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Meet Peter Stafford Wilson

Peter Stafford Wilson is one of the most exciting and talked about conductors of his generation being versatile in the areas of symphonic, ballet, and educational conducting. He has served the Springfield Symphony Orchestra as Music Director since 2001. Concurrently, he holds the post of Music Director of the Westerville Symphony, and has just completed a 10-season tenure as Principal Conductor of the Tulsa Ballet.  Peter Stafford Wilson’s leadership of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra continues to elicit praise from the public, musicians and press. Its 2005 Agriculture and the Arts Growing Together brought international attention to the organization, as did the sequel, American Made: Celebrating Our Manufacturing Heritage, which premiered in November 2007. A new multi-media, multi discipline production of Gustav Holst’s The Planets in 2011 resulted in a sellout house, while the orchestra’s innovative series, “Night Lights,” has enjoyed steadily increasing sales and attendance. The recent endowment of the Music Director chair with gifts totaling over one million dollars is further testimony to the community’s enthusiastic support. Mr. Wilson and the SSO are the recipients of a recent ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming as offered by the League of American Orchestras. In 2018 Wilson concluded a 28 year tenure as Associate Conductor of the Columbus Symphony where, among other duties, he led the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra in several European and Asian tours as well as two highly acclaimed appearances at Carnegie Hall. Wilson has enjoyed conducting invitations from Orchestra throughout the US, Asia, and South America and enjoyed extended relationships with the Cincinnati Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Current Positions

Since 1993, Wilson has served the Westerville Symphony at Otterbein University, a unique community of student musicians, gifted amateurs, and freelance professional musicians.

Wilson was appointed Music Director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in 2001 and has led the Orchestra to national prominence including receipt of an ASCAP LAO Award for Adventurous Programming.

  • Graduated from University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music
  • Studied with Thomas Schippers, Louis Lane, Dennis Russell Davies, Gerhard Samuel, Sheldon Morgenstern
  • Studied at the Aspen Music School, the Monteux School, and the Goldovsky Summer Opera Institute
  • Invited by Claudio Abbado to follow rehearsals and performances at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, The Edinburgh Festival, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic
  • Principal Conductor Tulsa Ballet Theatre
  • Assistant and Associate Conductor of the Columbus Symphony
  • Assistant and Associate Conductor of the Canton Symphony
  • Regional Pops Conductor for the Cincinnati Symphony
  • Cover Conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra
  • Principal Conductor for BalletMet Columbus
  • Music Director of the Ohio Light Opera
  • Regular Guest Conductor of the College Light Opera
  • Music Director of the Young Artists Opera Theater
  • Music Director of the Lakeland Civic Orchestra
  • Music Director of the Kent State University Sinfonia
  • Interim Conductor of the Cedarville University Orchestra
  • 2021 Performance of the year presented by the Westerville Arts Council
  • George Hardesty Award for Oustanding Leadership from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra
  • Greater Columbus Arts Council Educator of the Year Award
  • Best Music Director 2015 Best of the Bus Awards City Scene Magazine
  • ASCAP/League of American Orchestras Award for Adventurous Programming
  • Columbus Symphony Orchestra Educator of the Year Award
  • City of Westerville Year of the Arts Honoree
  • Columbus Dispatch Best Classical Music/Dance Events of the Year (Multiple years)
  • League of American Orchestras National Conductor Preview
  • Phi Delta Kappa Lay Community Service Award for educational activities
  • Northern Ohio Live magazine “New Leader” – introduced by regional magazine as “one of northern Ohio’s men and women under forty who are changing the region with their fliar, energy, and creativity.”
  • Canton Civic Opera
  • Canton Symphony
  • Napa Valley Symphony
  • North Carolina Symphony
  • Youngstown Symphony
  • San Antonio Symphony
  • Roanoke (VA) Symphony
  • Roanoke (VA) Symphony
  • Erie Philharmonic
  • Syracuse Symphony
  • Dallas Symphony
  • Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic
  • Tulsa Philharmonic
  • Detroit Symphony
  • The Louisville Orchestra
  • Indianapolis Symphony
  • Kansas City Symphony
  • Cincinnati Symphony
  • Phoenix Symphony
  • Peter Nero’s Philly Pops
  • Chautauqua Symphony
  • Shenzhen (China) Symphony Orchestra
  • Orquesta Filarmonica de Montevideo
  • Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra
  • Opera Columbus
  • Seattle Symphony
  • City of Westerville Year of the Arts Honoree
  • Otterbein Opera Theater
  • West Virginia Symphony
  • Hong Kong Sinfonietta
  • Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

What People Are Saying

Culture Vulture (Philadelphia Arts Blog)

Giselle, with its academic score by ballet composer Adolphe Adam, admirably conducted with balance and flair by Peter Stafford Wilson. (Pennsylvania Ballet)

Haglund’s Heel (National Ballet Blog)

The orchestra was outstanding the whole evening. Tempi seemed perfect for every dancer and the ensemble. There were no lengthy pauses between sections that have tended to kill the momentum in other productions. The conductor, Peter Stafford Wilson, was making his debut with Pennsylvania Ballet.

Tulsa World

Tulsa Ballet’s extraordinary ’Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music,’ which had its world-premiere performance at the Tulsa PAC is, simply, a triumph. The ballet’s score was assembled by [choreographer] Ma Cong and composer-librettist Oliver Peter Graber from familiar and lesser-known pieces by Tchaikovsky, augmented by Graber’s own compositions and selections from some of Tchaikovsky’s contemporaries. The result was a remarkably seamless, highly dramatic whole, which the Tulsa Symphony, under the direction of Peter Stafford Wilson, performed about as well as one could hope. It was a highly colored, well-paced performance that packed as much of an emotional punch as the dancing.

Chestnut Hill Local (Philadelphia)

Pennsylvania Ballet’s Giselle stands as testimony to why the company has never been better than it is right now. Seen by an audience that packed the historic Academy of Music, Giselle received a stunning rendition. Conductor Peter Stafford Wilson and the PA Ballet Orchestra gave Adolphe Adams’ sentimental score a luscious reading.

The Tulsa World

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Peter Stafford Wilson, gave a robust performance of the Tchaikovsky score [The Nutcracker], full of drama, character and color, and which earned them an ovation that rivaled the one given to the dancers.

Tulsa World

Under Peter Stafford Wilson’s sensitive baton, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra’s performance (of Cranko/Tchaikovsky/Stolze Onegin) was richly colored, cohesvive, and perfectly paced

Tulsa World

Friday’s performance was about as good as one could imagine. Conductor Peter Stafford Wilson led the Tulsa Symphony in a performance of the Prokofiev score that was beautifully paced and highlighted the often thorny harmonies and dark accents that decorate the lush melodies.

The Columbus Dispatch

Mozart – and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra – were in superb form for this year’s Mozart Festival. Each phrase had direction, each section offered energy and drive. This was a polished reading that could be used as a model for near-perfection in Mozartean performance. Central Ohio lovers of Mozart are fortunate, indeed

The Post-Standard

Cherish the Ladies’ collaboration with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra was a successful one, thanks to the vigor and skill of the ensemble, as well as the energy imparted by guest conductor Peter Stafford Wilson

The Columbus Dispatch

This weekend’s Columbus Symphony Orchestra concerts demonstrate why orchestras have assistant conductors. Last night’s performance demonstrated why the CSO is fortunate to have a good one. Happily, Peter Stafford Wilson looked anything but the last-minute replacement . It was immediately clear that he was prepared, and prepared to make good music, which is just what happened

Springfield News-Sun

Joined by 84 members of the Springfield Symphony Chorale and four vocal soloists, a spectacular, well-balanced performance of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass in D minor ensued. Maestro Wilson displayed exceptional leadership as he pulled every ounce of musicianship from the combined ensembles. This evening proved once again that community spirit can indeed result in great musical collaboration. Bravo Springfield

The Columbus Dispatch

The Columbus Symphony is back, under the experienced leadership of conductor Peter Stafford Wilson. Thank goodness. This ballet was considered as a partnership between music and dance, and that’s what it was. Tempos seemed well-thought-out in each scene, and contrasting dynamics and spotlighted solos helped bring Tchaikovsky’s fabled score to life.

Tulsa Ballet top-notch in Shakepeare effort (headline)

Tulsa Ballet certainly has the talent and the work ethic necssary to do this ballet, as it showed at Friday’s opening night performance. Music director Peter Stafford Wilson conducted the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, which gave a performance of the score full of effervescence and vitality. Wi’lson’s pacing was excellent, and he guided the players in phrasing that perfectly underscored the action and emotion of the scene