A highly sought-after musician, Peter Zay is equally at home in orchestras, chamber ensembles, bands and as a soloist. He fuses his classical training with many multi-genre styles in his performances, compositions and arrangements. Recently Peter has been performing extensively on both cello and guitar with fiddler and violinist EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks for a diverse series of concerts featuring old time fiddle and classical music. Their programming is a combination of their own unique arrangements with more traditional repertoire for in person concerts, livestreams and videos.
A cellist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra for over twenty years, Peter recently sat as acting Principal for performances of Ginastera’s Orchestral Variations, of which his solos were called “spectacular” by the Hartford Courant. Peter is also the Principal Cellist of the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. He has performed numerous times with the Boston Lyric Opera, Portland (ME) Symphony, the Barrington Stage Company, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the Boston Modern Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the New Haven and Springfield (MA) Symphonies. As a backing musician, he has toured with Diana Krall, Linda Ronstadt, Pepe Romero, and Andrea Bocelli, and he has appeared with Luciano Pavarotti, Barry Manilow, Peter Gabriel, Arlo Guthrie, Frankie Valli, the Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, and many others. Peter performs regularly as the newest member of the long standing, Connecticut based New World Trio, and he often appears as a guest artist on the Sunday Serenades Concert Series at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, and at the Trinity College Concert Series. He has traveled frequently to Spain to perform as a guest of the Quartetto Saravasti, and as a member of the American Sinfonietta he has toured to many leading venues in Europe including Vienna’s Musikverein, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, and Stuttgart’s Beethoven Saal. He has been featured live on WFCR and WAMC Public Radio and has been heard on radio broadcasts across the United States and Europe.
Peter is a soloist with the critically acclaimed New Bedford (MA) Symphony Orchestra’s Learning in Concert program that is an in-school partnership with the symphony and over fifty local elementary schools in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As a member of the Mosaic String Trio, Peter has collaborated to create and perform many varied and engaging educational programs for thousands of school children throughout Connecticut. He is a devoted private cello instructor in the Boston region and is on the teaching staff for the Wayland Public Schools.
Peter has a BM in cello performance from the Hartt School and a MM from the Manhattan School of Music. His primary teachers were David Wells and David Geber and he has been coached and mentored by members of the American, Emerson, Guarneri, and Muir String Quartets, and the Beaux Arts Trio. Music festivals to his credit include the International Musical Arts Institute in Fryeburg, Maine, the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival (VT), the Taos Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Bellingham (WA) and Wintergreen (VA) Festivals of Music.