Peter Richard Conte is an organist whose great skill and innovative style can be completely enjoyed by any general audience-not just by other organists and organ buffs. He programs transcriptions (many of them works he has arranged himself) of recognizable audience-favorite pieces, including many of the great opera arias and overtures. Not many performers today offer a Bach Prelude and Fugue followed by Bizet’s “Carmen” or a Strauss waltz.
Peter Richard Conte is Grand Court Organist of the world famous Wanamaker Organ at the Macy’s Philadelphia department store. When not touring, he performs on the six-manual, 28,000-pipe instrument twice daily, six days per week. The Wanamaker Organ is the largest fully functioning musical instrument in the world; Mr. Conte was appointed Grand Court Organist in 1989, and is the fourth person to hold that title since the organ first played in 1911.
Mr. Conte is highly regarded as a skillful performer and arranger of organ transcriptions. He has been featured several times on National Public Radio and on ABC television’s “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight.” His monthly radio show, “The Wanamaker Organ Hour”, airs on the first Sunday of each month, at 5 PM (Eastern), and can be heard via the internet at WRTI.ORG.
He performs extensively throughout the United States and Canada under the management of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, and was a featured artist at the American Guild of Organists’ National Convention in 2002, and at the International Organ Festival in Aosta, Italy, in September 2004. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, and with the Delaware and Allentown Symphonies. In addition to his concert career, Mr. Conte serves as Choirmaster and Organist of St. Clement’s Church, Philadelphia, where he directs an eighteen-voice professional choir in music of the Anglo Catholic tradition. That choir has recorded several internationally-acclaimed compact discs on the DORIAN label.
Peter Richard Conte is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists, has served on the executive board of its Philadelphia Chapter, and has presented guild workshops on transcriptions and improvisation. Mr. Conte studied with Larry Smith and Robert Rayfield at Indiana University, Bloomington, and was awarded the prestigious Performers’ Certificate in Organ. During High School, he studied with Robert Kennedy, while serving as Associate Organist at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, New York.
Mr. Conte appears on the GOTHIC, DORIAN, JAV and DTR labels.