photo: Peren Gee Lopez

As an internationally performed composer, Lopez traces his musical roots to a broad range of influences, from his tenure as a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, as a Tanglewood Fellowship Composer, and as recipient of the George Ladd Prix de Paris (1976-1978). The eclectic nature of Lopez’s mature style stems no doubt from having worked directly with composers of diverse approaches and philosophies during his early years at Berkeley and Tanglewood: with Joaquin Nin Culmell, Andrew Imbrie, Edwin Dugger, Olly Wilson, Earle Brown at UC Berkeley (1972-1978); and with Ralph Shapey and Theodore Antoniou during his Fellowship at Tanglewood (1979). Even more influential to Lopez’s artistic development was his residence in Paris, where he had the opportunity to listen to many live concerts of contemporary European composers as well as to attend numerous events at IRCAM. 

One of Lopez’s creative principles is that “Composition Is Performance On Paper!” No doubt due to this enduring philosophy, his compositions were recognized early in his career; with several prizes and awards, including the George Ladd Prix de Paris and the Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize; with numerous performances throughout the United States and Europe; and with an LP recording of a major work for Male Voice, Chamber Orchestra, and Live Electronics released on the 1750 Arch Records label. In 2021, his work, The Ship of Death, was rereleased as an abbreviated version in digital format by PARMA Recordings on the Navona Records label. This same work received its world premiere in 1979 in the Netherlands by the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Ernest Bour. 

Lopez is equally comfortable with experimental instrumental techniques (IFASIA for octet), electronics (Moment Pieces for Extended Piano), digital techniques (MISE-EN, Series I, II, and III), electroacoustics (The Ship of Death) and traditional methodologies (Visions des reflets et nocturnes for Piano and String Orchestra, Song of Thirteen Moons for Orchestra, and Aujourd’hui for Double String Orchestra). 

World premieres of recent works have been performed by the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra in Sydney, Australia (2017, 2018), the Ensemble MISE-EN in Seoul, South Korea (2018), and the Lviv Philharmonic Society in Lviv, Ukraine (2022). 

In July 2023, Navona Records released a recent work of Lopez’s; MISE-EN Series II Episode I for Amplified String Quartet and Acousmatic Sound. In January 2024, Navona Records will also release a piano solo piece from his series of piano pieces, PIECES FROM A DISTANT LAND. Acclaimed pianist Anna Kislitsyna recorded this work in May 2023 at the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA. Pianist Jennifer Wang premiered this same work shortly thereafter at the Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York City during the Laureate Gala Performances produced by Progressive Musicians and Sound Espressivo. 

Lopez remains actively engaged in continuing projects, including numerous solo piano pieces, orchestral compositions, electroacoustic and digital media, and works featuring vocal soloists, chamber choirs, and symphony orchestras.


Pieces From A Distant Land

Release Date: January 5, 2024
Catalog Number: NV6594
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Peter Dickinson Lopez returns to Navona Records with his first solo release; PIECES FROM A DISTANT LAND, a touching solo piano memoriam to his late mother, who had once requested piano pieces for herself to play at church. A touching and emotionally prolific piece given a loving performance by Anna Kislitsyna, Lopez — an ever-experimental composer — channels the “Distant Land” of tonal music familiar to his childhood self and compositional roots, while still honoring the special and often haunting sound so intimate to his musical oeuvre. Those with an ear for the sonically experimental will instantly recognize Lopez’s salient touches while being treated to an especially graceful and compassionate tribute to the happy, hazy days of childhood, and the warm music that so often accompanies them.

Playing on the Edge 3

Release Date: July 14, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6520
21st Century
String Quartet
The Sirius Quartet returns with the long-anticipated PLAYING ON THE EDGE 3, adding to their ever-thrilling catalog with a fresh batch of imaginative compositions hailing from today’s composers. This installment of the acclaimed series dives into the concept of beauty, expressing itself in an extraordinary duality, with each work contributing its own unique take on the whole. PLAYING ON THE EDGE 3 offers up a vibrant and challenging selection, a verbose continuation of theme. From beginning to end, the Sirius Quartet proves that they’re not just playing on the edge — they’re living on it too.


Release Date: February 5, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6334
21st Century
RELIVE, from Navona Live features live performances of the music of three composers from around the world. This latest edition of the Navona Live series is inspired by an eclectic blend of world topics, literature,  landscapes, and seascapes. Corrina Bonshek’s Dreams of the Earth is a reworking of a large scale piece for string and percussion inspired by the sight of a swirling flock of birds amidst the backdrop of climate change.