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Peter Witte



Phone: 209.946.2417


B.M. University of Michigan

M.M., Horn Performance, University of Michigan

M.M., Conducting, University of Michigan

Peter Witte serves as dean of the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific, a position he began on July 1, 2017.

From 2008-2017, Mr. Witte served as dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance and professor of conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

During his tenure in Kansas City, UMKC's Conservatory raised $63M in pledges and gifts, significantly increased the enrollment of student of color and international students (45% increase over nine years), the number of degrees awarded (23% increase over previous 8-year period), and launched a new Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies degree.  Witte helped to appoint more than 20 faculty and staff to the Conservatory and guided a renewal of its undergraduate curricula in ways that strengthened general education while saving many undergraduates, on average, $11,000 in tuition over four years. 

Witte also helped to establish and renew partnerships with a broad range of artistic, educational, and civic organizations, ranging from a performance at (le) poisson rouge in New York City to partnerships with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  He helped to establish annual performances at the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City, and helped students and faculty establish international relationships with communities and conservatories from Kurashiki, Japan, to Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Hangzhou, China. 

Mr. Witte helped bring a broad array of arts leaders to interact with students and UMKC's communities during his tenure, including scholar Carol Oja, composers John Corigliano, Tania Leon, and Jennifer Higdon, performers eighth blackbird, Roomful of Teeth, Leon Fleischer, and Joyce DiDonato, dancers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Devon Carney, and Robert Battle, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu, and residencies with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In recognition of his stewardship of a $48M campaign for UMKC's ongoing $96M downtown arts campus initiative, Mr. Witte was honored by the Downtown Council of Kansas City and awarded the "musical key" of Kansas City (A flat major) by Kansas City's City Council. 

Prior to his appointment in Kanas City, Mr. Witte served as chair of the Department of Music at Kennesaw State University in metropolitan Atlanta for nine years. At KSU, Mr. Witte helped plan and open the Bailey Performance Center, hailed as "a beaut" by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now home to annual residencies of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Witte led performances in Carnegie Hall with the National Wind Ensemble and with the Atlanta Wind Symphony, with whom he served as Music Director for seven years. He began his career as an orchestral horn player with ensembles including the Atlanta Opera, the Toledo Symphony, the Windsor Symphony, and in summer festivals in Grand Tetons, and in Graz, Austria.

He serves the National Association of Schools of Music as Associate Chair of the Commission on Accreditation and as a visiting evaluator.

Mr. Witte earned Bachelor of Music, Master of Music in performance, and Master of Music in conducting degrees from the University of Michigan where he studied horn with Louis Stout, Lowell Greer, and Bryan Kennedy; musicianship with Marianne Ploger; and conducting with H. Robert Reynolds, who remains a particularly close mentor.