B.A., Luther College; M.M., University of Maryland at College Park; D.M.A. University of North Carolina at Greensboro


Praised for his “fiery playing,” “dramatic performance,” and “stunning orchestral playing,” rising cellist Peter Swanson has performed across the United States as soloist, cutting-edge collaborator, and orchestral leader. Recent highlights include concerto performances with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and Northshore Philharmonic Orchestra (both MN), as well as multiple tours of entirely unaccompanied recitals. His passion for the modern cello repertoire has led him to tackle the works of Hindemith, Crumb, Britten, Ligeti, Barber, Shostakovich, Dutilleux, Lutoslawski, Golijov, Augusta Read Thomas, Peter Vukmirovich Stevens, and John Luther Adams. His debut CD “Anti-Compass” was released in August 2021 through the Sheva Collection (United Kingdom) label.

As an orchestral musician, his leadership roles span nearly a dozen orchestras at the community, collegiate, and professional level. Accolades include a full fellowship to the National Orchestral Institute, the inaugural Prince George’s Philharmonic Cello Internship (MD), and two years as endowed principal of the Luther College Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He can also be heard on the Grammy-nominated NAXOS recording of the National Orchestral Institute performing masterworks by Ruggles, Stucky, and Harbison (2018).

As a chamber musician, he performs throughout the country as cellist of Catchfire Collective, an innovative chamber ensemble based in North Carolina, and with pianist Meagan Lacher as Duo 336. Other chamber tenures include the Ekklesia Trio, Music In The Shape Of A Pear, the TEMPO Ensemble, the Gate City Camerata, Present~Continuous, and the Di Domani Quartet. In these groups, he has premiered numerous pieces and promoted recent compositions from around the world.

He recently joined the faculty at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C., where he teaches cello and orchestra. He also serves on the faculty of Guilford College, Catawba Valley Community College, and the UNC-School of the Arts Community Music School. He also holds degrees from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, the University of Maryland, and Luther College (Iowa). Mentors include Alex Ezerman, Eric Kutz, Cole Tutino, and Rebecca Peterson. He has performed in masterclasses for Andres Diaz, Robert DeMaine Cecylia Barczyk, Richard Belcher, Tulio Rondon, Christine Kim, and Lawrence Stombeck. He is a winner of the National School Orchestra Award, the Luther Music Excellence Award, and the Burlington Industries Music Award. Peter plays a 2013 Beckmann cello specially commissioned by Givens Violins in Minneapolis.