KING, long considered one of the world's greatest alto saxophonists,
is also a prolific composer/arranger working in both the
jazz and classical traditions. In a career spanning five
decades of musical accomplishment, King has also found time
to master the science of aerodynamics and model aviation,
a field in which he has published numerous papers inleading
journals. His autobiography, Flying High: A Jazz Life and
Beyond, is due for publication in 2009
exploded onto the British jazz scene at the age of 19 performing
at the opening of London's internationally famous Jazz Mecca,
Ronnie Scott's Club. "Had Scott's Club died overnight
and been heard of no more, it could still have justified
its existence by pointing to a discovery like Peter King."
(Benny Green, 'Jazz Decade, Ten Years At Ronnie Scott's',
King's Road Publishing Ltd 1969) "
he now concentrates on his work as a solo artist, King has
played with many jazz greats including Bud Powell, Red Rodney,
The Ray Charles Orchestra, Lalo Schifrin, Philly Joe Jones,
and Elvin Jones, who said this of Peter- "A wonderful
musician ..(and) of course, a master of his instrument.
People are aware of that here in America as well as in England"
list of musical legends he has worked with is daunting-from
Tony Bennett to James Brown, Lauren Bacall to Marlene Deitrich,
King is also known for his recorded work as a featured soloist
and Musical Director/Arranger for the Charlie Watts Quintet
and Tentet. In March, 2000 he toured with Benny Golson and
his tribute band ROOTS.
his many albums Tamburello, (released in 1994), won Best
CD of the Year prize at the BT British Jazz Awards. One
of his best known recorded works is Janus, commissioned
by the BBC. Janus was a bold and innovative work which combined
both the Jazz and Classical forms. Recorded with his own
regular quartet and featuring the Lyric String
Quartet, the CD of Janus received wide critical acclaim.
In December of 2004, his full length opera Zyklon, (Libretto
by Julian Barry), the story of the controversial German
scientist Fritz Haber, was premiered in recital form as
part of the City University of New York's 'Science and the
Arts Series'. "Congratulations for "Zyklon."
I was very impressed with your avant-garde writing techniques,
and at the same time, your sense of drama. It's very encouraging
to see that there is a musician like you who travels very
comfortably in the language of jazz and at the same time,
classical music.-Lalo Schifrin. In 2006 King was commissioned
to compose a new Mass for Jazz Quintet and full cathedral
choir which premiered with great success at Newcastle Cathedral
in May 2007.
the 1960s, King performed in the Frank Norman play Cafe
Up West, directed by Joan Littlewood and in 1999 he performed
as a musician and actor in Sir Peter Hall's revival of the
landmark Julian Barry play, Lenny, starring Eddie Izzard.
King can be seen in films such as Blue Ice, starring Michael
Caine and The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Matt Damon and
he can be heard playing on the soundtrack for the Mike Figgis
film, Time Code.
has received awards and honours in both Music and Science.
In 2005 he won the prestigious BBC Musician of the Year
award and in that same year the depth of his artistic accomplishment
was recognised when he was presented with a special Life
Time Achievement Award at the Moscow Summer Festival. In
1998 he was honoured by the "National Free Flight Society
(NFIS) in their Annual Symposium with a "Model of the
Year Award for one of his winning aircraft designs and for
his contribution to model aerodynamics. His letter about
saxophone sound production was recently published in the
prestigious magazine Science. In 2008 he received an Honorary
Doctor of Letters from Roehampton University in recognition
of his diverse accomplishments.
has taught Jazz Master Classes, run workshops and given