Peter Swan studied music at Newcastle University gaining a Master's Degree in Contemporary Music and Composition. During this period he began the King's Hall Series of concerts which focused on contemporary music and involved groups such as the London Sinfonietta, the Fires of London and the Nash Ensemble.
It was at this time that he met and worked with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, then simply Peter (or Max), for the first time. He shared concerts with him devoted to the music Max had written for young performers and, significantly, the music of Sir Michael Tippett appeared in the same programmes.
Teaching and education in general then occupied a significant part of his life during which, for eighteen years, he combined a dual role including the organisation and artistic planning of the Northern Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. He worked with conductors such as Jacek Kaspszyk, Elgar Howarth, Oliver von Dohnanyi, John Carewe, Daniel Harding and George Benjamin and the composer Colin Matthews was commissioned to write a major work for the NJPO. In his last years Sir Michael Tippett became involved as the NJPO's Honorary Patron and for three years his music was featured.
Composing and private teaching are now important aspects of Peter Swan's life. Recently completed pieces include Prelude & Fandango for Trombone, Harp and String Quartet, Japanese Lyrics for Soprano & Guitar, Sea of Clouds and a Black Dragon for Bass Trombone, Organ and Percussion and Excito Quod Evenit II for Brass Quintet. The latter work takes some of the material from Excito Quod Evenit and works it into a substantial four movement piece lasting about 15 minutes.