School of Music

Peter Otto

Peter Otto
Applied Faculty, Violin

Peter Otto has garnered considerable critical acclaim on an international scale as an artist of keen intellect and radiant virtuosity. Described as “eminently violinistic, … impulsive and passionate”, wielding “wonderfully facile … technique” (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung), Peter Otto enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician and teacher. His intellectual curiosity and passion for the intersection of music, philosophy and mathematics have led to a profound appreciation of complex musical styles ranging from the pre-Baroque to the present day.

Peter Otto was appointed First Associate Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra in 2007 by Franz Welser-Moest. In the concertmaster chair he has collaborated with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Alan Gilbert, Pinchas Steinberg, David Robertson, Nicholas McGegan, and many more. In addition to countless concertmaster solos, he has performed several concertos with the orchestra to great critical acclaim. Highlights include Leonard Bernstein’s “Serenade” with conductor Marin Alsop, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with Baroque specialist Nicholas McGegan, Mozart’s “Haffner” Serenade with Franz Welser-Moest and Tartini’s G major concerto with James Feddeck. Additionally, Mr. Otto has appeared as a soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Czech Philharmonic, the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata Rostockiensis, the National Youth Orchestra of Germany and the Cleveland Philharmonic. He has appeared as guest concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Recitals and chamber music performances have taken him to the Heidelberger Fruehling Festival, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, the Cactus Pear Music Festival, the Kultur unter alten Daechern Festival in northeast Germany, MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) Miami as part of Art Basel in Miami, MOCA Cleveland, the Cleveland Art Museum, Stan Hywet Hall and the Pulitzer Contemporary Music Festival in Saint Louis, where in June 2012 he led a performance of George Crumb’s Black Angels for electric string quartet. In May 2012 Mr. Otto appeared as the featured violin soloist in the Cleveland Playhouse production of “Every Boy Deserves Favor”, a play by Tom Stoppard with music by Andre Previn, alongside New York theater and television actor T. Ryder Smith. He has collaborated with musicians such as Orli Shaham, Yehonatan Berick, Jennifer Montone, Andre Emilianoff, Judith Gordon and Peter Henderson. Peter Otto is a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio, with pianist Joela Jones and cellist Richard Weiss.

Mr. Otto has performed live on national radio stations such as NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfink), Deutschlandfunk Berlin and WCLV Cleveland. Accolades include top prizes in the Max Rostal International Violin Competition in Berlin (1998) and the Kingsville Young Performers Competition in Texas. Major teachers have been Christiane Hutcap (Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater Rostock), Vera Kramarova (Mannheim) and Lewis Kaplan (Juilliard School, New York). Other significant musical influences were Roman Nodel, Igor Ozim and Felix Galimir.

Peter Otto has served on the faculty of the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, the Cactus Pear Music Festival, the Innsbrook Music Festival and the Kent Blossom Music Festival. He is a frequent guest at the New World Symphony in Miami, America’s orchestral training academy, giving master classes and coachings to aspiring orchestral musicians. Currently Peter Otto is an adjunct professor of violin at Cleveland State University.

He performs on a violin by G.B. Guadagnini from the year 1769.


Photo by Roger Mastroianni
Start date 8/30/2010