"Peter has worked with and inspired thousands of New Zealanders, instilling in many a deep love of singing, music and the arts." Diana Cable

 

Born in England, Peter Godfrey was educated at King's College in Cambridge and was a chorister and choral scholar in the choir.

War service intervened from 1942-45 when Peter served as a Captain in the King's African Rifles. He later returned to Cambridge University to continue studies as the John Stewart Scholar in Sacred Music. He then attended the Royal College of Music and was Music Master at various schools and Director of Music at Marlborough College.

In 1958 Peter travelled to New Zealand to take up the position of Lecturer in Music at Auckland University, which he held from 1958-1973, later becoming Professor of Music (1974-1982).

Throughout his teaching career, Peter has maintained a punishing schedule. Alongside his University career, Peter was also Director of Music for Auckland Cathedral of St Mary’s and Holy Trinity (1958-1974); Conductor of the Auckland String Players (1959- 1968); founder of the Symphonia of Auckland and Director of groups such as the Dorian Choir (1961-83), Auckland University Singers (1970-82), and the Auckland University Choral Society (1968-82). These groups have toured internationally and won prestigious overseas competitions.

In 1978, Peter was invited back to Cambridge as Acting Director of Music/Choir of King's College Chapel for six months. This appointment has meant that Peter is the only person to have been a chorister, choral scholar and Head of Music at Kings College Cambridge since the15th Century.

Returning to New Zealand, Peter became Conductor and Director of Musicfor the National Youth Choir (1982-88), Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral in Wellington (1983-89), and Director of the Orpheus Choir (1984-91). One of his greatest accomplishments was to found the New Zealand Choral Federation in 1985. In 1989 Peter accepted a two-year posting as Director of Music at Trinity College, Melbourne.

While Church music is Peter’s first love, he has always been involved with community choirs. From 1992 he was Director of the Kapiti Chamber Choir and of the 100-member Kapiti Chorale. He was also conductor and organist at St Michael’s Church,Waikanae.

In recognition of his contribution to music, Peter received an MBE in 1978, a CBE in 1988, and Professor Emeritus at Auckland University in 1982.  He received an Arts Foundation Icon Award in 2005.

1922
Born in East Anglia, England
1931
Becomes chorister at King's College Chapel Choir
1941-46
Completes a Bachelor of Music, King's College;Bachelor of Arts degree;
1954
Director of Music,Marlborough College
1957
Lectures at University of Auckland;Director of Music of Auckland Anglican Cathedral.
1958
Moves to New Zealand with his wife and four daughters.
1959
Conducts the Auckland String Players
1961
Director of the Dorian Choir
1969
Establishes the Auckland University Festival Choir
1974
Appointed Professor of Music, Auckland University
1978
Directs King's College Choir and conducts Cambridge University Musical Society Chorus;Receives an MBE
1982
Directs the NZ National Youth Choir;Music Director, Wellington Cathedral of Saint Paul.
1984
Conducts Orpheus Choir
1988
Retires and receives CBE
1989
Moves to Melbourne - establishes Trinity College Choral Foundation
1991
Conducts the Kapiti Chamber Choir that eventually expandscto the Kapiti Chorale.
 2002
 Director of Music Emeritius, Auckland University
2005
    Arts Foundation Icon Award

Awards