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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 and professor 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 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

During his tenure in Kansas City, UMKC's Conservatory raised $63M in pledges and gifts, increased the enrollment of students of color and international students by 45% over nine years, saw the number of degrees awarded rise 23% over the previous 8-year period, and launched its first professional degree in jazz, housed in a newly crafted jazz studies area.  Witte helped appoint more than 20 faculty and staff to the Conservatory and guided a renewal of its undergraduate curricula in ways that broadened students' education while saving many undergraduates, on average, $11,000 in tuition over four years.

By establishing and reenergizing partnerships with a broad range of artistic, educational, and civic organizations, Mr. Witte helped place students on stage at (le) poisson rouge in New York City, in rehearsal halls in Kansas City's K-12 schools, and in galleries at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.  He helped to establish annual performances at the iconic Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City, and aided students and faculty in establishing international relationships in Japan and China. Mr. Witte helped attract a broad range of arts leaders to UMKC during his tenure, including musicologists Mark Clague and Carol Oja; music and human learning scholar Robert Duke and hip-hop scholar Adam Kruse; composers John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, and Tania Leon; musicians Joyce DiDonato, Leon Fleischer, and Stefon Harris; dancers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Devon Carney, and Robert Battle; National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu; and in residencies with eighth blackbird, Roomful of Teeth, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony.

Prior to his appointment in Missouri, 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.

Presently he serves on the boards of the PRISM Quartet, the California Symphony, the Stockton Symphony Orchestra, and with the National Association of Schools of Music, where he is Associate Chair of the Commission on Accreditation and 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.