Active as a composer, conductor and bassist, Peter Askim is the Artistic Director of the Next Festival of Emerging Artists and the conductor of the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, as well as Director of Orchestral Activities at North Carolina State University. He was previously Music Director and Composer-in-Residence of the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra. He has also been a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and served on the faculty of the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where he directed the Contemporary Music Ensemble and taught theory and composition.
A dedicated champion of the music of our time, he has premiered numerous works, including works by composers Richard Danielpour, Nico Muhly, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis, Pierre Jalbert, Rufus Reid, Chen Yi, Phil Kline, Tamar Muskal, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Peter-Anthony Togni, Lawrence Dillon and Bruce Adolphe. He has collaborated with such artists as the Miró String Quartet, Matt Haimovitz, Vijay Iyer, Jeffrey Zeigler, Nadia Sirota, Sō Percussion, Paul Neubauer, Melvin Chen, Eugene Drucker, Ian Swensen, Todor Pelev, Tony Arnold, Judith Kellock and John Walz. He also conducted the World Premiere of eminent guitarist/singer/songwriter Richard Thompson’s “Cabaret of Souls” as well as its European Premiere at Royal Festival Hall, London and on CD.
As a composer, he has been called a “Modern Master” by The Strad and has had commissions and performances from such groups as the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony, the International Society of Bassists, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra, the American Viola Society, the Portland Chamber Music Festival, and Serenata Santa Fe, as well as by performers such as ETHEL, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, flutist/conductor Ransom Wilson, Metropolitan Opera soprano Lauren Flanigan, Grammy-nominated soprano Judith Kellock, violist Roger Myers and violinist Timothy Fain. His compositions are published by Liben Music Publishers, the International Society of Bassists, Brass Arts Unlimited and the American Viola Society. He has also received critical praise as a jazz artist in such publications as Jazztimes, the New York Post and New York Newsday.
Mr. Askim is the founder and Artistic Director of The Next Festival of Emerging Artists, a summer festival dedicated to cultivating the next generation of performers and composers. Focusing on the music of living composers, the festival artists frequently perform World Premieres and collaborate closely with prominent composers on performances of their works. Led by Mr. Askim, The Next Festival has received numerous grants and awards for performances of American music, adventurous programming and educational outreach since its inception in 2013. The festival orchestra has appeared at New York’s (le) poisson rouge and been featured on WQXR/Q2’s New York Now. In conjunction with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, Mr. Askim founded the Next Festival Composer Workshop, connecting early-career performers and composers in an innovative and highly collaborative laboratory for the creation of new works.