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Biography

“Music is not just a viable form of
self-expression, it is a moral
and ethical force.”
– Ludvig van Beethoven

Born in Chicago of Russian-émigré parents, Peter Jermihov is an American conductor with Russian roots. A student of legendary, master teacher— Il'ya Musin, he has cultivated a versatile career by combining professional conducting engagements with teaching appointments, choral with orchestral conducting, and music-making with research.

An internationally recognized specialist in Orthodox liturgical music, Jermihov is also a devoted proponent of East-West cultural exchange. He has led an initiative to commission and premiere new compositions from prominent Orthodox composers such as Ivan Moody and Kurt Sander and has actively promoted and performed the music of Russian and European composers Arvo Part, John Tavener, Alfred Schnitke, and Georgy Sviridov. Jermihov’s doctoral dissertation was dedicated to Georgy Sviridov, and he continues to champion the music of this major composer in the West.

 

Jermihov came to the St. Petersburg Conservatory as a Fulbright-Hays Fellow and International Research and Exchanges Scholar to study orchestral conducting under the legendary master teacher, Ilya Musin and to conduct research on the music of Georgy Sviridov under the composer's guidance. After two years of intensive studies he was invited to guest-conduct the country's top ensembles: the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Petersburg and Moscow Chamber Choirs, among others. Subsequently he appeared as guest-conductor in the Far East and Europe with such ensembles as the Shinsei Nihon Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo and the Pro Arte Orchester Wien. In 1988 he participated in a historic celebration of a Thousand Years of Christianity in Russia by conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a 

performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Symphony No. 5. He continues to guest-conduct internationally acclaimed choirs and orchestras in the Orient, Eastern Europe, Russian, and the United States.

During his formative years, Jermihov studied conducting under such renowned choral masters as Eric Erickson of Sweden, Vladimir Minin of Russia, and Helmuth Rilling of Germany. He was invited to the Tanglewood Music Center under Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa as a Conducting Fellow and to the American Orchestra League’s Conducting Seminars under Kurt Masur and Leonard Slatkin as an Active Participant. He had the privilege of serving as Robert Shaw and Vladimir Minin’s assistant in preparing Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem at the 2nd World Symposium on Choral Music in Stockholm. Jermihov has served as director of choral and orchestral activities at several major state universities and private colleges. His articles and editions of choral music appear in the Choral Journal, International Federation of Choral Music Journal, Musica Russica, Inc., PSALM Music Press, and numerous other publications.

 

He is active as a conductor and teacher throughout the world and has recently conducted the Russian premiere performance of Kurt Sander’s Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at the Moscow State Conservatory where he taught masterclasses in conducting for two consecutive years. In June of 2019 he organized the Orthodox Music Masterclass for composers and conductors which was held in Chicago and featured, exclusively, the works of living composers. Having served as Artistic Director of PaTRAM Institute Singers™—a professional chamber choir consisting of singers from across North America, he is the Founder & Artistic Director of the Society of Saint Romanos the Melodist—a Not-for-Profit corporation devoted to the promotion of Orthodox culture in America. In 2015 he conducted a recording of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil with Gloriae Dei Cantores, an internationally-acclaimed CD (Paraclete Press: GDCD-063). In 2017 he conducted a recording of Kurt Sander’s Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with the PaTRAM Institute Singers™ (Reference Recordings: FR-731), which received a 2020 GRAMMY® Award nomination for Best Choral Performance. The latest release of a recording under his leadership was again with the PaTRAM Institute Singers™(Reference Recordings: FR-737) and is entitled Blessed Art Thou among Women, a recording that has received international acclaim.