Music Director

Peter Jaffe – Music Director

Peter Jaffe

PETER JAFFE has served as the dynamic music director and conductor of the Folsom Lake Symphony since 2014. Also serving as the music director for the Stockton Symphony since 1995, Mr. Jaffe is known for combining a passion for outreach and education with top-notch musicianship, and for fostering sustained artistic growth. Organizations ranging from the Association of California Symphony Orchestras to the Brubeck Institute and Goodwill Industries have honored Mr. Jaffe with prestigious awards for his innovations in educational programming and for his distinguished cultural contributions throughout the region. Mr. Jaffe has spearheaded the commissions of many world premieres—Avner Dorman’s Uzu and Muzu from Kakaruzu garnered national recognition, Chris Brubeck’s recent Time Out Suite and his earlier Mark Twain’s World were both broadcast nationally on NPR’s Performance Today, and Ansel Adams: America, co-composed by Dave and Chris Brubeck, has since been performed nationally and abroad.

Mr. Jaffe often appears with Symphony San Jose, he served as music director for the Auburn Symphony for nine years, and he has guest-conducted the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and many other orchestras and music festivals across the country. He spent three seasons conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory and two as a visiting professor at Stanford University, highlighted by an Eastern European tour with the Stanford Symphony. He teaches every summer at the Conductor’s Institute of South Carolina, he conducted and taught at the Aspen Music Festival for fourteen years, and he served as music director for Stockton Opera for eighteen years.

Many of Mr. Jaffe’s own arrangements have been commissioned by and performed with orchestras in Aspen, Chicago, Long Beach, and Stockton, including his Symphonic Birthday, his recent Symph-Hanukkah, and his transcription of Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos for Jan DeGaetani, which was also performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A CD of his lullaby arrangements was released on the Chandos label, featuring mezzo-soprano Nadia Pelle with Yuli Turovsky directing I Musici de Montréal.

Mr. Jaffe appeared on NBC’s First Camera in a show devoted to Tanglewood, where he was coached by Seiji Ozawa, Gunther Schuller, Gustav Meier, and Leonard Bernstein—a brief segment was later included in the American Masters special honoring Bernstein. Mr. Jaffe also studied conducting with Andor Toth, Paul Vermel, Charles Bruck, and Herbert Blomstedt. His instrumental background includes extensive performing on the violin, viola, and keyboard, and he often conducts from the harpsichord when performing Baroque or early Classic repertoire.