Erik Peregrine, Artistic Director

Dr. Erik Peregrine (they/them/theirs) is a visionary conductor, musicologist, and pedagogue
​whose work centers relationship as the fundamental basis for music-making.

Peregrine currently serves as the artistic director of Ensemble Companio, an award-winning Northeastern regional chamber choir, and the founding director of LIFT!, an independent conducting studio. They have previously served in a wide variety of positions across North America, including with the University of California–Davis, University of Arizona, One Voice Mixed Chorus (MN), and the University of British Columbia Choirs, among others. ​ ​​

During their recent tenure as Director of Choirs at UC Davis, Peregrine was awarded both the 2023 UC Davis University Honors Program Faculty Mentorship Award and the 2023 ASUCD Excellence in Education Award for their outstanding commitment to undergraduate education. ​​​​

As a conductor, Peregrine’s ensembles are hailed for their transformative programming, advocacy for historically-excluded composers, and vibrant, compelling performances of repertoire ranging from early music to newly-commissioned works. Under Peregrine’s direction, Ensemble Companio won third prize in the American Prize for Choral Performance (community division) as well in the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music in both 2018 and 2019 for performances of works by marginalized living composers. Equally at home with chamber and symphonic choruses, Peregrine has conducted canonical monuments from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, and Mahler’s Symphony no. 2 “Resurrection,” among others, as well as recently discovered or underperformed choral-orchestral masterworks such as Florence Price’s Song of Hope and Amy Beach’s The Chambered Nautilus to critical acclaim.

As a musicologist, Peregrine specializes in translating obscure topics for the enthusiastic layperson and creating practical resources to facilitate the performance of historically-neglected works. Passionate about the many roles of scholarship both within and outside of the ivory tower, they are a regular guest lecturer for the University of Arizona graduate choral conducting program as well as for various non-academic institutions. Recent or upcoming lecture topics include Heinrich Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien and funeral culture in Premodern Germany, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, Russian Orthodox choral traditions, chorale symbolism in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion BWV 244, and the works of Hildegard von Bingen. Beginning January 2024, Peregrine will be teaching “An Esoteric History of Western Music History,” a seven-part class exploring occult (hidden) influences on canonical Western composers and their works, through Morbid Anatomy. ​​

As a pedagogue, Peregrine is both an award-winning educator and internationally-recognized expert on best practices for transgender affirming ensembles. They regularly present their work on creating LGBTQIA+ inclusive choruses, transgender vocal pedagogy, and diversity in choral music at conferences hosted by Chorus America, GALA Choruses, and the American Choral Directors Association, among others. They recently served as a national board member for the National Collegiate Choral Organization (2021-2023).

​Peregrine is also the founding director of LIFT!, an independent conducting studio which provides high-calibre professional training otherwise unavailable outside of higher education. LIFT! centers the development of conductors whose identities are un/underrepresented in the field and serves all who wish to advance their musical leadership in an affirming, holistic, and collaborative environment. Peregrine’s conducting students have gone on to successful graduate study and impactful careers working with ensembles at all levels.

Peregrine holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in choral conducting and historical musicology from the University of Arizona. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Peregrine also holds a MM in choral conducting from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC) and a BA in Music from Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR). Their current research interests include the parallels between thriving ecological and ensemble communities, mindful embodiment in choral practice, and topics on the translucent edges of music history.

Outside of their musical activities, Peregrine can typically be found in their garden, enjoying the company of their partner and pets, or quietly observing the uncanny in airports and other liminal spaces. They are unashamed of their love for the Oxford comma.