Active as a composer, conductor and bassist, Peter Askim is the Music Director and Composer-in-Residence of the Idyllwild Arts Academy. He has been a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and served on the faculty of the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where he directed the Contemporary Music Ensemble and taught theory and composition.
As a composer, he has been called a "Modern Master" by The Strad and has had commissions and performances from such groups as the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony, the International Society of Bassists, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Idyllwild Arts Orchestra, the American Viola Society, the Portland Chamber Music Festival, and Serenata Santa Fe, as well as by performers such as flutist/conductor Ransom Wilson, Metropolitan Opera soprano Lauren Flanigan, Grammy-nominated soprano Judith Kellock, violist Roger Myers and violinist Timothy Fain. His compositions are published by Liben Music Publishers and the International Society of Bassists, and his music is recorded on the Gasparo and Albany labels. His compositions have been performed at the Aspen, Bowdoin, Music At the Anthology, June in Buffalo and Bang On A Can festivals, among others, and have frequently been broadcast on WNYC and Hawaii Public Radio. Mr. Askim won the 2002 International Society of Bassists Composition Competition for his "Eight Solitudes" and is a frequent recitalist for the International Society of Bassists, the Hawaii Contrabass Festival and the World Bass Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. He performed and recorded his bass concerto "Islands" at the International Society of Bassists convention under the direction of Ransom Wilson.
As a conductor, Mr. Askim has served as Music Director of the Branford Chamber Orchestra and makes frequent guest conducting appearances, including the Sewanee Philharmonia, the Oregon Festival of American Music, the Wroclaw (Poland) Chamber Orchestra Sotto Voce and the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. He has premiered numerous works, including compositions by composers Richard Danielpour, Christopher Theofanidis, Lawrence Dillon and Bruce Adolphe and has collaborated with such artists as the Miró String Quartet, Matt Haimovitz, Vijay Iyer, Melvin Chen, Eugene Drucker, Ian Swensen, Todor Pelev, Tony Arnold, Judith Kellock and John Walz. He conducted the World Premiere of eminent guitarist/ singer/songwriter Richard Thompson’s rock oratorio "Cabaret of Souls" and its European Premiere at Royal Festival Hall, London. This May, he will conduct a concert of all World Premieres, featuring the works of Rufus Reid, Jan Radzynski and Pierre Jalbert. He has also received critical praise as a jazz artist in such publications as Jazztimes, the New York Post and New York Newsday.
He studied at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna and holds bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from Yale University, where he graduated with Distinction in Music. He also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin. He studied composition with Dan Welcher, Donald Grantham, Anthony Davis, Jan Radzynski, Syd Hodkinson and David Finko, and double bass with George Rubino, Diana Gannett, Donald Palma, Wolfgang Harrer and Ludwig Streicher.