John Peskey – Violist, Narrated by Wayne June.
John Peskey is a native of Sioux Falls, SD and has come to Montana by way of Atlanta, Boston, and New York. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Viola Performance from Augustana College where he studied with the legendary violist Emanuel Vardi. He earned his Master of Music degree (with Honors) in Viola Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he studied with James Dunham (violist of the Cleveland Quartet). He also performed in master classes of Paul Doktor and Atar Arad.
Mr. Peskey’s vast professional orchestra and chamber music experience has taken him throughout the US, Canada and Europe. His performances as violist with the Dakota String Quartet included appearances at the Aspen Music festival and collaborations with the Cleveland Quartet, the Colorado Quartet, and the Chester Quartet. In the summer of 2002 he performed in a highly acclaimed concert with the McComb String Quartet in Toronto, Canada. While in Atlanta, he co-founded the Piacere String Quartet. As Principal Violist of the South Dakota Symphony he has been featured as soloist with both the South Dakota Symphony and SDSU Civic Symphony. Mr. Peskey has been Principal Violist of Ars Musica, New Philharmonic of New Jersey, and Arts Alive International Orchestra in Spain, Sinfonia da Camera and Enesco Ensemble. He has played in the viola sections of the Omaha Symphony, Bachanalia, and the Riverside Symphony at Lincoln Center.
Mr. Peskey was on faculty at Clayton College and State University, Jonesboro, GA from 2002 – 2008 where he taught viola, violin, and chamber music. He also taught at the University of Illinois where he was assistant to Emanuel Vardi as well as the University of Sioux Falls. He has been a visiting clinician at summer festivals including the Luzserne Music Festival, International Music Camp and String Festival of Greenville, North Carolina. He has given clinics sponsored by the American String Teachers’ Association and the National School Orchestra Association and taught privately at Fraioli School of Music (Greenwich, CT), Ichimura Music School (Englewood Cliffs, NJ) and Green Meadow Waldorf School (Chestnuts Ridge, NY).
Mr. Peskey commissioned and gave the world premiers of “Concert Piece for Viola and Small Orchestra” and “Music for One Lonely Viola” by veteran Hollywood composer Robert Cobert. He commissioned several other chamber music works (also by Cobert) including “Contrasts for Viola and Cello” and “3 Moods for 2 Violas”. He has recorded works of William Grant Still with the Sierra Winds on the Cambria label.
Most recently Mr. Peskey has performed with the Billings Symphony and was principal violist of the Helena Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Lyric Theater as well as violist with the Columbus Symphony, Macon Symphony and Atlanta Symphony Pops Orchestra. Currently, he is an orchestra director in the Billings Public Schools, and newly appointed conductor of the Young Artists Orchestra (Billings Youth Symphony).
In 2013 he received National Certification to teach the renowned “Mark O’Connor String Method”. He owns and plays a viola (2006) and violin (2003) by Hiroshi Iizuka of Philadelphia.
Mr. Peskey is an Orthodox Christain and a proud US Naval veteran. He and his wife, Vickie share their lives with their dogs, Zeus & Tater!