Peter Child is the Class of 1949 Professor of Music and a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in 1953 but he has lived in the United States since enrolling at Reed College through a junior-year exchange program at the age of 20. Child’s first composition teacher was the English composer Bernard Barrell; later American teachers include William Albright, Arthur Berger, Martin Boykan, Jacob Druckman and Seymour Shifrin. He received his Ph.D. in musical composition from Brandeis University in 1981.
Peter Child was awarded a 2015 Artists Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He has been ‘Music Alive’ composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony Orchestra (2005-08) and composer-in-residence with the New England Philharmonic Orchestra (2005-2011). His music has earned awards and commissions from the Jebediah Foundation, the University of Southern California, the Bank of America Celebrity Series, Music of Changes, the Fromm Foundation, the Harvard Musical Association, Tanglewood, WGBH Radio, East and West Artists, the New England Conservatory, the League/ISCM, and the MIT Council for the Arts, as well as Artists Fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 1986 and 1989. He has also been awarded fellowships by the Watson Foundation, the MacDowell and Yaddo Artist Colonies, and the Composers’ Conference, and four ‘New Works’ commissions from the Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities. Some of his music has been recorded for the Lorelt, New World, Albany, CRI, Neuma, Centaur and Rivoalto labels. He is the recipient of the 2004 Levitan Prize in the Humanities at MIT for his work on musical analysis and a 2010 Award for Excellence in Teaching from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science at MIT.