Peter Wright (Clarinet)
Member of J SYM:
Hometown: Bartow, FL
Education: Bachelor of Music Education, Jacksonville University; Master of Music, Eastman School of Music; one year toward doctorate at Florida State University
Why the clarinet? I wanted to start out on drums, but the band director wouldn’t let anyone start on percussion the first year. So my mother suggested saxophone, which is what we told the band director I would play in his band. Then, my oldest sister got a new clarinet and guess who got the old one! The rest is history.
Performance highlights: Featured with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra and Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra. Also performed concertos by Copland, Mozart and Finzi.
Other ensembles: Member of the JSO woodwind quintet. Peter is on the Faculty at FCCJ and UNF as the clarinet instructor.
Favorite JSO memory: “Playing the basset horn in the aria sung by Frederica von Stade with the JSO at Carnegie Hall in 1998. It’s similar to the bass clarinet, but a little smaller. It was an experience I’ll never forget. Ms. von Stade gave me a box of chocolates afterwards.”
Family: Single. He has a wonderful dog named Nicole, who is a black cocker spaniel.
Hobbies: “I am a member of the American Roller Coaster Enthusiasts (a worldwide club), and enjoy riding roller coasters all over the planet. I usually attend our annual convention in June. I also enjoy exercising, reading and eating.”
Most memorable roller coaster riding vacation: “I went to Europe in 1989 for three weeks. I wrote to members of the coaster club asking for info about the coasters in their areas. Many of them wrote back, inviting me to stay in their homes. I rode 43 different coasters in seven countries. (England has the best coasters in Europe.)”