B i o g r a p h y
The music of Peter Van Zandt Lane reflects an organic coalescence of his eclectic musical life. Formative experiences include: starting to learn piano by ear at the age of four by spying on his older sister’s piano lessons (he was allowed to begin studying properly at five, but turned out to be a terribly distractible student); taking up electric guitar at nine (fed by a steady diet of classic rock by his father); joining middle-school band at eleven (he asked for a sax, but they gave him a bassoon); making bad techno music on a Korg synthesizer he got as a birthday present at the age of thirteen; and spending his high school and undergrad years juggling a life of playing bassoon in orchestras and guitar/vocals in rock bands around South Florida. After growing a deep affinity for the music of the Renaissance in college, his work would increasingly explore new perspectives on old techniques like canon, isorhythm, and prolation. Since the mid-2000s, he’s composed dozens of concert works for chamber ensembles, wind ensemble, and orchestras (often incorporating electronics in performance), which have accumulated hundreds of performances across five continents. Upon receiving the 2018 Charles Ives Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters remarked “At every turn, his propulsive, incisive work is beautifully and confidently made. . . Lane's music is as inviting as it is sophisticated.”
Recent major works include Radix Tyrannis, a trombone concerto for NY Phil legend Joseph Alessi commissioned by American Chamber Winds (available on Mark Records); Piano Quartet: The Longitude Problem commissioned by Atlanta Chamber Players (available on Innova Recordings); Chamber Symphony, commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for EQ Ensemble (Boston). Several of his works for wind ensemble –particularly Hivemind and Astrarium– have become mainstays of wind ensemble programming across the country and beyond. Lane’s music often tackles questions of how we engage the world and each other through technology, directing his unique blend of contemporary classical with touches of minimalism, modernism, rock and electronica towards a uniquely 21st-century brand of humanism.
Peter’s music for contemporary dance created in collaboration with acclaimed choreographer Kate Ladenheim has also garnered international attention, with their 2013 exploration of cyber-activism in the form of an evening-length ballet, HackPolitik, being praised by the New York Times for “explor[ing] identity and anarchy in a refreshingly relevant way” and their second collaboration, GLASS, being dubbed a top-10 work of 2018 by Dance Magazine. He has also continued to be active as a bassoonist specializing in contemporary chamber and electroacoustic music, premiering dozens of works by living composers. Recordings of his compositions can be found on New Focus Recordings, PARMA, Mark Records, New Dynamic Records, and Innova Recordings.
Peter Van Zandt Lane is an Associate Professor of Composition and Director of the Roger and Phyllis Dancz Center for New Music at the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music. He holds degrees from the University of Miami Frost School of Music and Brandeis University, where he studied composition with Lansing McLoskey, David Rakowski, Eric Chasalow, and Melinda Wagner. He lives in Athens, GA with his wife, two kids, and two cats.