Mr. Van Pelt retired as the Executive Director in March 2012 after successfully leading the organization since 2007. He considers PMMF an essential part of life in the U.P., bringing a dimension of life that was not here before. He loves orchestral and chamber music, and loves to make it available to others. Peter really loves opera, which he calls the most comprehensive of all art forms, and he wants everybody to share that enthusiasm. He was in his mid-30s when he saw his first opera, and would like everybody else to start earlier!
Peter has served on the Festival's Board of Trustees for seven years, two of those as president. He has also served on the board of the Calumet Theatre and the Keweenaw County Historical Society. Peter earned a certificate in nonprofit management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Peter and his wife, Patricia, received the Laura Jean Deming Award from the Festival in 2007. He enjoys working with the Festival's volunteers and staff, and meeting the artists.
Peter spent his childhood summers in the Keweenaw, but was otherwise brought up in Illinois and Ohio. He met his wife, Patricia, at Swarthmore College. They have three children, and several grandchildren and step-grandchildren. In 2013 they relocated to Northampton, Massachusetts, to be closer to family, but they keep in close touch with the Festival.