Peter Conover joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as librarian in 1998 and was named principal librarian a year later.
A native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Conover played trumpet, guitar, electric bass, horn and double bass while in high school. He studied double bass with Henry G. Scott of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, graduating in 1984 with both Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees. During this time, he worked as a freelance bassist in the Philadelphia area, playing in symphony, chamber, ballet, opera and musical theater orchestras, as well as with popular and jazz groups.
In 1982, Conover became librarian for a local orchestra, the Delaware Valley Philharmonic, and as such, had the opportunity to meet Clinton Nieweg, the principal librarian of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1984, Conover began working in the Philadelphia Orchestra Library, first on an apprentice basis and later as a part-time assistant. During the summers of 1984 through 1987, he played bass in and served as librarian for the American Institute of Musical Studies Orchestra in Graz, Austria. In 1990, he was named principal librarian of the Phoenix Symphony and, in the summer of 1991, served as orchestra librarian for the Santa Fe Opera. In 1993, Conover moved to Texas for the position of principal librarian of the Houston Symphony. He served as librarian for the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming from 1995 through 1997.
As an orchestral librarian, Conover has been involved with the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA), having served on the Publications Committee and as the editor of Marcato, MOLA’s quarterly newsletter. The membership of MOLA has actively worked to improve the quality of printed orchestra music in many ways, such as through the use of shared errata lists, direct communication with music publishers and exploration of new technologies.
Conover’s wife, Kristi Sloniger, formerly was a flutist and orchestra librarian for the Houston Grand Opera and assistant librarian for the National Symphony. She currently is a full-time potter and runs her business, Moonstar Pottery, from their home in Oak Park, a Victorian house built in 1888. Their daughter, Lauren Sloniger, is a student at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Conover’s hobbies include playing guitar and working on and driving vintage British sports cars. The family together enjoys travel, hiking, skiing, working on their house and garden, watching movies and plays, listening to all kinds of music and spending time with their cats.