Peter Calandra | Inner Circle

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New Age: Neo-Classical New Age: Ambient Moods: Featuring Piano
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Inner Circle

by Peter Calandra

Instrumental compositions ranging from ambient jazz and crossover classical ensemble pieces to reflective solo piano.
Genre: New Age: Neo-Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Clyde and the Pearl
5:06 $0.99
2. Dine's Waltz
3:25 $0.99
3. The Wayfarer
5:05 $0.99
4. Better Angels
3:22 $0.99
5. Inner Circle
5:44 $0.99
6. Faith
5:10 $0.99
7. So Much to Say
2:26 $0.99
8. A Quiet Spark
4:19 $0.99
9. Nightwatch
5:45 $0.99
10. The Dreamer
6:20 $0.99
11. Whispers in the Dark
2:31 $0.99
12. Reflections
3:31 $0.99
13. Chorale
3:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"This is an absolutely outstanding collection of compositions here created by an incredibly talented performer and composer."
Thom Lohrmann Music Blog
“Peter’s music did something music rarely does– it made me weep. Not cry. Weep. A good weep. That piano music is profound. I tweeted him saying listening to him play piano is like hearing God say “I love you.”
Mark Weber Music Blog

"Peter’s deep understanding of music and his ability to use compositions to evoke moods and atmospheres in the listener guarantee the quality of this album is top notch."
Middle Tennessee Music Blog

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About Peter Calandra
You may not know the name Peter Calandra, but chances are you’ve heard his music. The New York City-based composer and keyboard player has scored 40 films, written over 2000 compositions for television broadcast, including 37 theme packages for nationally broadcast sports shows, and performed as a musician in the Broadway productions of Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Lion King, and Little Shop Of Horrors. Parallel to this, Calandra has released six albums of imaginative and lyrical instrumental music encompassing jazz, contemporary jazz, classical, and refined pop.

“I’ve always heard music in my head—there is like a radio in there playing new music all the time,” says Calandra.

Calandra has garnered acclaim for composing music for Jellysmoke, a film which won the Los Angeles Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and Unknown Soldier, a film which won the Los Angeles and Philadelphia Film Festivals and also was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. He’s scored music for every major television network; currently, he has the themes for 15 shows airing on four different networks. Calandra’s resume as a live performer includes first chair keyboard player positions for the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon (for 10 years), The Phantom Of The Opera, and The Lion King. He’s also toured nationally with Les Miserables and served as the pianist/conductor and musical director for the award-winning original NYC production of Little Shop of Horrors. On the bandstand and in the studio, he’s worked with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, NY Pops Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Susan Anton, Don Cherry, Aretha Franklin, Allen Ginsberg, Annie Golden, Donna McKechnie, Lillianne Montevecchi, and he spent 16 years as the keyboard player in the NYC-based Climax Band, the creative vehicle for artist and musician Larry Rivers.

His prismatic artistry allows him to authentically inhabit a multitude of genres, conjure up a diverse selection of moods and emotions, and work within a broad array of mediums. “I don’t try to define anything because I find that, as a creative person, when you put something in a box, you limit the creative flow,” Calandra says. In addition to his keyboard and compositional skills, he is also an accomplished guitarist and multifaceted studio engineer versed in the arts of tracking and mixing. Currently, he’s on the faculty at Queens College, CUNY teaching masters level classes on Pro Tools sequencing and music technology.

Somehow, Calandra also finds time for personal creativity. His 3 solo albums are wonderfully diverse, spanning world music, Christmas music, jazz, contemporary jazz, pop, and classical. The thread throughout is the lyrical expressiveness of the compositions and purity and purposefulness of the musicianship

Growing up, music was always in Calandra’s house. His mother was an amateur musician and nurtured his burgeoning talents. He started his professional career grinding it out in dingy bars playing blues, jazz, reggae, funk and Top 40. Career salvation came the day he was asked to sub in the original Off-Broadway production of Little Shop Of Horrors; he was eventually hired fulltime and spent 5 years working on the show. “I remember going down to the theater the first time to look at the songbook and I was just blown away. I thought ‘this is the ticket to my future,’” he says. “Eighty percent of my career success comes from getting that show.”

“Recently, I went back home for my twin nieces’ high school graduations,” he says pensively. “Afterwards, I went to a place I used to play 3 to 5 times a month when I was younger, and I just felt this sense of gratitude for such an eventful life in music."



to write a review

Michael Diamond (

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Although he is best known for his extensive body of work in film and TV soundtracks, composer/ pianist Peter Calandra steps into the spotlight in his other role as a recording artist of his own music with the release of his imaginative new CD, “Inner Circle.” The album sparkles, reflecting a rainbow spectrum of his musical influences ranging from classical to new age, jazz, Latin, and more. While Peter wrote, arranged, and recorded the music, and did all the digital sequencing and programming, as well as playing piano, keyboards, percussion he also enlisted some top-notch accompanists on bass, violin, viola, oboe, flute, piccolo, cello, and vocals.

The opening track knocked my socks off right from the start. The arrangement of this tune was impressive as it morphed in and out of different sounds and spaces. And speaking of different spaces, the next track, “Dine’s Waltz,” is an elegant and cinematic composition that features some harmonic string writing that is influenced by Debussy. A classical element that I appreciate in this piece, as well as in Peter’s music in general, is the way the music is presented in distinct movements – something he uses to great dramatic effect. . In addition to his dramatic orchestrated style, the album also includes a number of more understated solo piano pieces. Peter’s arpeggiated piano motif is richly accented by sonorous strings on the album’s title track, which again draws influence from Debussy, although a hint of jazz finds its way into the mix in certain sections. The album draws to a heavenly conclusion, with the appropriately titled “Chorale.” As the only track without piano, this one features strings and layered voices.

With the level of skill and creativity he reveals as a composer, arranger, and performer, it’s easy to see why Peter Calandra has been so successful in his professional career. I was entranced from the album’s opening track, and continued to be impressed as each new piece unfolded. It’s rare to find an artist this adept at so many genres, and able to remarkably blend them together into a cohesive and continuously captivating listening experience.

To read a full-length review of this CD, as well as others, please visit:


Great for Relaxing!
Calandra offers a unique and relaxing EP that sounds like the soundtrack to dreams. It is a creative change of pace for ambient music and is great to put on in the background of anyone activity! "Inner Circle" is the perfect collection of hauntingly beautiful tunes.

Sam Ashmore

New Age Magic
Peter dazzles with a beautiful addition to an amazing New Age/Ambient genre of music. It's a beautiful thing coming home, putting on this album and relaxing after a long day of work. Happy to be a Peter Calandra fan!

Raj Manoharan (

The RajMan Review
Peter Calandra's latest album is an engaging collection of thirteen original compositions that encompass a dynamic mix of jazz, new age, and fusion.

The electric/acoustic keyboardist is joined on this outing by Joy Askew on vocals, Tom Barney on acoustic bass, Ralph Farris on viola and violin, Kathy Halvorson on oboe, Kathleen Nester on flute and piccolo, Peter Prosser on cello, and Stomu Takeishi on fretless electric bass.

Every track on this disc is captivating, thanks not only to Calandra's inventiveness as a composer but also his skill as a performer and his professionalism as a bandleader. He and his studio mates enjoy a musical rapport that is evident in the infectiousness of the tunes.

Flawless from beginning to end, this CD delivers the goods.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Inner Circle" is a fascinating collection of thirteen original pieces by Peter Calandra, a composer best-known for his scoring for film and television. Piano and keyboards are prominent in all of these pieces, and Calandra is backed by an impressive list of guest musicians on an assortment of instruments. I think the most remarkable thing about this album is that Calandra is so comfortable with and adept at such a broad spectrum of musical styles that range from classical to jazz to pop and fusion. Calandra’s goal with "Inner Circle" was “to touch the listener’s heart, to strike an emotional chord, while also exploring my wide-ranging musical interests.” Mission accomplished! "Inner Circle" is Calandra’s fifth independent release, and should bring him out of the background and into the spotlight. In addition to his soundtrack work, he has also played keyboard for an impressive list of Broadway productions and has music published and playing in sixty countries around the world. He has also played and recorded with the New York Pops Orchestra and artists that include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Aretha Franklin, and Allen Ginsberg.

"Inner Circle" begins with the intriguingly-titled “Clyde And The Pearl,” a jazzy confection that features Calandra on percussion, keyboards, and piano. Upbeat, rhythmic, and very catchy, it’s a great opener! “Dine’s Waltz” goes in a different direction with a light and very graceful dance for piano and strings. The first movement of “The Wayfarer” reminds me a bit of early Yanni with darkly intense strings and a powerful pulse that evolve into a sweet interlude that returns to a variation on the original theme, adding haunting, passionate vocals - one of my favorites! “Better Angels” is an evocative piano solo that relies on deep emotion rather than fancy finger-work to convey its message. The title track begins as a duet that mixes a sparkling keyboard with silky-smooth strings - very beautiful. “Faith” is another favorite. It begins as a soulful duet for oboe and piano and easily transitions into a chamber work by adding violin, cello, acoustic bass and flute. Themes are alternately serene and more energetic, building intensity all the way to the end. From there, we go to a sweet and tender piano solo called “So Much To Say.” To show he still hasn’t run out of new directions to take his listeners, “A Quiet Spark” is a gently ambient piano solo that comes directly from the heart. “The Dreamer” is atmospheric and hypnotic with a single low tone that runs through the whole piece along with keyboard and strings that cast a peaceful, magical spell. The last track is another surprise called “Chorale,” which pretty much says it all. Only Joy Askew is given “vocals, vocal sampling” credit, so this beautiful, richly-voiced choir must be mostly electronic, bringing the album to a close with an elegant wordless hymn.

Despite the varied styles of music on this album, it holds together really well and takes the listener on an aural journey. Recommended!


Haunting Cinematics
Peter Calandra's talent and expertise in the cinematic and composition world stands out on his album "Inner Circle." This record is a haunting collection that spotlights his piano skills, and is accompanied by various talented instrumentalists. Calandra's ability to blend genres such as classical, jazz, pop, and fusion is super impressive. You will not be disappointed with this album!

Kurt Witteman

Soothing and riveting
Combining jazz, classical, ambient and a whole array of other genres Peter Calandra has crafted a shining star of an album. Soothing piano plays over ambient soundscapes that completely absorb the listener into the depths of his art. Two thumbs way up and highly recommended!