An active performer, composer, and teacher, Dr. Peter Ellingson serves as Senior Instructor of Music Performance at the University of Colorado Denver. Prior to coming to UCD in 2002, he worked as a freelance pianist in Chicago, Phoenix, and Virginia Beach, and taught at Colorado Christian University, Red Rocks Community College and Arapahoe Community College.
He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in jazz studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Northern Illinois University. With a unique skill set on piano and percussion in a variety of styles, Ellingson developed an appreciation for jazz and Afro-Cuban music, which he has shared with UCD and the Front Range. In 2004, he established Voz de la Clave, a salsa and Latin-jazz ensemble, and for several years presented the Cuban Music Experience and Night of Cuban Music event, where he performed with Latin-jazz greats such as Brian Lynch, Wayne Wallace, Michael Spiro, Luís Conte, and Jerry González. His jazz and Afro-Cuban compositions can be heard on the Manuel López Trio release, Searching Out.
His other work at UCD includes the instruction of jazz piano students, teaching a number of piano, ear training, music appreciation, music theory, and jazz improvisation classes, and ongoing work to refine the curriculum in a way that it prepares students to succeed in the technological, entrepreneurial, and stylistically diverse music scene of today.