Hazzard, Peter

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Peter Hazzard


Born: January 31, 1949

Country: Poughkeepsie, New York, U.S.A.

Studies: Boston University, Berklee College

Teachers: John Bavicchi, William Maloof


Peter P. Hazzard was born in Poughkeepsie, NY on January 31, 1949. He wrote his first compositions, The Horses' Hooves, and Evening Song, for violin and piano at the age of eight. He played violin studying in New York with Arlie Furman, and was a member of the New York Young People’s Orchestra. He also played guitar, and piano in both orchestras and dance bands throughout his youth. After graduation from Millbrook School and two years of study at Boston University, Mr. Hazzard entered the Berklee College of Music in 1968, receiving his Bachelor of Music in Composition in 1971. He studied composition with John Bavicchi and William Maloof and conducting with Jeronimus Kascinskas.

Since finishing school, Mr. Hazzard has divided his time between composing, conducting, and teaching. Upon graduation, he was appointed to the faculty of Berklee College of Music where he taught composition, conducting, and music history and was the Chair of the Traditional Studies Department until 1983. He also conducted the Berklee Concert Wind Ensemble from 1976 to 1983. In the summer of 1983, Mr. Hazzard was appointed to the faculty of Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA where he served as Music Director and then Choral Director. In 1986 he founded the school’s a cappella group SLACS, and directed them until 2008. He now serves as the school’s Webmaster, and manages the recording studio.

Mr. Hazzard was conductor of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra (the oldest continuing civic orchestra in the U.S.) from 1983 to 1997. He has served as guest conductor with many orchestras and concert bands. Besides conducting a wide repertoire of orchestral, choral, and band music, he has also written for these ensembles with great success. Mr. Hazzard is able to challenge the players and the audience without leaving either behind.

Over the last 45 years he has built up a diverse catalog of more than eighty works. He is a composer who understands his performers and their scope, ranging from student musicians to virtuoso professionals. He has written for symphony orchestra, concert band, piano duet, unaccompanied clarinet, clarinet and marimba, saxophone quartet, chorus, and percussion ensembles to mention but a few.

Mr. Hazzard has been commissioned by The Callanwolde Concert Band of Atlanta (GA), The Metropolitan WInd Symphony of Boston, The Concord (MA) Band, Concord-Carlisle (MA) Regional High School, Barbara and Gerhardt Suhrstedt, Jacksonville (AL) State University, The Philharmonic Society of Arlington (MA) Orchestra and Chorus, and Souhegan High School (NH) among others. In 1988 he was commissioned to compose and conduct a 30-minute dance work for Jacques d'Amboise's National Dance Institute, New England. The work, Bread and Roses, was performed by over 400 Boston school children. Mr. Hazzard's music has been performed in the United States, Canada, Russia, South America, and Bermuda. He is a member of ASCAP.

In a review of Mr. Hazzard's work for band, A Festival Overture, Op.40, Ernest R. Spinney said, "....although modern, it is real music...its dissonance being treated as dissonance, not as a weapon to assault one's ears. As a composer, Mr. Hazzard is a solid musician with respect for his art and not disrespectful of his hearers."

Many of Mr. Hazzard's compositions are published by Ludwig Music Publishing Co., Inc., Cleveland, OH; BKJ Publications, MA; and Seesaw Music Company c/o Subito Music Corp. Verona, NJ.[1]

Works for Percussion

Fantasy in Two Movements, op.54 - Percussion Ensemble (15)
Passacussion, op.16 - Percussion Octet
Quartet No. 2, op.10 - Percussion Quartet
Sonata No. 2, op.23 - Marimba; Clarinet
Weird Sisters, op.9 - Percussion Septet


  1. Peter Hazzard Bio Retrieved 06/16/2012