Peter Calandra is a prolific composer and keyboard player who has been immersed in the New York City music scene for most of his life. He has scored over 100 films and written over 2500 compositions for television, films and his own albums. He's composed music for every major television network including the FIFA World Cup Theme for FOX Sports, the Special Olympics World Games and Invictus Games Theme for ESPN as well as writing music for the Kennedy Center Honors on CBS in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Calandra garnered acclaim for composing the music to Jellysmoke, a film which won the Los Angeles Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and Unknown Soldier, a film which won the Los Angeles and Philadelphia Film Festivals and also was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. His solo albums are wonderfully diverse, spanning world music, Christmas music, jazz, contemporary jazz, new age, pop, and neo classical.
The thread throughout his music is the lyrical expressiveness of the compositions and purity and purposefulness of the musicianship. Three of his recent albums First Light (2015), The Road Home (2017) and Carpe Noctem (2018) were nominated for a Zone Music Reporter Award. As a keyboard player he performed in the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon (for 10 years), The Lion King, Les Miserables, The Phantom Of The Opera, and Little Shop Of Horrors. In addition to his Broadway resume -- which includes first chair keyboard player positions for many of those productions -- he has also performed with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, NY Pops Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Don Cherry, Aretha Franklin, Allen Ginsberg, Annie Golden, Donna McKechnie, Lillianne Montevecchi, and he spent 16 years as the keyboard player in the NYC-based Climax Band, the creative vehicle for artist and musician Larry Rivers.
Calandra's prismatic experience and artistry allows him to inhabit a multitude of genres, conjure up a diverse selection of moods and emotions, and work within a broad array of mediums. "I don't try to define anything because I find that, as a creative person, when you put something in a box, you limit the creative flow," Calandra says. In addition to his keyboard and compositional skills, he is also an accomplished guitarist and multifaceted studio engineer versed in the arts of tracking and mixing.
Currently, he's on the faculty at the Aaron Copland School Of Music at Queens College, CUNY teaching Audio/MIDI, Film Scoring and Music Composition to both graduate and undergraduate students. Peter is also a Yamaha Endorsed Artist.