Pianist-Composer-Producer, Peter Kater, has received 4 Grammy Award Nominations in the last 5 years. He's been nominated for and won many awards for his music and is a proud recipient of the United Nations' Environment Leadership Award.
It all began in 1983 when Peter released his first solo piano album, SPIRIT, on his own Source Records, becoming one of only a small handful of instrumental artists spear-heading an entirely new genre of music which we've now come to know as New Age Music. In 1990 Peter literally introduced Native American music to the masses with his groundbreaking collaboration with R. Carlos Nakai called NATIVES, followed by the Award Winning, MIGRATION, recording and Peter's soundtrack to the 13 hour Discovery Channel mini-series, HOW THE WEST WAS LOST. Peter's early contemporary instrumental recordings; his visionary soundtracks for television and film; and his collaborations with Native American and Tibetan artists helped create the foundation for the existence of an entirely new genre of music and some very successful and resourceful new record labels. Millions of sales units later the New Age and Native American Music markets have outsold and performed most other niche genres. In 1997, Peter saw a need for music more appropriate to Healing Arts and Healing therapies and released his ESSENCE and COMPASSION CD's as the first two records of his new Healing Series. Just recently he's added 3 new albums to this series, his AMBROSIA, WALK IN BEAUTY and CLOUD HANDS recordings. Peter's music for the Healing Arts has become a staple for many practitioners of many Healing modalities and Spa's across the world.
This year, Peter received a Grammy Award nomination for his FACES OF THE SUN recording on SilverWave Records for BEST NEW AGE ALBUM. Last year his ELEMENT SERIES: FIRE CD on the Real Music label received a Grammy Award Nomination. His PIANO album was nominated in 2005 and his RED MOON recording received a Grammy nod in 2004. Peter has written the music for over 100 television and film programs and 11 On and Off-Broadway Dramatic plays. His broad creative stroke has touched millions of hearts all around the world and his commitment to the well-being of the environment has earned him the prestigious ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP AWARD from the UNITED NATIONS. Peter has also been nominated seven times for the Indie "Best New Age Album" award, winning the award in 1992 for his critically acclaimed album, MIGRATION, with Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai. He also contributed two songs to the wildly successful SACRED SPIRIT recording which sold over 5 million CDs. The majority of his albums have appeared in the Top 10 of National Airplay charts and in the Top 20 of Billboard’s New Age and Contemporary Jazz charts. Peter's most recent two awards are the 2008 Toastmaster's Communication and Leadership Award and the 2008 Native Spirit Award from the Indian Summer Music Awards.
Film scoring has recently become Peter's most exciting adventure. He has just finished the score to the new animated feature film, The Legend Of Secret Pass. This is Peter's first big movie score with a 70 piece orchestra, 50 voice choir and guest musicians from all over the world. It's coming to theaters everywhere in early 2009. Last year Peter finished the score to the film "10 Questions for the Dalai Lama". The film has won over almost a dozen critical awards at Film Festivals around the world - www.10questionsforthedalailama.com - and has already been seen by hundreds of thousands of movie goers. In addition to scoring for film and television, Peter's music was heard in the NBC broadcast of the 2000 & 2004 Summer Olympics; he collaborated with Kenny Loggins on his December CD and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Peter has also written the music for various award winning Broadway and Off-Broadway dramatic plays. He has collaborated with legendary director Marshall Mason; Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Lanford Wilson; and actors including John Malkovich, Jon Voight, Ethan Hawke, Tyne Daly, Tony Randall, Joan Allen, Christopher Reeve, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Judd Hirsch, Laura Linney and Christine Lahti to name a few. Also, through repeated invitations to perform at various exclusive events at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and John Denver’s Choices for the Future and countless environmental and humanitarian symposiums around the world, Kater has had the honor of performing for celebrities and dignitaries such as Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gerald Ford, Ted Turner, Shirley Maclaine, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Connery, Sidney Pollack, Alan Alda, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dennis Weaver, Griffin Dunne, Raul Julia, Karl Malden, Laura Dern, James L. Brooks and many others.
Of German birth and descent, Peter moved to New Jersey from Munich, Germany at the age of four and began studying the piano, at his mother’s demand, when he was seven. Even at this young age Peter was compelled to play the classical music he was learning "his way". And this was seen as a serious problem by his first 3 teachers in the first year of his training. He wasn't applauded for his own sense of melody, time and structure, but rather discouraged from being unique and improvising around well-known classical themes. After seven years of classical training Peter was encouraged to find his own voice in playing Rock & Roll and Top 40 bands around New Jersey and New York while studying contemporary improvisation. Moving to Boulder, Colorado at the age of eighteen, he began a six-year period of playing only improvisationally in clubs throughout the Rocky Mountain region. "I didn’t want to play anything the same way twice, being in the moment and spontaneous was and still is very important to me, both musically and personally," said Kater. When he was twenty years old he accepted a scholarship to the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles but quit after two months, preferring his life as a professional musician.
When Kater realized that his next step was composing and recording his music, he moved back to Colorado "to a less external, more inspiring natural environment" and released his first album of piano solos, SPIRIT, in 1983. To his surprise his albums started receiving national attention and charting in the Top 10 of National Airplay charts. Other opportunities started coming his way in the form of phone calls from various television and theatre directors and producers and Kater started to branch out and explore many avenues of creative expression and composition. Since then he's recorded and performed nationally and internationally with some of the worlds most talented and accomplished musicians, actors, directors and authors.