Peter Muir Uses His Musical Talents to Help Others
Story by ML Ball
Photo: Jared Hoyt
Felix Mendelssohn, acclaimed 19th-century composer, said, “Music begins where words leave off.” Peter Muir, PhD, acclaimed (and local) pianist, educator, musicologist and conductor, contends that Mendelssohn got it wrong. It’s really the other way around, he believes. Words add to what music started.
Muir should know. He started his professional career at age eight as a chorister at Westminster Abbey in his native England; studied at the Royal College of Music, London; became Director of Jazz and Head of Keyboards at Westminster School; then earned a PhD in musicology here in the States. Without question, from Bach to blues, Muir is a master of music.
But it’s what Muir does with that mastery here in the Hudson Valley that is truly impressive. Applying techniques he learned in London to his work at the Institute for Music and Health in Dutchess County, NY, Muir works with people with disabilities who have a deep feeling for music.