1958-2016)

5:04, 12th October 2016

Composer, writer and teacher Peter Reynolds died on 11 October.

Reynolds studied in Cardiff and lived in South Wales.

He made a significant contribution to the musical life of Wales, as artistic director of the PM Music Ensemble (which he formed in 1991) and Lower Machen Festival (from 1997 to 2009), and as a long-term member of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama composition faculty.

He wrote works for a wide variety of instruments and combinations, including Sands of Time, a four-minute opera for four sopranos and small ensemble or piano, which was recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s shortest opera. 

His music has been recorded on the Signum, Meridian and Contemporary Welsh labels and can also be found on SoundCloud.

Reynolds launched a series of free foyer concerts at Wales Millennium Centre, with some 500 performances per year between 2004 and 2007, and was composer-in-residence with the Young Composer of Dyfed 2010-13.

He was also a writer on music and published a history of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2009.

‘Peter’s knowledge and understanding of music in general, and contemporary music in particular, hugely enriched the education and experience of generations of students at the College,’ said RWCMD director of music John Cranmer. ‘As a composition teacher he was meticulous, sure-footed and inspirational – with a rare ability both to guide the creative development of each student and provide real-life mentorship in preparation for their future careers.

‘Peter was always generous with his time and thoughts. His positive and good humoured approach towards everything connected with the College will be keenly missed by everyone who was privileged to have known him.’

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