Professor Peter Hill
Department of Music
Emeritus Professor of Music
Full contact details
Department of Music
Peter Hill took early retirement in 2009 when the University conferred on him the title of Professor Emeritus. He remains very active as a researcher and pianist, and continues to work in the Department of Music, where he is always happy to offer advice to students who may wish to consult him.
Peter is known as one of the foremost experts on the music of Olivier Messiaen, as well as being one of the finest British pianists of his generation. His complete Messiaen cycle has been described as ‘one of the most impressive solo recording projects of recent years’ (New York Times), also receiving the endorsement of Messiaen himself, with whom Peter worked in Paris while preparing the recordings – 'Beautiful technique, a true poet: I am a passionate admirer of Peter Hill's playing.’
Other major recording projects have included the solo and four-hand music of Stravinsky, the complete piano music of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern, and Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, first in a projected series of Bach recordings for Delphian. Peter’s recent recording of a newly discovered piece by Messiaen (La Fauvette Passerinette), along with works by nine other composers from Messiaen’s circle, has been chosen as a record of the year by The Guardian and Sunday Times (Delphian DCD34141).
Peter’s books include The Messiaen Companion (Fabers), and Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (Cambridge University Press). The invitation from Messiaen’s widow, Yvonne Loriod, to research in the private Messiaen archive in Paris led to a biography of the composer (Messiaen), published by Yale University Press in 2005, and reissued in translation in Germany (Schott) and in France (Fayard). Olivier Messiaen: Oiseaux exotiques (Ashgate) was published in 2007.
Much in demand for lectures and masterclasses, recent appearances include the University of Western Australia, University of Chicago, Boston University, New York University, the Juilliard School of Music, Carnegie Hall, and the Library of Congress.
In 2008 Peter was awarded the annual prize for musical scholarship by the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and in 2011 was made a Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music.
Peter’s home web page can be accessed at peterhillpianist.co.uk.