Peter Pesic is a writer, pianist, and educator. He is director of the Science Institute at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he is also Musician-in-Residence and Tutor Emeritus. His five books, seven editions, and sixty papers consider questions in the history and philosophy of science, music, and ideas. His book reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Times Literary Supplement.

Born in San Francisco of Serbian parents, he was educated at Harvard and Stanford, where he received a doctorate in physics and subsequently taught in its program on Structured Liberal Education. At Stanford, he studied piano with Naomi Sparrow and performed with the new music ensemble Alea 2; he then attended the Aspen Music School.

In the course of three hundred concerts he has surveyed the music of Schubert, Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schoenberg; he has given premieres of works by Nicolas Roussakis, David Lang, and Lawrence Cave. He has given concerts with sopranos Danielle DeNiese and Helen Vanni, cellists Yehuda Hanani, Wayne Foster Smith, and Antonio Lysy, and pianist Vitya Vronsky.

On the faculty of St. John's College in Santa Fe since 1980, he has been deeply involved in its unified curriculum based on close study and discussion of great works, especially in shaping its unique program of study in laboratory science, mathematics, and music.

Besides the newly formed Science Institute (which offers week-long intensive seminars on important texts in science and mathematics for teachers and other interested participants), he is editor-in-chief of Physics in Perspective and an Associate of the Department of Physics at Harvard University.

Photo: Gabriella Marks

Photo: Gabriella Marks


Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres: coming Fall 2017 from MIT Press.

NTT publishes Japanese translation of Music and the Making of Modern Science.