Peter Jarvis

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Peter Jarvis
Born1959 (age 60–61)
Hackensack, New Jersey, United States
GenresPopular and Unpopular
Occupation(s)Musician, college professor, composer, print music copyist
InstrumentsPercussion, drums
LabelsNonesuch, NAXOS, Abkco, Composers Concordance Records, Capstone Records, Koch International, others

Peter Jarvis is an American percussionist, drummer, conductor, composer, music copyist, print music editor and college professor.


Peter Jarvis (b. 1959 in Hackensack, New Jersey) is a percussionist, drummer, conductor, composer, music copyist, print music editor and college professor. He is an Associate Director of the Composer Concordance and Co-Director of Composers Concordance Records. He teaches music at William Paterson University, Connecticut College and Bergen Community College.

Jarvis composed, orchestrated, arranged and performed music for Moonrise Kingdom, a film by Wes Anderson, which opened the Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2012.[1][2] Moonrise Kingdom received a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Score" and an Academy Award nomination in 2013. His involvement in the film as a composer included various individual projects ranging from adding music to a score by Benjamin Britten and composing original music for several scenes. As arranger and orchestrator he worked on music composed by Mark Mothersbaugh and as performer he led a percussion section and provided several improvisations.[1] He has also performed his own solo percussion music for the second, third, fourth and fifth seasons of the HBO Series "Boardwalk Empire." During the third season, his music appeared in seven episodes. More recently Jarvis worked on Ang Lee’s movie Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, released in 2016; his involvement on the project included transcribing, arranging and as percussionist.

Over the decades, as a freelance musician, he has performed popular and unpopular music with equal enthusiasm. He has performed as a soloist, chamber player, Broadway musician and as conductor with chamber music ensembles including the Velez / Jarvis Duo, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, CompCord Ensemble, The Group for Contemporary Music, Saint Luke's Chamber Ensemble, The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble (which he directs) and on new music/arts festivals such as the Europe/Asia Festival and the Hong Kong Arts Festival [3] and in orchestras and with choruses. He has performed for PBS, Russian and Hong Kong television. The New York Times has said about Jarvis's conducting: ". . .[He] did full justice to its rhythmic complexities; Mr. Jarvis and his forces richly deserved the standing ovation they received."[4]

Jarvis has performed and or recorded with composers musicians such as Milton Babbitt, John Cage and Steve Reich. He is active as a percussionist, conductor and composer in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and elsewhere. As conductor he has appeared with the Saint Luke's Chamber Ensemble, The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble,[5] Composers Concordance, Ensemble21 and several other groups. He has appeared as guest conductor on the San Francisco Symphony's New and Unusual Music Series with the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble. The proliferation of percussion literature is extremely important to Jarvis and he has performed nearly 100 solo pieces for multi-percussion, timpani, vibraphone, marimba, solo snare drum and drum set composed for him.

His compositions are published by Calabrese Brothers Music LLC, Indian Paintbrush Productions and L-T Music Publishing. He is a member of Broadcast Music Incorporated.

Press coverage[edit]

The New York Times wrote that Jarvis "led the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble in a precise, tactile performance with an elastic pulse",[6] and that the "Percussion Symphony" was "a mammoth work ... on its way to becoming a genuine 20th-century warhorse" which Jarvis conducted from memory.[7] The Record described Jarvis's conducting of "Percussion Symphony" as "a masterful example of the conductors craft",[8] and praised the way he sculpted the melody in the medieval song by Guillaume Dufay. The New Music Connoisseur mentioned that "While the new music scene abounds with percussionists, only a very few can match the awesome musicianship of Peter Jarvis"[9] and further described his performance of Ron Mazurek's Masked Dances as "the highlight of the evening."[9] According to Raul da Gamma of Jazz da Gamma "This is a duet recording by two musicians (Peter Jarvis and Gene Pritsker) of impeccable pedigree." (August 1, 2016). In Percussive Notes [10] the official Journal of Percussion Arts Society (Vol. 58, No. - February 2020), Quintin Mallette wrote ". . . by the seminal performer, composer, and conductor Peter Jarvis." He went on to say "I recommend this recording not only for its artistic merits, but also for its pedagogical merit as a tool for exploring the less tangible aspects of musicianship necessary in chamber music set¬tings." (Vol. 58, No. - February 2020)


Published by Calabrese Brothers Music, LLC.


  • Rockaby for Voice and Piano (2003) – Ron Mazurek, Transcribed for Voice and Vibraphone Op. 14 (2011) by Peter Jarvis, premiered by the William Paterson University New Music Ensemble; Erica Tanner and Nicolas Doktor, March 28, 2011, at William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey.
  • Fugue in G Minor, "Little" BWV 578Johann Sebastian Bach, Transcribed for Mallet Quartet Op. 12 (2010) by Peter Jarvis, premiered by the William Paterson University Percussion Ensemble; Anthony Fabrizio, Nick Doktor, Anthony O'Connor and Margaret Wright, November 29, 2010, at William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey.

Film and Television[edit]


  • 2011 – Moonrise Kingdom Op. 19 – music for the movie directed by Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom. Op. 19 refers to all music Jarvis worked on including original music, arrangements and transcriptions. Published by Indian Paintbrush Productions.


  • Surveying Carnage[11] Op. 21 (2012) – percussion solos, improvisations for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, – season 3, multiple episodes. Published by L-T Music Publishing.
  • On the Boardwalk[11] Op. 18 (2011) – percussion solo, a multi-track improvisation for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Used in episode 10 of season 2: Georgia Peaches aired on November 27, 2011. Published by L-T Music Publishing.


  • 1995 – Musical Outsiders: An American Legacy – Harry Partch, Lou Harrison, and Terry Riley. Directed by Michael Blackwood. Performing with NewBand.


  • Moonrise Kingdom[11] (released October 16, 2012) – An American Empirical Picture presented by Focus Features and Indian Paintbrush. Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, directed by Wes Anderson. Various compositions, arrangements, orchestrations and performances by Peter Jarvis on the soundtrack.
  • Boardwalk Empire[11] – Season 2 (released August 28, 2012) – An HBO Production. Georgia Peaches (episode 10), solo percussion performance of On The Boardwalk by Peter Jarvis on the soundtrack.



  • New Music For Percussion: Night Music – Jeffrey Kresky, John Ferrari,Peter Jarvis and Payton MacDonald – Percussion.Drumming For Milton" by Peter Jarvis, Paul Carroll drum set. "Concerto for Vibraphone and Percussion Ensemble" by Peter Jarvis, performed by the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, John Ferrari - vibraphone soloist, Peter Jarvis - conductor. William Paterson University Recording Label. Recorded in 2014.
  • Moonrise Kingdom[12] – The Original Soundtrack; Track 2 performed by Peter Jarvis. Label: Abkco
  • Jersey Sessions Volume 2: Passing Fancies – Stephen Peles, Peter Jarvis – Percussion, Robert Pollock – Piano, Music for Winds, Percussion, 'Cello & Voices – Rolv Yttrehus – Composers Guild of New Jersey Performance Ensemble, Peter Jarvis – Conductor, Composers Guild of New Jersey, 1990, #CGNJ 0990


  • Metalmorphosis: Metallic Music Op. 6 (2005) – solo for six gongs, recorded by Dominic Donato on Capstone Records – CPS 8796.


  • Milton Babbitt – A Composers' Memorial; For Milton, Composed by David Saperstein, Peter Jarvis – vibraphone. Perspectives of New Music/Open Space Records, 2012, pnm/os cd 3
  • ballets and solos; The International Street Cannibals Ensemble – Solo for Pete, Composed by Patrick Hardish, Peter Jarvis – drum set. Composers Concordance Records – on Naxos
  • Milton Babbitt: Soli e Duettini; Homily for Solo Snare Drum, The Group for Contemporary Music, Koch International, 1996, 3-7335-2H1 and Naxos 8.559259
  • Society of Composers, Inc.: Milestones; Night Black Bird Song, for 2 piccolos & 3 percussionists – Emily Doolittle, Capstone Records, CD #8701
  • American Classics – George Antheil: Ballet Mécanique – Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra – Naxos 8.559060
  • Floating Bridge – ECM Tour; Floating Bridge – Kung Chi Shing, recorded live in Taiwan – Kung Ensemble, October Music, 1996, ECM Tour in Taiwan
  • Destiny Travels Limited; Destiny Travels Limited – Kung Chi Shing, recorded live in Hong Kong – Kung Ensemble, October Music, 1996, #5
  • Andrew Ford: Icarus; Chamber Concerto No. 3: In Constant Light – Terra Australis Incognita, Tall Poppies #150
  • New Sounds From The Village; Encounters – Ron Mazurek – Percussion Quartet, Capstone Records, 1994, #CPS 8616
  • Jersey Sessions Volume 3: In Search Of. . . Percussion Solo with Electronic Sound – Ron Mazurek, Peter Jarvis – Percussion, Ballet Mécanique – George Antheil, Composers Guild of New Jersey, 1992, #CGNJ 0393;


  • David Rakowski: Hyper Blue; Ensemble21 – Sesso e Violenza, Peter Jarvis – Conductor, tracks 6, 7 & 8. CRI CD820 [13]
  • Charles Wuorinen: The Group for Contemporary MusicPercussion Quartet – Charles Wuorinen – Peter Jarvis – Conductor, Koch International, 1997, #3-7410-2H1
  • Charles Wuorinen: Tashi – New Jersey Percussion Ensemble - Percussion Quartet – Charles Wuorinen – Peter Jarvis – Conductor, NAXOS 8.559321
  • The Music of Rolv Yttrehus – Music for Winds, Percussion, 'Cello & Voices, Composers Guild of New Jersey Performance Ensemble – Peter Jarvis- Conductor, CRI CD 843
  • Jersey Sessions Volume 1: ConcertinoRoger Sessions, CGNJ Performance Ensemble, David Gilbert – Conductor, Revolution – Robert Pollock, Cygnus Ensemble, Joel Suben – Conductor, Composers Guild of New Jersey, 1989, #CGNJ 0989
  • Percussion Music; Percussion Symphony – Charles Wuorinen, Charles Wuorinen – Conductor, Elektra/Nonesuch, 1988, #979150-2
  • Music of David Olan and Chester Biscardi; Prism – David Olan, Peter Jarvis – Conductor, Composer's Recording Inc., 1986, #CRI CD 585

Pieces composed for Peter Jarvis (partial list)[edit]

William Anderson:

  • A Giddy Thing (2004) for vibraphone and electronic sound
  • Sometimes (1998) for solo vibraphone, premiered by Peter Jarvis at New York University

Milton Babbitt:

  • Concerto Piccolino (1999) for solo vibraphone, premiered by Peter Jarvis at Christ the St. Stevens Church, New York City

Helmut Christoferus Calabrese:

  • Imprompt Fantasy (2012) vibraphone and tuba, for Peter Jarvis and Gary Buttery
  • Mingle (2011) solo xylophone
  • Glory (2009) solo glockenspiel
  • Seeking (2008) drum set solo, premiered by Peter Jarvis at William Paterson University - February 8, 2010
  • Mudgrave (2007) duo for vibraphone and marimba, premiered by Peter Jarvis and Ned Stroh at William Paterson University
  • A little Night Music (2005) solo timpani, premiered by Peter Jarvis at William Paterson University - November 18, 2006

Carson Cooman:

  • Fanfare Canon (Op. 926) (2011) for three percussionists, premiered by the William Paterson University Percussion Ensemble, at WPU Shea Auditorium, Wayne, New Jersey - November 28, 2011.
  • In the Night Garden (2010) solo marimba - commissioned by Richard Mason, premiered by Peter Jarvis at Connecticut College - December 14, 2010
  • Surly Bonds (2009) solo drum set

Eleanor Cory:

  • Fantasy (1991) for flute, guitar and percussion (for Cygnus; Tarra Helen O'Connor, William Anderson and Peter Jarvis), premiered at Carnegie Recital Hall

Evan Hause:

  • Red Eye (2013) drum set, electric guitar and bass (for Peter Jarvis, Gene Pritsker and Dan Cooper). Premiered by peter Jarvis, Gene Pritsker and Dan Cooper at William Paterson University, April 1, 2013. Recorded by the same group on May 19, 2013.

Rashid Kalimullin:

  • Nightdream of Germinated Rice (2000) vibraphone with electronic sound, Premiered by Peter Jarvis at William Paterson University

John Link:

  • Bar Hopping (1999) solo vibraphone

Robert Moevs:(b. December 2, 1920; d. December 10, 2007)

  • Adagio (1998) solo vibraphone, premiered by Peter Jarvis at Goucher College, Merrick Recital Hall, Baltimore Maryland - February 9, 2000

Kevin Norton:

  • Comparing Dreams (2011/12) duo for oboe and percussion, for Sarah Davol and Peter Jarvis

Joseph Pehrson:

  • Interplay (2012) electric guitar and drum set, for the Jarvis/Pritsker Duo (Peter Jarvis and Gene Pritsker)
  • Trappings (2010) solo drum set
  • Inner Voices II (2006) percussion duo with electronic sound

Wayne Peterson:

  • Trap Drum Fantasy (2008) solo drum set

Gene Pritsker:

  • Context (2013) percussion trio for Peter Jarvis, Lukas Ligeti and Glen Velez.
  • Reverberation of Eternity (2013) solo timpani.
  • Roundelay (2011) electric guitar and drum set. Premiered by the Jarvis/Pritsker Duo (Peter Jarvis and Gene Pritsker) at William Paterson University, November 7, 2011.
  • Deep Time (2009) multiple percussion solo
  • Cold Wisdom Waiting (2009) trio for cello, guitar and percussion with dance, composed for Peter Jarvis and Dan Barrett
  • Aeon (2009) vibraphone duet
  • A Certain Degree of Neurosis (2009) bass clarinet and percussion, composed for Peter Jarvis and Michiyo Suzuki
  • Opposite Extreme of Benevolence (2008) solo drum set

Justinian Tamusuza:

  • Engoma Enteera (2005) solo timpani with cowbell

Peter Westergaard:

  • Chaconne (1999) solo vibraphone


  1. ^ a b "'Moonrise Kingdom' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  2. ^ Minsker, Evan (May 21, 2012). "Listen: More Music From the Score to Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
  3. ^ "'City Inside the Broken Sky'". Special Administrative Region Government. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  4. ^ Page, Tim (October 7, 1984), "Percussion Group in Contemporary Works", The New York Times, The New York Times Company, retrieved October 13, 2009
  5. ^ Charles Wuorinen: A Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press. 1994. ISBN 0-313-25399-4.
  6. ^ Kozinn, Allan (January 29, 1991), The Astonishing Winds, a New-Music Trio, The New York Times (The New York Times Company), retrieved 2009-10-14
  7. ^ Page, Tim (January 25, 1985), New Jersey Percussion at Symphony Space, The New York Times (The New York Times Company), retrieved 2009-10-14
  8. ^ Orgill, Roxane (October 9, 1984), "What makes a conductor count," The Record, p. B −16
  9. ^ a b Cohen, Barry, L. (2006 – Fall/Winter). Coming Full Circle, New Music Connoisseur, In association with Composers Concordance, Inc., Vol. 14 #2, p. 18
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c d Peter Jarvis – IMDb
  12. ^ Minsker, Evan (May 2, 2012). "Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom Soundtrack: Check Out the Tracklist and a Piece of the Score". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
  13. ^ David Rakowski – Hyper Blue, Discogs. Retrieved 12 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Peter Jarvis discography at Discogs