Peter Gellhorn

Peter Gellhorn credit Gellhorn family archive
Conductor, pianist and composer; born 24 October 1912 in Breslau, died 14 February 2004 in London


Between the years of 1929-34, Peter studied at Hochschule für Musik Berlin, receiving the institution’s gold medal for outstanding achievement. A year after finishing his studies he was forced to emigrate to the UK where he became musical director at Toynbee Hall, East London until 1939. In 1940 he was interned, first in Warth Mills (Bury) and then on the Isle of Man, where he became engaged in musical activities and composed several pieces of music. After his release he moved back to London where he worked as the repetiteur for Sadler's Wells Opera. He became a conductor at Covent Garden from 1946–1953, and repetiteur and chorus master at Glyndebourne Opera from 1954–1961. From 1961, Peter worked extensively as a chorus master at the BBC. Aside from working with singers, he was a highly respected teacher and enjoyed chamber music, collaborating with Maria Lidka, among others. His compositions and legacy were the subject of an AHRC-funded research project at the RCM in 2016. 

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