Peter Breinholt

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Peter Breinholt
Born (1969-03-31) March 31, 1969 (age 50)
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States
GenresFolk, rock, pop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, producer, performer
Instrumentsguitar, piano, drums, ukulele, banjo, bass
Years active1993–present

Peter Breinholt (born March 31, 1969 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) is a recording artist popular in the Salt Lake City, Utah local music scene.

Breinholt grew up in Devon, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where his father Robert H. Breinholt taught at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is brother to Jeffrey Breinholt.[1]


Growing up, Breinholt taught himself how to play piano, guitar and drums by listening to Beatles songs. He started writing songs around the age of 11. After his father took a teaching position at the University of Utah, which took the family to Salt Lake City, Breinholt formed a band with friends that performed classic rock at college fraternity parties and high school "stomps". It wasn't until Peter became a student at the University of Utah, however, that he began showcasing his own songs alone at informal gatherings and at local restaurants. A homemade tape of his music began circulating on the University of Utah campus, which led to requests by friends for an official recording. In response, Breinholt rented a local studio in June 1993 and tracked 12 songs over three days. The resulting album, "Songs About the Great Divide" [1], became the best-selling, independently released CD ever in the state of Utah, almost entirely by word-of-mouth [2]. It was described by Salt Lake Magazine as "an underground classic on college campuses". Breinholt's concerts began selling out local theaters and concert halls, including Kingsbury Hall, Capitol Theatre, Tuacahn, the de Jong Concert Hall, Ellen Eccles Theatre, Sundance Resort Amphitheater, Sandy Amphitheater and the Thanksgiving Point Waterfall Amphitheater.

As his audiences grew, Breinholt began adding members to his band, including pianist David Tolk, bluegrass musician Ryan Shupe, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and occasional harmonica player Greg Whiteley. It was during this period that the group road-tested songs that would appear on Breinholt's next two studio albums, "Heartland" (1996) [3] and "Deep Summer" (1999) [4].

In 1999, Breinholt's music was used to demo and market computer company iOmega's PocketZip, a technological predecessor to the iPod. The same year he was voted "Performing Artist of the Year" by the FCMA.

In 2000, Breinholt testified at a United States congressional hearing on the topic of digital file sharing. [5] Napster founder Shawn Fanning used Breinholt's song "You Wear Flowers" at the hearing to demonstrate how peer-to-peer technology works to the congressional committee.

In 2001, Breinholt recorded "Live September" during three sold out performances at the Sundance Amphitheater near Provo, Utah.[2]

The following year, Breinholt performed at many events for the 2002 Winter Olympics, including the concert marking the arrival of the torch to Salt Lake City [6]. A live version of Breinholt's song "Jubilee" was included on the official commemorative album of the games, alongside songs by artists with local ties including Gladys Knight, Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, and Kurt Bestor. [7]

In 2006, Breinholt released "All The Color Green" [8] and shortly thereafter was voted "Best Local Songwriter" in a Salt Lake City Weekly readers' poll. On New Year's Eve that year, Breinholt performed as part of a live worldwide broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir [9].

The following year, Breinholt wrote and performed six songs for the movie Everybody Wants to Be Italian [10] and later included two of those songs on his "Best of Peter Breinholt" album. [11]

In 2013, a song from his 1999 Deep Summer album called "Lullaby" inspired FBI special agent Timothy Ballard to establish Operation Underground Railroad [12]. Breinholt has since recorded a new version of the song with the One Voice Children's Choir and given it to Ballard's organization.

Peter's songs have been heard in CNN stories, movie trailers [13], and feature-length films. A song Breinholt wrote as a teenager was the theme song for the nationally syndicated television show

In November 2016, Utah Governor Gary Herbert awarded Breinholt the Utah Governor's Mansion Artist Award for a lifetime of achievement in the arts [14].

During the first half of 2018, Peter wrote material for his "The Counting of Nothing" album while living in Canoa, Ecuador with his family. The album was released December 21, 2018.

Personal life[edit]

Peter is married to Rebecca Pulsipher Breinholt and together they have four children. They live in Holladay, Utah.


  • Songs about the Great Divide (1993)
  • Heartland (1996)
  • Deep Summer (1999)
  • Live September (2001)
  • Noel (2002)
  • All the Color Green (2006)
  • The Best of Peter Breinholt (May 2008)
  • The Counting of Nothing (2018)


  1. ^ Deseret News, April 26th, 2003
  2. ^ Johnson, Jared "Live September Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2011-07-24

External links[edit]

  • [ Peter Breinholt's website]