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Mr. Peter Richard Conte, Organist and Choirmaster
Peter Richard Conte was appointed Choirmaster and Organist of St. Clement's Church in 1991. Since then, he has established an internationally-acclaimed ensemble of eighteen professional singers which performs an extensive repertoire of music in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Each Sunday, and on special Feasts of the Church Year, the choir offers a full setting of the ordinary of the Mass, including the Credo, several motets, and the Propers for the Mass, sung in Latin to their original Gregorian tones. The Saint Clement’s Choir has recorded several compact discs on the DORIAN label, all of which have received international praise.
In addition to his duties at Saint Clement’s, Mr. Conte is Grand Court Organist of the world famous Wanamaker Organ in Macy’s, Center City, Philadelphia. He performs on the six-manual, 28,500-pipe instrument twice daily, six days per week. The Wanamaker Organ is the largest fully-functioning musical instrument in the world; Mr. Conte was appointed Grand Court Organist in 1989, and is only the fourth person to hold that title since the organ first played in 1911.
Mr. Conte is highly regarded as a skillful performer and arranger of organ transcriptions. He has been featured several times on National Public Radio and on ABC television's "Good Morning America" and “World News Tonight.” His monthly radio show, “The Wanamaker Organ Hour”, airs on the first Sunday of each month, at 5 PM (Eastern), and can be heard via the internet at WRTI.ORG. He performs extensively throughout the United States and Canada under the management of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, and was a featured artist at the American Guild of Organists’ National Convention in 2002, and at the International Organ Festival in Aosta, Italy, in September 2004. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, and with the Delaware and Allentown Symphonies.
Peter Richard Conte is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists, has served on the executive board of its Philadelphia Chapter, and has presented guild workshops on transcriptions and improvisation. Mr. Conte studied with Larry Smith and Robert Rayfield at Indiana University, Bloomington, and was awarded the prestigious Performers’ Certificate in Organ. During High School, he studied with Robert Kennedy, while serving as Associate Organist at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, New York.
Mr. Conte appears on the GOTHIC, DORIAN, JAV and DTR labels.
Mr. Bernard Kunkel, Associate Organist
Associate Organist Bernard Kunkel was appointed Associate Organist of S. Clement's Church in 2001. Originally from Central Pennsylvania, he has been a Philadelphia resident since 1993, and occasional substitute organist at S. Clement's since 1994. He has played many recitals in Philadelphia and its suburbs. In his free time he enjoys playing piano, reading literature and cooking.Back to the Choir & Organists page