W. Peter Kurau has been active as soloist, orchestral player, clinician, author, and teacher. He has been featured at international and regional symposia and workshops sponsored by the IHS and other professional organizations. Peter is currently the horn professor at the Eastman School of Music, director of the Eastman Horn Choir, and principal horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
Peter came from a musical background; his mother was a soprano singer and his father an organist. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal College of Music, University of Connecticut, and Florida State University. His principal horn teachers were Verne Reynolds, David Cripps, William Capps, and Horace Fitzpatrick (natural horn).
Peter has also taught the University of Missouri-Columbia, SUNY-Genesee, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Houghton College, as well as presenting master classes throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to the Rochester Philharmonic, he has also performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony, Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, and Sun Valley Symphony. He has commissioned and premiered new works for horn by Verne Reynolds, James Willey, John Cheetham, and others.
He was a winner in the Heldenleben International Horn Competition, a recipient of an ITT International Fellowship for study in the United Kingdom, and was an Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency, presenting concerts and classes in Serbia-Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Syria, and Macedonia.
In addition to hosting the 29th International Horn Symposium (1997) and participating in many other symposiums, and hosting the first American Horn Competition (precursor to the International Horn Competition of the Americas), Peter served on the IHS Advisory Council (1993-2001), as Secretary-Treasurer (1994-1998), and as Vice President (1998-2000). He was given the Punto Award at the 2016 international symposium in Ithaca NY.