Peter Knight

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Tunes by Peter Knight




Australian trumpeter/composer/sound artist, Peter Knight, is a multidisciplinary musician who has gained wide acclaim for his eclectic approach, which integrates jazz, world music, and experimental traditions. He leads several projects of his own and appears as a soloist in a range of settings, he also composes for theatre and creates sound installations.

Perpetually curious, Peter’s work defies categorisation; indeed, he works in the spaces between categories, between genres and between cultures. In the past eighteen months alone he won a Bell Jazz Award, was twice a finalist for the APRA/AMC Art Music Awards, and was nominated for a Green Room Theatre Award 'Best Composition and Sound Design' (2011)  for an electro-acoustic score created for the hybrid theatre/sound piece Pin Drop (which also won 'Outstanding Production' at the same awards). He was also recently awarded an Australia Council Music Fellowship.

In the same period Peter toured China and the Australian Outback with ‘Clocked Out’; South America, the UK, Norway, and Denmark with his cross-cultural sextet ‘Way Out West’, and Australia with New York musicians Matt Mitchell and Quinsin Nachoff. He launched a new electro-acoustic solo album Allotrope with a major European tour, as well as a sextet album Fish Boast of Fishing at the Melbourne Recital Centre for the 2012 Melbourne International Jazz Festival. He had a new work for prepared trumpets premiered at the International Trumpet Guild’s annual convention and also developed an international collaboration with Korean singer/multi-media artist, Sunny Kim. In addition, Peter created a new audio-led hybrid performance work with long-time collaborator, Tamara Saulwick, called Seddon Archives under a commission from the Big West Festival.

Peter has developed an international following for his work releasing nine albums in as many years showcasing a diverse range of ensembles and approaches that have earned him significant attention: “Hard to categorise… hauntingly memorable” The Wire (UK).  “Honest, inventive and original” Hour Magazine Montreal. “Combines different styles seamlessly, [and] succeeds where so many other world music fusion groups fail” Vancouver Sun. “An unusual and beguiling sound” Cadence Review (New York). “Quietly forceful” The Age. Most recently Peter’s sextet album Fish Boast of Fishing, was featured on BBC Jazz on 3 and described as, “a serious work of stringent originality performed by an ensemble that deserves to be heard much more widely.” It was also mentioned in the New York Jazz Record’s ‘Best of 2011’.

Peter is the recipient of numerous other grants and awards including the 2009 Bell Award for ‘Australian Jazz Ensemble of the Year’, which he won with Way Out West. In 2008 he was nominated for the APRA Awards, ‘Jazz Composition of the Year.’ In 2007 he was awarded the Rolston Music Fellowship by the Banff Centre for the Arts, which enabled him to take up a Banff Centre composer’s residency. Peter’s work has also been supported by grants from the Ian Potter Trust, Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, Alan C. Rose Trust, Australia/Korea Foundation, Australian International Cultural Council, and The Myer Foundation. He was the 2005 recipient of the Keith and Elizabeth Murdoch Travelling Fellowship (VCA) and holds a doctorate from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, which was completed in 2011 with the assistance of a full scholarship.


Doctor of Musical Arts: 2011 Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

M.MusPerf: 2005 Melbourne University, Victorian College of the Arts

Diploma Professional Writing and Editing: 1999 RMIT Melbourne

Other relevant education

2002 Kenny Wheeler composition workshop Gorizia (Italy)

2001 Jazz and Creative Music Workshop with Dave Douglas Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada)

2002, 2004 & 2007 Trumpet studies with Laurie Frinke New York (USA)

Selected awards, grants and residencies

2012: Australia Council for the Arts Music Fellowship (for period 2013/14)

2012: Bell Jazz Award. Most Original Australian Jazz Album (for Fish Boast of Fishing)

2012: Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) Awards. Nominated for Jazz Album of the Year (for Fish Boast of Fishing)

2012: APRA/AMC Art Music Awards. Finalist for Jazz Composition of the Year (for Fish Boast of Fishing)

2011: APRA/AMC Art Music Awards. Finalist for Award for Excellence with Way Out West

2011: Victorian Green Room Awards. Nomination for 'Best Composition and Sound Design' for Pin Drop score

2009: Bell Award for ‘Australian Jazz Ensemble of the Year’ with Way Out West

2008: APRA Awards Nomination, Jazz Composition of the Year

2007: Tom and Isobel Rolston Scholarship Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada)

2007: Griffith University full scholarship for doctoral studies in composition

2006: Myer Foundation grant for new sound installation work with Double Venturi

2005: Arts Victoria Arts Development grant for Way Out West creative development

2004: Keith and Elizabeth Travelling Fellowship

2003: Alan C. Rose Memorial Fund Project Scholarship

2002: Ian Potter Cultural Trust professional development grant 

Discography as leader

2012: Peter Knight (solo trumpet/electronics), Allotrope, Listen Hear Collective (Australia)

2011: Peter Knight (sextet), Fish Boast of Fishing, Listen Hear Collective (Australia)

2011: Peter Knight/Anh Nguyen, Residual, Parentheses Records (Perth/Belgium)  

2010: Way Out West, The Effects of Weather, Jazzhead/MGM

2007: Way Out West, Old Grooves for New Streets, Jazzhead/MGM (Australia), Effendi Records (Canada)  

2006: Peter Knight Quintet, All the Gravitation of Silence, Jazzhead/MGM

2006: 5+2 Brass Ensemble, Invisible Cities and Other Works, Rufus Records/Universal 2003: Way Out West, Footscray Station, Newmarket Music

2001: Peter Knight Quartet, Between Two Moments, Newmarket Music

Selected festivals and concerts

2012: Solo performances at Cafe Oto London, LAK Festival Copenhagen, Earzoom Ljubljana, Sonorous Duration Singapore, Restrung Brisbane

2012: Premiere of Fish Boast of Fishing at The Melbourne International Jazz Festival

2012: Performances with Lindsay Vickery and Stuart James Slovenia (Earzoom Festival Ljubljana), Italy (Naples Conservatorium) 2012: Pin Drop (hybrid theatre work with electroacoustic score. Collaboration with Tamara Saulwick) National tour Sydney (Carriageworks) Hobart (Salamanca Arts Centre) Cairns (Centre of Contemporary Arts)

2012: Bright Splinters World Expo Yeosu Korea

2011: Bright Splinters. Recording and concert performances in Seoul with vocalist/multi media artist, Sunny Kim. Album release 2012

2011: Queensland Music Festival with Clocked Out Band Radio Plays 

2011: Pin Drop Malthouse Melbourne

2011: Australian tour with NY saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff and pianist Matt Mitchell   

2011: Melbourne International Jazz Festival Quinsin Nachoff and 5+2 Brass Ensemble

2011: Chendu Spring Festival (Sichuan China) with Wide Alley

 2010: Pin Drop (theatre/dance) 5 performances at Arts House North Melbourne. Electro acoustic score and sound design with live processing (August 2010)

2010: National tour of Australia (12 dates) with Way Out West to launch The Effects of Weather, tour produced by Sound Travellers   

2010: Canadian tour with Erik Griswold's Wide Alley including Vancouver and Ottawa Jazz Festivals. Album recording and release

2009: Solo concert for Labor Sonor at KuLe Berlin

 2009: Tour of Japan including Takatsuki Jazz Street Festival Osaka with Way Out West

2009: Tour of Korea with Way Out West

2009: Australian national tour with Way Out West

2009: Sydney Opera House with Erik Griswold’s Wide Alley

2009: Auckland Festival with Erik Griswold’s Wide Alley

2009: All Tomorrow’s Parties Australian tour with The Saints

2008: Montreal Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Veneto Jazz Festival with Way Out West

2008: Melbourne Jazz Fringe Commission Concert, BMW Edge Melbourne with Erik Griswold’s Ecstatic Music Ensemble

2007: Brisbane Music Festival with Erik Griswold’s Wide Alley

2007: Banff Centre for the Arts, solo performances

2007: Rex Hotel Toronto Canada, 5+2 Brass Ensemble

2006: Misinterprotato, national performances and recording with Brisbane based trio.

2006: Griffith University Brisbane, Buddha’s Birthday Celebrations, sound installation work with Cameron Robbins

2006: Melbourne Town Hall, with Double Venturi, co-curator and composer (sound installations)

2005: Cairns Arts Festival with Way Out West

2005: Noumea, New Caledonia, Peter Knight Quinte t

2004: Melbourne Jazz Festival with 5+2 Brass Ensemble

2003: Peter Knight Quartet tour of Australia.

2002: Wangaratta Jazz Festival with Peter Knight Quartet

2001: Hong Kong for Australia Chamber of Commerce with Peter Knight Quartet

2001: Footscray Community Arts Centre, with Double Venturi co-curator and composer (sound installations)

1999: Vienna with Justus Neumann’s Theatreverein Die Bibel Im Lusthaus (theatre)

Selected scores and commissions

2012: Australian Brass Quintet. Quintet for prepared brass

2012: Big West Festival (2013) new work with Tamara Saulwick

2012: ABC radio play/sound work Pin Drop (with Tamara Saulwick)

2011: Seddon Archives. Audio walk commissioned by Big West Festival

2011: Pin Drop. Electro acoustic score and sound design, solo theatre/dance by Tamara Saulwick (produced by Malthouse Theatre August 2011 )

2010: Dot Dash. Quartet for prepared Bb trumpets. For International Trumpet Guild annual conference Sydney July 2010

2009: Press, score for short film by Mark Hennessy.

2007: Spirals. For Dead Horse Wind and String Ensemble as part of Ground Elastic Sound curated by Kate Neal, premiered at The Forum in Melbourne (2007)

2006: Double Venturi Old Council Chambers installation (electro-acoustic work).

2004: 5+2 Brass Ensemble (funded by Australia Council for the Arts), Invisible Cities Suite

Board and committee appointments

2011 - Australian Music Centre Associate Artist

2006 - 2010 Arts Victoria Arts Development panel.

2006 - 2009 Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival board

2005   Northern Metropolitan Institute of TAFE industry advisory panel

Selected published papers and articles:

Creativity and Improvisation: A Journey into Music. Published in 'Music Autoethnographies: Making Autoethnography Sing/Making Music Personal'. Australian Academic Press P. 73-84.

Erik Griswold: In Conversation with Peter Knight. Published in 'Extempore' Vol 5 November 2010

Towards the Limit Experience in Music Performance. Published in 'Music Forum' May-July 2005 Vol. 11 No.3/ISSN 1327-9300 P. 38-44.

 The Future of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Published in 'The Age' Green Guide 18th November 2001

Tertiary teaching

2012: PhD supervision Monash University

2010: (ongoing) Masters supervision part-time VCA (Melbourne)

2009 - 2010: part-time lecturing RMIT  

2007 (ongoing): part-time lecturing NMIT Fairfield (Melbourne)

2005 - 2008: part-time lecturing Victoria University (Melbourne)  

2005 - 2007: part-time lecturing Melba Conservatorium (Melbourne)

2005: Horn of Africa project co-director/facilitator Victoria University


Peter is a clinician and endorsed performing artist for B&S Markneukirchen Brass Instruments

His primary instrument is a B&S Challenger II Bb trumpet 3137/2 GLB