PETER GOLUB began playing the piano when he was six. Alongside his interest in music, in high school he developed a passion for the theatre, forming a troupe with a group of classmates and directing and acting in adventurous plays (Pinter, Ionesco, Beckett). His interest in music and theatre led to his ongoing involvement in dramatic music as his career travels between film, theatre, and concert music.


He was an undergraduate at Bennington College, where he studied composition with Henry Brant, a pioneer in spatial music in the tradition of Charles Ives and a master orchestrator. (In addition to his huge catagloue of works, Brant orchestrated film scores by Alex North, including A Streetcar Named Desire and Cleopatra.) His piano studies with Lionel Nowak led him both to traditional repertoire as well as 20th Century works. He continued his studies at the Yale School of Music where he studied composition with Toru Takemitsu and Jacob Druckman and earned a Doctorate. His work and friendship with Takemitsu, who in addition to his concert works was the composer of a large body of film work, was pivotal in his development and continues to be an inspiration.


After completing his studies at Yale, Golub began working in the theatre in New York, composing numerous scores and working with some of the giants of the downtown theatre scene. As a member of Joseph Chaikin's Winter Project, he collaborated on several productions at La Mama. He also began a ten-year creative partnership with Charles Ludlam, becoming composer-in-residence at Ludlam's legendary Ridiculous Theatrical Company and writing scores for such works as The Mystery of Irma Vep, Galas, Salammbo, and The Artificial Jungle. He and Ludlam wrote a dramatic scene for actor, mezzo-soprano and orchestra, The Production of Mysteries, which was performed by Lukas Foss and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He also worked on numerous shows with Joseph Papp at the New York Shakespeare Festival, including Shakespeare in the Park productions of Twelfth Night (with Gregory Hines, Michelle Pfieffer and Jeff Goldblum) and Othello (with Raul Julia and Christopher Walken). His ongoing collaboration with writer/director Moises Kaufman, includes scores for Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project. He is a member of Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project. He also worked with the noted performance artist Ethyl Eichelberger, composing and performing in Ariadne Obnoxious at the Joyce Theater.

Recent Broadway credits include Time Stands Still (by Donald Marguiles, with Laura Linney; Daniel Sullivan, dir), Come Back, Little Sheba (directed by Michael Pressman, with S. Epatha Merkersen, who was nominated for the 2008 Tony Award), Hedda Gabler (directed by Nicholas Marin, with Kate Burton), and Suddenly Last Summer (directed by Mark Brokaw, with Blythe Danner). He has written two musicals: Amphigorey (with story and designs by Edward Gorey; Drama Desk Nomination) and The Idiots Karamazov (book by Albert Innaurato and Christopher Durang, lyrics by Mr. Durang). He's also written scores for Playwrights Horizon, Manhattan Theater Club, Berkeley Rep, The Mark Taper Forum, the Huntington, Williamstown Theatre Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep, American Repertory Theatre, and the American Music Theatre Festival. He is currently working with playwright Richard Nelson on a musical theatre piece based on Chekhov's Platonov called "Unfinished Piece for Player Piano".


Combining his interest in traditional and contemporary classical music, jazz and opera with his ongoing preoccupation with drama, Golub's primary focus in the last ten years has been on film music. He recently co-composed, with James Newton Howard, the music for The Great Debaters, directed by Denzel Washington and starring Washington and Forest Whitaker. He scored Frozen River, directed by Courtney Hunt, and winner of Jury Award for Best Film at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The Laramie Project, directed by Moises Kaufman for HBO, features a score performed by The St. Luke's Orchestra. He composed music for the documentaries Wordplay (starring Will Shortz, Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart) and I.O.U.S.A., both directed by Patrick Creadon and both shown at the Sundance Film Festival. His score for Stolen, directed by Rebecca Dreyfus, was awarded Best Music at the 2003 Avignon Film Festival. He also scored American Gun, directed by Aric Avelino and starring Forest Whitaker, Marcia Gay Harden and Donald Sutherland and Sublime, directed by Tony Krantz, starring Thomas Cavanagh. (See the Film page for complete listing, or visit the Internet Movie Database.)


Golub's recent concert works include Dark Carols for Chorus and Orchestra (with text by Philip Littell, recorded on the ECM label); Threaded Dances for flute and piano; Three Interludes for guitar (recorded on Gasparao Records by Robert Phelps); As Birds Do, Mother for 'cello and oud; Trio for viola, bass and piano; and A Schubert Journey for 'cello and marimba. His music has been performed by Tashi, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The Jubal Trio, and numerous chamber groups and soloists. He has composed four ballet scores in collaboration with noted choreographer Peter Anastos: The Lost World, commissioned by Edward Villella for the Miami City Ballet; The Gilded Bat (story and designs by Edward Gorey, for Ballet West; performed at the Kennedy Center); Trianon (for the Atlanta Ballet); and Straight Through the Heart (for the Milwaukee Ballet). (see complete catalogue of works under "Concert").

Teaching Awards

Peter Golub taught composition at Bennington College and Reed College. Since 1998 he has been the Director of the Sundance Film Music Program, where he runs the yearly Composers Lab, an intensive workshop for aspiring film composers. He was awarded the Classic Contribution Award by BMI and a 2008 Vision Award. He is also the recipient of a Charles Ives Scholarship (given by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters) as well as grants from the National Endowment of the Arts (Opera/Musical Theater Program), Meet-the-Composer, and New York Foundation for the Arts. He serves on the Board of the American Music Center..