Peter Dugan, Host

Hometown: Upper Darby, PA

Meet Peter

Peter was named Host of From the Top in January 2020.

Peter Dugan’s position is sponsored by Susan and Gerald Slavet.

Peter first appeared on From the Top Show 158, recorded in April 2007, at age 18.

Prizing versatility as the key to the future of classical music, pianist Peter Dugan is equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms.

He is heard nationwide as the  host of NPR’s beloved program From the Top.  He has appeared as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across North America and abroad. 

In 2020, Mr Dugan performed with Joshua Bell on a PBS Broadcast “At Home with Music” and appeared on  the album of the same name on Sony Classical. He was also featured on PBS Great Performances with mezzo-soprano Kara Dugan for the series “Now Hear This”.

A sought-after multi-genre artist, Mr. Dugan has performed in duos and trios with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman and Renee Fleming to Jesse Colin Young and Glenn Close. Mr Dugan’s debut performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony were described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning” and by the SF Chronicle as “fearlessly athletic.” The Wall Street Journal described Mr. Dugan’s collaboration with violinist Charles Yang as a “classical-meets-rockstar duo.” Mr. Dugan has been presented in chamber music recitals by Carnegie Hall, Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, Music at Menlo, Moab Music Festival, and recently in recital with Joshua Bell at the Minnesota Beethoven Festival.  He was the 2019 featured recitalist for the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, and has soloed with the San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, New World Symphony, and Mid-Texas Symphony.

His album with baritone John Brancy –  A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song – pays homage to composers who lived through, fought in, and died in the Great War. Brancy and Dugan toured this program across North America in commemoration of the centennial of WWI, including performances at The Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Stanford University, the United States Naval Academy, and the Smithsonian Institute.  Together Brancy and Dugan won first prize at the 2018 Montreal International Music Competition and second prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. He can also be heard as the piano soloist on a recording of Ives’ Fourth Symphony from Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, a recording which the New York Times named one of the top classical albums of 2019. 

Mr. Dugan advocates the importance of music in the community and at all levels of society.  As a founding creator of Operation Superpower, a superhero opera for children, he has traveled to dozens of schools in the greater New York area, performing for students and encouraging them to use their talents – their superpowers – for good.

Mr. Dugan holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied under Matti Raekallio. He was a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholar, College Scholar, and Graduate Scholar awards.

He resides in New York City with his wife, mezzo-soprano Kara Dugan, and serves on the piano faculty at the Juilliard School Evening Division. Mr. Dugan is a Yamaha Artist.

Listen to Peter

Show 448
Peter Dugan, piano, and Victor Wooten, bass perform Sacred Place by Victor Wooten (b. 1964)

Highlight Show 27
IV. Toccata, from Le Tombeau de Couperin, M. 68 by Maurice Ravel

Show 424
Ambush from All Sides, Traditional, arranged and performed by Charles Yang and Peter Dugan

More on Peter