It takes a bit of humility to ask for guidance… with self promotion when you’ve been doing it, and teaching others the basics, for years. (And I’ve been at for more than forty years.) I wanted a fresh look to my work online, and to streamline a cultural arts biz that did everything from soup to nuts. Focus on one or two roles. Peter’s e-newsletters were appearing in my inbox, and I’d noticed his formidable Facebook presence. He offered live performers a route to focused self-promotion through WordPress templates, while keeping an eye on the shifts in digital marketing.
With Peter’s help, I took twenty years worth of arts producing and coaching pages, along with fodder from a singing career, and zeroed in on what I wanted to do, and present currently. Working with his team, I chose the style of site, picked images and my most definitive recordings. I rewrite dated descriptions. I did some photo shoots, and submitted images appropriate for a new site design.
When the rough design was set, I had an online DIY tutorial with Peter. He’s a good teacher, making the information clear and pertinent, while sharing his well/seasoned chops as producer/artist to help identify what’s viable and interesting within your niche.
I think my site works great for my new life chapter. I love writing blogs and posting events. I especially like that I can still bring a question or two his way, and he’s gracious and helpful. We may think we know a lot, we life-timers, but we don’t know everything! Peter’s your guy to get you on track and follow your dream. And check out his own creative efforts! He’s really got it goin on!
Peter, along with his associate Sacha Mullin, did an amazing job promoting my CD, sending it to so many newspapers, blogs, online review and listing sits, radio stations, etc. They also followed up on leads. This resulted in sveral positive reviews, interviews, and CD sales. They did an amazing amount of detailed and carefully documented work which I could never have done myself. I heartily recommend him to others and would work with him again in a heartbeat. He’s also super nice guy, a filmmaker and artist himself, who knows music, understands musicians, with an experienced and intimate knowledge of the publicity side of things. Thanks, Peter!
– David Claman, David Claman Music
I hired Peter to consult on the construction of my website, and his work went well beyond the website itself and helped get me up to snuff, professionally, in ways that I wouldn’t have done without him! His communications were thorough, thoughtful, with an eye to detail and individually suited to my needs. He was very supportive throughout this arduous task and helped me find my way through the process. I look forward to working with him more in the future!– Amy Wurtz, Composer, Pianist, Chicago, IL
Peter is an artist in all senses of the word. He knows how to craft engaging and effective messaging to get others to take action. He has dedicated his life to serving the creative community in both development and operational capacities. His interpersonal skills as well as his ability to expand and enhance any project are only matched by his accessibility and passion.
– Arya Zarrinkelk, Employment & Training Specialist, Office of Career Services, City College of San Francisco
I really got a lot of eye-opening information from Peter’s workshop. I made immediate changes to our website. And started a newsletter. Also was inspired to do a Giving Tuesday campaign and surpassed my goal. So big thanks for bringing him in!
– Participant in Fulcrum Arts December 2020 virtual fundraising workshop, Pasadena, CA
Peter, I’ve gained such clarity with our conversation; Also, I haven’t been this excited to network in a very long time. Consulting with you was worth every penny and more. Thank you again for connecting me to your colleague. Just as you thought, this was a great match! Not only did we have similar professional backgrounds, but she also identified a potential path for me within development! I’ve already started tailoring my resume to reflect this exciting possibility.
– Gerardo Morantes, New York City, 2021
I’ve worked with Peter in many capacities and projects across the U.S. and am in constant admiration of his strengths in interpersonal communication, management, fundraising, and creating meaningful connections between people and things that matter. He brings his vast cultural knowledge, multiple languages, respect for others and an essential joie de vivre to everything he does. It’s always a pleasure to work with Peter!
-Sarah Dandelles, Chicago, IL
Peter McDowell was the first publicist I hired in 2012. I was still a doctoral student then and did not have a big performance career at all. I hired Peter for my Carnegie Hall debut and did not know what to expect from a publicist. Peter was great at clearly listing all the services which would be included in our project, and listened and adapted to what I and my team wanted. Peter was professional, clear, proactive at offering his expertise and I really enjoyed working with him. His work led to a big article in the New York Times, when my concert was reviewed by Anthony Tommasini, and quite a few other reviewers. It practically started my career. I’m forever grateful to Peter. I have worked on a few more projects with Peter since then. I would highly recommend Peter’s PR services without hesitation.
-Dr. Jenny Q Chai, Contemporary Pianist/President of FaceArt Institute of Music/Piano Faculty at UC Berkeley, www.jennychai.com, 2020
“I can’t thank you enough! Getting a full house at our very first concert at Carnegie Hall was definitely all your effort, and was so amazing and so helpful. It was a great start there that we will never forget. You are so professional and hard working, and honestly I got through the Carnegie concert because of you. I truly thank you and hope we do get a chance to work with you again.”-Nash and Gaysil Naubert, July 2019, hired Peter to promote their concert at Carnegie Hall www.nashnaubert.com
“Last year, through my record producer, we discovered Peter McDowell Arts Consulting. I had never worked with a publicist before and I must say working with Peter was interesting new ground. He and his associates took my Solo CD to places in the world far beyond my scope of musical public relations.It was great hearing my music on radio stations around the country and having friends from Europe contact me after hearing a broadcast in their country. I highly recommend Peter McDowell Arts Consulting when you’re ready to upgrade your project to an international level.”-Robert Lee “Bob” Watt, french horn, 2020
“Apollo’s Fire hired Peter McDowell to help publicize our launch concert for a semi-annual residency in Chicago. From our first interactions with Peter, we found him to be highly professional, easy to work with, collaborative, and full of ideas. We said to each other several times, “Peter is doing a great job.” As a result of Peter’s efforts, we ended up with a “Critic’s Choice” recommendation in Chicago Classical, a radio interview, a full house at our concert, and a review afterwards. Bravo, Peter!”-Angela Mortellaro, Development & Public Relations Manager, Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, www.apollosfire.org, 2020
“Working with Peter McDowell was an excellent experience. I hired him for the advertising and organization of my Carnegie solo recital last December. As for the results, I have to say he did his job without a fault. The recital hall was a full audience, and the filled seats made it such a joy to perform on stage. During the process of organizing and marketing my concert, he was honest and upright with his forthright with his advice. It was only due to his assistance that each decision made for my recital led to the best results. If someone is looking for a person who really knows how this field works, I absolutely recommend his services! Thank you so much Peter!”
-Jeongeun Park, violist, www.jeongeunparkviola.com, 2019
“Peter designed and executed my professional singing websites, and his work was nothing short of the highest level of beauty, functionality, and elegance. My main website has stood me in wonderful stead for many years. I cannot recommend him highly enough as an artist’s consultant and in any other part of an artist’s life that he can clearly be of great help with.”
-Amy Goldstein, soprano, www.amygoldsteinsoprano.com, 2019
“Peter shared relevant, timely and essential information with our students in the Arts Leadership Program at Eastman. He is intensely and sincerely interested in the success of artists – particularly those just beginning their professional careers – and understands how to present content in a way that is accessible, practical, and immediately applicable. Peter draws upon his years of successful cutting-edge experience to engage and inform those who wish to succeed in today’s complex arts environment.”
-Jim Doser, Director, Institute for Music Leadership, Eastman School of Music, 2018
“There are very few professionals whom I trust more than Peter McDowell. His experience as an elite arts administrator makes him an invaluable resource for concert musicians. Peter is the perfect balance between an incredibly knowledgable professional and an absolute gem of a human being. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him in a number of different contexts including developing my website, advising me about a recording project (Flute Music by Joseph Schwantner, Innova 919), and seeking insight on specific professional circumstances. His manner is consistently attentive and encouraging, and he always provides a perspective that is uniquely helpful. I cannot recommend him highly enough.”
-Flutist Jennie Oh Brown, hired Peter in 2016-present
“Peter is a terrific workshop leader and speaker: excellent at presenting both broad concepts and offering inspiring examples and tips. He’s engaging, direct, and makes an impact—I recommend him highly!”
-Angela Myles Beeching, for the Young Performers Career Advancement seminar for APAP, 2016
“Peter McDowell was kind enough to participate in a panel that I moderated at the 2016 APAP conference focused on “New Strategies to Energize Classical Audiences.” During the panel, Peter demonstrated his authoritative knowledge about presenting, marketing, project management, commissioning, and music of all kinds. He is full of energy, creative ideas, and dedication for production, presentation, and promotion.”
-John Zion, Managing Director | Melvin Kaplan, Inc., 2016
“I hired Peter to manage PR for the release of an album by my group, AnyWhen Ensemble. In addition to securing many reviews with a variety of media, Peter also provided valuable guidance as I made decisions about how I would release the album, down to the nitty gritty details. I found that he was interested in helping me make the decisions that would help me best achieve my goals as an artist, not to increase his consulting fee. I highly recommend him for PR and for career advice for musicians.”
-Douglas Detrick, AnyWhen Ensemble, 2014
“I am profoundly grateful to Peter for his promotion of our January 2013 event: Admission: One Shilling with actress Lesley Nicol and pianist Inna Faliks. His media relations expertise is top-of-the-line, with the result that we had significant articles in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut Chicago, classicalmusic.org, in addition to interviews on CBS and Channel 11. His press materials for the event were professional and engaging… and of enormous value to me, his attention to deadlines kept me on track! So, thanks to Peter, we ended up with a lot of publicity and a FULL HOUSE.”
-Ann Murray, International Music Foundation, ‘Admission: One Shilling’ producer, 2013
“Your APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) workshop with Jodi was truly the best I attended at APAP. Thank you for your info, enthusiasm and artful advice. The CMA (Chamber Music America) workshop you jointly presented was also the best I attended at CMA. Thank you for your time and talents.”
-Nancy Scimone, Vocalist, 2013
“Thank you again for your clear, honest and succinct advice in the Taking Charge of your Career session yesterday at the Chamber Music America Conference…I can’t tell you how much I appreciated your directness and clarity in response to my question, with specific ideas and tools that I hope will lead to eventual success. Thank you again for reminding me why we persevere to preserve the rich tradition of art music.”
-Rachel Seiden, session attendee, Chamber Music America Conference, 2013
“I engaged Peter to design a website featuring my work as a pianist, conductor, and voice coach. Peter knows the business really well and has great contacts. (For me it was useful that he had worked for the San Francisco Opera and knows the world of opera and singers so well. ) He was unfailingly polite and helpful with all my questions and requirements. I’m delighted with the look of the website which he designed and would recommend him without qualification.”
–Eric Weimer, www.ericweimer.net
“Peter is a focused and creative arts consultant – very experienced, strategic, professional and diplomatic. He delivers on time, on budget and with great style. Confident and intelligent. A class act.”
-Kristen Molhuysen, IHOS Opera and Music Theatre, Hobart, Australia, 2012, hired Peter as a Business Consultant
“Peter and Ari: I just wanted to tell you both that I really love my website. It really is a great site and when everything works just they way it should, it makes me really happy! Thanks so much for all you do, I’m lucky to have found the two of you.”
“Peter has been working with me and my husband, pianist, teacher, arranger and composer Jonathan Faiman for more than three years, and he has improved not only our respective websites to standards that are amazingly high, but he has acted as a musical and career “life-coach” which has made a huge difference in the decisions and outcomes of my family’s work life. We now have high visibility on both of our websites, we know what our strengths are, and we know where we’re going and in what direction we should be headed in. Peter can just see what needs to be done quickly and realistically and there are very few, if any advisors like this in the music business. He is truly on top of everything that’s going on and I can’t recommend him highly enough. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.”
-Amy Goldstein, soprano, www.amygoldstein.com
“Peter did a terrific job on my first-ever e-zine. He was very patient with all of the details that mattered to me. He is really good at what he does, and is a good person as well. The job was done on time, and readers commented on how great it looked.”
-Pianist and teacher Madeline Bruser, hired Peter in 2011-12
“Peter has a great grasp of what is needed for the professional performer and composer. His personal interest in each client and ensemble is reflected in his promotion of careers. My new website and photos are excellent and this is due to Peter’s efforts and contacts. His approach to the performing arts management is very creative and inventive.”
-Composer Patricia Morehead, hired Peter in 2011-12
“In addition to being an excellent, knowledgeable professional in the world of classical music PR, Peter McDowell is wonderfully easy to work and communicate with, thanks to his openness and his easy going manner. He has a fresh approach that is relevant in today’s quickly changing music and art world, and has an uncommon understanding of social media. I have learned a great deal from his clear, relevant ideas on PR when he built my website, and I am still learning from them. Working with Peter and brainstorming ideas with him is a great pleasure. He is highly organized and efficient, and easily maintains a large network of connections in the classical music field. He is a wonderful professional with outstanding knowledge of the industry, and I highly recommend him.”
-Pianist Inna Faliks, hired Peter in 2010-present
“Peter McDowell is a consummate professional. Every aspect of my project was handled with great care and skill. He thinks outside the box and is willing to try just about anything to help his clients. He gets my highest recommendation.”
-Pianist Matthew McCright, hired Peter for Public Relations in 2010 and again in 2011
“Two Performances In Honor of Judson could not have been the very public success it was without the cutting edge Public Relations expertise provided by Peter McDowell, whom we hired late in what we had every reason to believe was mission impossible. Peter did more than prove us wrong; he proved that a deft, dedicated vision of the possibilities fills the house and as producer, I could not have been more thankful to him for his sensitivity and support of important work.”
-Michael Bloom, hired Peter as a Publicist in 2010
“Peter has been helping manage my career as a classical singer over the past year. He has helped to secure auditions, gigs, and has helped in editing my website, resume, correspondence, and recordings, among other things. Since I also do crossover work in cabaret, Peter has been a terrific asset in helping find venues for my show.”
-Melissa Attebury, hired Peter as a Business Consultant in 2009 and 2010
“Peter has been a fantastic arts management consultant for the Chinese Fine Arts Society. He has helped to elevate the organization in many areas, bringing tremendous knowledge and great connections in the Chicago arts world. He is extremely creative, resourceful and a great problem solver. He is also a pleasure to work with.”
-Julie Tiao Ma, hired Peter as an Arts Management Consultant from 2009 – present
“Peter is a very creative and very supportive of his arts clients, with many inventive ideas and suggestions. He is very motivated and gets the job done quickly! I would recommend him to anyone!”
-Jody Redhage, hired Peter as an Arts Consultant and Publicist in 2009 and 2010
“Peter is excellent to work with, creative-minded, and knows both music and the music business. He has a lot of contacts and works at a very fair price. He’s done a lot of consulting work for me in the form of publicity and work on my press kit and has definitely been instrumental in me improving my web presence and getting gigs both here and abroad.”
-Sam Sadigursky, hired Peter as a Consultant in 2009
“Peter is a quite extraordinarily intelligent, sophisticated, creative, and resourceful arts professional. In his work at the Chicago Cultural Center, he transformed the arts performance programs out of all recognition, and did so virtually single-handedly. He is unquestionably a self-starter, and he also offers a fine balance between profound appreciation and understanding of what makes good art and splendid management skills. Through his combination of intelligence, organizational ability, and sheer imagination, he makes things happen — and his programs at the Cultural Center offered certain proof of that.”
-2009, Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago
“I consider Peter one of my most valued colleagues in the field of the arts. Not only is he a capable non-profit arts leader, but he is also a pleasure to work with. Peter is respected among his peers and has become well regarded in his position at OPERA America. I value his expertise and assistance and am always excited to be able to work with him on specific collaborations between our organizations.”
-2008, Adam Natale, Director of Member Services, Fractured Atlas
“I’ve had the extreme pleasure of knowing Peter for a very, very long time. His background as a performer has grounded him in the performing arts industry, and his thoroughness and professionalism make him my first line of entry at OPERA America. Whenever I need an answer fast, I turn to Peter. I highly recommend him. His knowledge of the performing arts (and of opera in particular) make him an extremely valuable resource.”
-2008, David O’Dell, Executive Director, San Antonio Opera