Appointed by Daniel Barenboim, 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 studied bass with Henry G. Scott of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, graduating in 1984 with with degrees in both music and music education. During this time, he worked as a freelance bassist in the Philadelphia area.
In 1982, Conover became librarian for the Delaware Valley Philharmonic and had the opportunity to meet Clinton Nieweg, principal librarian of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Conover began working in the Philadelphia Orchestra music library in 1984, 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 (AIMS) Orchestra in Graz, Austria. Through the 1990s, Conover served as librarian for the Phoenix Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Symphony and Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming.
As an orchestra librarian, Conover has been involved with the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA), having served on the Publications Committee and as the editor of Marcato, the association'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.
Throughout his tenure with the CSO, Conover has also played guitar with the ensemble, particularly 33 performances throughout the world of Mahler's Seventh Symphony and on many film concerts.
Upon his retirement in 2023, he noted, “While not an onstage musician, it has been my great pleasure to bask from backstage in the adoration the CSO receives in Chicago and around the world. In addition, it has been my honor to work closely with some of the greatest musicians in the world.” Conover, along with his wife Kristi, relocated to Italy where he enjoys traveling throughout Europe as well as pursuing his interests in classic cars and music.