Peter Reit is Lecturer in Horn and Chamber Music at Purchase College, State University of New York, and also on the faculty at Vassar College.
Raised in Vermont, Mr. Reit was introduced to the horn in fourth grade by his school band director, Bill Wagner. Wagner’s insistence for excellence and by having students improvise, compose, arrange and orchestrate for the jazz band and school shows, created an amazing environment for making music.
At the beginning of 8th grade, the Reit family relocated to Birmingham, England, where Peter studied with his first real horn teacher, John Johnson, Principal horn with the UK’s City of Birmingham Symphony for over 40 years. Mr. Johnson’s students were all at college level preparing for auditions in London’s orchestras, and so this experience quickly helped him take his playing to the next level.
On arriving back in the US, Mr. Reit studied with William Karstens, a former Montreal Symphony player who introduced him to the concept of building up strong basic fundamentals to make better music. After high school he attended the University of Vermont to study as a biologist, but his aversion to calculus and chemistry helped Mr.Reit decide to switch to music for his second year, and then to Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
At MSM, Mr. Reit had the chance to attend a weekly seminar with the New York Brass Quintet – five musicians of such high quality and great character that learning with them made the struggle to be a professional worth every minute. John Swallow (trombone) and Paul Ingraham (horn) were particularly inspirational in helping him gain the necessary musical maturity to succeed.
Since graduating from Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Reit has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City Opera and the American Ballet Theater. He has toured worldwide with the American Symphony and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestras with whom he played five seasons as Assistant Principal Horn under Maestro James Levine. Mr. Reit is now one of Manhattan’s most in-demand freelance principal horn players. He also plays Principal Horn with the Westchester Philharmonic, Greenwich Symphony and Scandia Symphony Orchestras, third Horn with the Stamford Symphony and is in his twenty-sixth year with the Broadway hit ‘Phantom of the Opera’.
Mr. Reit is featured on numerous cd recordings across all musical genres – also in radio jingles, television and movie soundtracks. His jazz experience includes performing as a member of the Mel Lewis Big Band at the Village Vanguard together with recordings and tours with the Bob Belden Ensemble.
Peter Reit lives in Westchester with his wife Alyssa – a harpist and composer.