Peter Salem

Peter Salem – Composer Profile

Peter-Salem_bioPeter is best known currently for his music for the highly acclaimed and incredibly well received BBC series, Call the Midwife; a drama which received unprecedented ratings of up to and above 14 million viewers. Prior to this, Peter has effectively carved a very successful career for himself as a widely respected score composer who possesses the very rare ability of being able to write for any idiom. Whether it’s film, television, theatre, ballet or concert hall, Peter has constantly proved he is a composer of true expertise, innate understanding and uncompromising quality of output.

Peter recently scored two beautifully toned BBC productions: Cider with Rosie and Five Daughters, both for the acclaimed director Philippa Lowthorpe, and the latter of which received an RTS Award nomination for best score. Previous to this he wrote the music for The Other Boleyn Girl, Trial and Retribution, The Vice (Series 2 – 5), and Great Expectations, starring Charlotte Rampling. He also scored the hugely successful documentary series Francesco’s Venice and Simon Schama’s, The Power of Art: Caravaggio; all works for which he produced wonderfully evocative and attention grabbing scores.

Having collaborated extensively with the RSC and the National Theatre, where he has worked as composer, performer and musical director, Peter has also enjoyed a long standing association with the renowned Shared Experience Theatre Company, for whom he has created scores and sound design for almost all of their productions, including Anna Karenina, Mill on the Floss, War and Peace and Speechless.

Peter is very much in demand among ballet companies and choreographers following a number of hugely successful and high profile productions. His most recent full-length ballet score, Camino Real, based on Tennesse Williams’ masterpiece of the same name, was premiered by Atlanta Ballet in 2015 to rave reviews.

“Salem’s music is richly evocative of love, hate, tenderness, pain, fear, and hope. The powerful drums are the heartbeat of the main character, but also the heartbeat of life itself, pounding above the poignant melodies” – The BackstageBeat, Atlanta.

Previous to this, his full-length ballet for Scottish Ballet, based on Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, also opened to 5-star reviews and huge international critical acclaim.

“. . . . set to the appropriately jazzy sounds of Peter Salem’s excellent new score which veers, when required, into modernist discordance” – Daily Telegraph

“… the excellent music is deeply integrated with the choreography, sometimes even telling the story alone” – Edinburgh Evening News

“. . [an] atmospheric and sustaining new score by Peter Salem – dramatic and evocative” – The Sunday Times

The success of these ballets has resulted in another commission for 2016, this time for the world-renowned English National Ballet.

Other concert works include a series of pieces for strings, comprising of an octet, quartet and ‘Windhover’ for piano trio, which has been performed and recorded by the Fidelio Trio.

Film & Television
CIDER WITH ROSIE BBC
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Producer: Helen Gregory
Starring: Timothy Spall, Samantha Morton
CALL THE MIDWIFE (Series 1, 2, 3, 4)BBC
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe, Jamie Payne, Juliet May, China Moo-Young, Minkie Spiro, Roger Goldby, Thea Sharrock, Thaddeus O’Sullivan
Producer: Hugh Warren, Anne Tricklebank
***Music & Sound Awards 2015 nomination: Best Original TV Composition***
FIVE DAUGHTERS BBC
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Producer: Simon Lewis
***RTS Award Nomination for Best Original Score***
TALKING TO THE DEADSKY Living / Bonafide Films
Director: China Moo-Young
Producers: Elwen Rowlands, Margery Bone
GREAT EXPECTATIONSBBC
Director: Julian Jarrold
Producer: David Snodin
THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRLBBC
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Producers: Ruth Caleb
TRIAL AND RETRIBUTIONITV
Director: Charles Beeson
Producers: P McAleese
BEAU BRUMMEL: THIS CHARMING MANBBC
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Producer: David Edgar
FALLINGITV
Director: Tristram Powell
Producers: C Parr
THE VICE (Series 2 - 5)ITV
Director: Justin Chadwick, John East, Michael Samuels, Philippa Langdale, Julian Holmes, Roger Gartland
Producers: Stephen Smallwood
SEX, THE CITY AND MEBLAST! Films
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Producer: Edmund Coulthard
FRANCESO'S VENICEBBC
Director: Sam Hobkinson, Ed Bazelgette
Producer: Basil Comely
SIMON SCHAMA's THE POWER OF ART: CARAVAGGIOBBC
Director: Carl Hindmarch
Producer: M Harrison
ANYBODY'S NIGHTMAREITV
Director: Tristram Powell
Producers: Stephen Smallwood
PAINTED LADYITV
Directors: Julian Jarrold
Producer: Emma Burge
ALIVE AND KICKINGGreentrees Film
Director: Nancy Meckler
Producer: Martin Pope
Starring: Jason Flemyng, Bill Nigh
THURSDAY 12thITV
Director: Charles Beeson
Producer: Emma Burge
EIGHT HOURS FROM PARISBBC
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Producer: Philippa Lowthorpe
BIG DAY BBC
Director: Tom Cairns
Producer: Harriet Cruikshank
Starring: Jim Broadbent
THE RAT THAT WROTEArts Council England
Director: Billy O'Brien
Producer: Ruth Kenley-Letts
THREE SALONS AT THE SEASIDEBBC
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Producer: Philippa Lowthorpe
PEOPLE'S COURTXanadu / Wide Angle
Director: Bruno Sorrentino
Producer: Maggie Still
I MET ADOLF EICHMANNBBC Films
Director: Clara Glynn
Producer: Peter Kessler
HIDDEN JEWS OF BERLINC4
Director: Clara Glynn
Producer: Peter Kessler

Theatre
NATIONAL THEATRE A Midsummer Night's Dream - Robert LePage The Miser - S Pimlott The Crucible - Howard Davies War & Peace - Nancy Meckler Rose - Nancy Meckler Whale - Tim Supple RSC Murder in the Cathedral - S Pimlott Julius Caesar - S Pimlott Victoria - Ian Brown SHARED EXPERIENCE Speechless - Polly Teale Mine - Polly Teale Ten Tiny Toes - Polly Teale The Glass Menagerie - Polly Teale Anna Karenina - Nancy Meckler Mill on the Floss - Nancy Meckler Bronte - Nancy Meckler Jane Eyre - Polly Teale A Passage to India The Clearing - Polly Teale Orestes - Nancy Meckler Kinder transport - Polly Teale The Tempest - Nancy Meckler ROYAL COURT Sweetest Thing - Ian Rickson Ashes and Sand - Ian Rickson Catch - Polly Teale NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE The Nose - Martin Duncan Cabinet of Dr. Cagliari - Martin Duncan SALISBURY PLAYHOUSE The Tempest - Deborah Paige A Midsummer Night's Dream - Deborah Paige TRAVERSE THEATRE Great Expectations

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Peter Salem