top of page

IEP: Meet Peter Dayton

I have so much gratitude for Peter and the Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano. Our initial conversations in the fall of 2022 in part was one of the major catalysts that transformed into the creation and pursuit of the I Exist Project; for that I cannot thank him enough.

Peter's music is full of life and wonder, this piece is truly something beautiful and special. I am very much looking forward to the premiere later in April with M2 Duo partner, Maya Tuylieva, in Kansas City at our Charlotte House Series Performance!

- Nick May


Peter Dayton, described as “a composer whose heart and care are palpable" (American Record Guide), is a composer passionate about poetry and song. His recent release, Stories Out of Cherry Stems: Katie Procell sings works by Peter Dayton (Navona Records, 2022), was nominated for Critic's Choice by Opera News, which praised Dayton's "fresh and interesting sounds." His discography also includes Aspects of Landscape: Music from the world of John Hitchens (Independent, 2021), Notes to Loved Ones: New Music for Strings & Piano (Navona Records, 2018). Peter holds degrees from Vanderbilt University and Peabody Conservatory. Peter is a proud resident of Baltimore, Maryland.


Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano

In the fall of 2022, brilliant saxophonist Nicholas May approached me to compose this as a commission for the Charlotte House Series in Kansas City, MO. Inspired by 20th century French chamber music we both admire, this work is a single movement Sonata, cast in a variant on the traditional Classical form. Its primary material includes high tolling chords first heard in the introduction, a long, lyrical first theme and spritely second theme. Employing one of my favorite techniques, the musical material (both melodic and harmonic) is derived from intervals taken from both Nick’s name, and from composer Maurice Ravel’s name, whose Piano Trio’s first movement and posthumously published Violin Sonata in A Minor were important points of inspiration for this piece. I would also like to acknowledge, with gratitude, my friendship with multi-instrumentalist Ronnal Ford, the point of connection between myself and Nick and without whom this piece would not exist.


Featured Posts
bottom of page