Peter Copley was born in Hove. After studying at the Royal Academy of Music and with the late Hans Keller, a Polish Government Scholarship took him to the Akademia Muzyczna in Krakòw. This proved to be the beginning of an enduring connection with Eastern Europe, from where he has received many commissions and performances.
His many works include Farnham Fantasia for strings, performed in both the Royal Festival and Royal Albert Halls and the Concerto for Trumpet, Strings and Percussion which received its acclaimed first performance by John Wallace and the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth in the orchestra’s 75th Birthday Weekend.
1999 commissions included Miniature Overture for the Schubert Ensemble, and Unfrozen Architecture for Southern Winds. In 2001, Peter wrote A City Awakes, a large-scale work commissioned by the Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society in celebration of Brighton and Hove’s elevation to city status. This was first performed by the Brighton Philharmonic orchestra in October 2002.
Recent compositions include The Midnight Skaters for voice and orchestra, commissioned by the Brighton Youth Orchestra and first performed at the 2010 Brighton Festival with Sir John Tomlinson, Concert Fantasy for mandolin commissioned by Alison Stephens for the 2010 Dartington International Summer School.
In 2012, Peter celebrated his half century with the first performances of his String Quartet no.2 (2011), composed for the Stanford Quartet and Three Motets, commissioned by St Bartholomews Church, Brighton. In May 2013, Expiry TBC, a multi media work funded by the Arts Council written in collaboration with writer Mark Hewitt including music for electronically enhanced cello was given its first performances at the Brighton Festival Fringe.
Future projects include a Piano Concerto for Margaret Fingerhut and a work for chorus, children’s choir and orchestra on the subject of Chanctonbury Ring.