Rich Lauver is an electronic musician, keyboardist, guitarist, music educator, and photographer living in Baltimore, Maryland. Since 1999 he has been employed as an ensemble coordinator with the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he manages the personnel, rehearsal, and performance activities of the Peabody Wind Ensemble, Peabody Modern Orchestra, and Peabody Jazz Ensemble. During his association with the Peabody Institute he has successfully managed hundreds of concerts and thousands of rehearsals, working with numerous conductors, guest artists, and aspiring musicians from dozens of countries around the world.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1956, he began playing piano at an early age, taught first by his mother and then by Esther W. Simmons. When his family relocated to the Northwest Indiana region in 1967 he was frequently employed as a choral accompanist in the public school system. While in high school he was also employed by the School Town of Highland, Indiana, as a computer operator and programmer, and as a research computer programmer by Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana. Following high school he relocated to Austin, Texas to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied physics, music theory, and composition. At UT Austin he continued studying piano with the late Danielle Martin, herself a former student of the great Leon Fleisher, with whom he has enjoyed a collegial relationship since joining the Peabody Institute.
During his student days at UT Austin, he became involved with the vibrant Austin music scene as a multi-keyboardist, singer, songwriter, and MIDI programmer in various bands, in a performing career which lasted from the late-1970s to the early 1990s. His bands included the critically acclaimed progressive rock band STRANGER, punk-rock band DARK MOTIVE, new-wave band THE NEWS, and the alternative-rock band VITAL SIGNS, which was eventually signed to Elektra Records.
Since relocating to Baltimore, Maryland in 1998, Rich Lauver has continued pursuing music as a solo recording artist, and has released six albums of his own music. In 2001 he released
Trance Figures, a CD of music for synthesizers, piano, percussion, and Mellotron, composed and produced in his home studio. In December 2004 he released a CD of music composed primarily with the Moog modular synthesizer, entitled
Shimmer. The next CD, entitled Moon and Sun, was released in 2006, and marked the first time he used guitars as the primary instruments in his recordings. In 2007, Rich composed and recorded the soundtrack score for the original anime motion picture
Question, to which he also contributed voice acting talent. A limited edition maxi-single entitled
Chasing a Dream, released in late 2010 preceded the release of
the full-length album
Out of the Moonlight in November of 2011. He recently completed recording a new album under the project name
Atákuweh, which is available as a free download on this website.
The Peabody Chamber Winds debuted his Themes and Variations I from Terpsichore arranged for two brass choirs and percussion in Spring 2002. His transcription of the epic 1973 Magma recording of Christian Vander's
Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh, for 12 instrumentalists and choir, was performed by the Peabody Camerata in April 2003. Christian Vander remarked, upon hearing a recording of the concert, that "it was the closest version to the original spirit of
MDK I have had the chance to hear." One of his compositions, Who Shall Invoke Her, for piano, two vibraphones, woodwind quartet and solo voice - based on a sonnet by American poet Alan Seeger - was debuted by the Peabody Camerata in April 2004.
While at the Peabody Institute, Rich Lauver has enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside a wide variety of artists including Harlan D. Parker, Hajime Teri Murai, Gustav Meier,
John Shirley-Quirk, Gene Young, Robert Sirota, Michael Formanek, Robert
van Sice, Gary Thomas, Peter Erskine, Sam Rivers, Johan de Meij, Michael
Kannen, Jay Clayton, Courtney Orlando, Marty Ehrlich, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Leon Fleisher, and many, many others. He has championed the cause of contemporary music at Peabody, culminating with the establishment of the Peabody Modern Orchestra in 2013, following
his ten-year effort to create a large ensemble dedicated to the performance of modern art music.
In addition to his professional activities in music, Rich Lauver is an accomplished amateur photographer, an avid cyclist, and a fan of IndyCar and Formula 1 racing.