• 28 Years with the Columbus Symphony

    I recently concluded 28 seasons in service as Associate Conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.  There is no doubt that such a long tenure has marginalized me in any number of music director searches and has raised more than a few eye brows in the business. Loyalty, nowadays, is often ineptly seen as a lack of ambition, or worse.  Truth be known, I intended to spend around five years as the staff conductor of this orchestra.  The initial 10 years, however, proved to be a very juicy cover (the assistant conductor’s role as insurance policy) as the music director could be counted upon to conk out at least once a season, affording me some lucrative opportunities with such guest artists as Hilary Hahn, Benedetto Lupo, and Garrick Ohlson.   I picked up seven emergency substitutions in the course of six years, and the critical, audience, and, perhaps most importantly, orchestra responses were always positive. I grew enormously with each opportunity, and the result was a heightened presence in the CSO’s overall offerings, beyond that of a typical staff conductor.   With each shift in artistic leadership in the succeeding decade came my desire to move along as well, but management pleaded with me to stick around to provide artistic continuity until a new boss was identified. What followed, alas, was a series of one-contract music directors, and I was never able to make a comfortable exit.  I was also afforded leadership of an exceptional youth orchestra program, and I shepherded these young musicians to Europe twice, to China, Canada, and national conventions of the LAO and the MENC.  We also made two highly successful appearances at Carnegie Hall, and three professional recordings.  I have alumni in major orchestras throughout the country and now have two former students who sit on the CSO’s Board of Trustees. So a five year projection became a 28 year reality  The organization and the Community have honored me with The CSO’s Hardesty Award for Outstanding Leadership and honorary Educator of the Year award, GCAC bestowed its Educator of the Year award, and the Mayor of Columbus, City Council, and County Commissioners offered impressive proclamations. They have treated me with more class and affection than any other departing conductor in recent history.

    My decision to leave, finally, was predicated on a desire to increase my ballet conducting, which often demands two and three-week schedule commitments.  This just didn’t jibe with the week to week demands on a staff conductor, and has already paid off with a recent invitation from the Pennsylvania Ballet, so vindication was immediate.

    Thank you, CSO, for every golden memory, but rumors that I have retired are somewhat exaggerated.  For more insight, please check my calendar page.


    L'Histoire at 100!

    September 29,2018, 1:00pm  Columbus Museum of Art

    September 30,2018  3:00pm  Short North Stage

    Igor Stravinsky L'Histoire du Soldat

    featuring stars from Classical 101 FM, CATCO, BalletMet, CCAD


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    Peter Stafford Wilson Day in Westerville

    Whereas, the 2017-2018 season marks Peter Stafford Wilson’s twenty-fifth season as Music Director of the Westerville Symphony at Otterbein University; and
    Whereas, Maestro Wilson leads the Orchestra’s three Ron Lykins Masterworks series concerts in addition to the ever popular Independence Day Concert and the Sounds of the Summer celebration; and
    Whereas, Maestro Wilson has been actively involved in the Westerville Symphony’s collaboration with the Westerville Public Library’s Tunes-n-Tales; and
    Whereas, Maestro Wilson is a member of the adjunct faculty at Otterbein University where he has also conducted performances of the Otterbein Opera Theatre; and
    Whereas, Maestro Wilson has contributed much in terms of leadership and personal service to our community during the past 25 years that special recognition is warranted.  
    NOW THEREFORE, I, Kathleen Cocuzzi, Mayor of the City of Westerville, Ohio, do hereby proclaim that Wednesday, November 8, 2017, to be designated as “PETER STAFFORD WILSON DAY”
    in recognition of his 25th anniversary with the Westerville Symphony and urge all citizens to show their appreciation to Peter Stafford Wilson for the great impact he has made on our community. 
    IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused my seal to be affixed this 7th day of November, in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Seventeen.



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