Peter Alward was born in London in 1950. After studying the piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, his first professional employment was at Simrock Music Publishers in London. In 1970 he joined the classical division of EMI UK and from 1976 to 1983 was European artistic coordinator at EMI Classical, based in Munich. He returned to London in 1983 as EMI’s international manager of artists and repertoire and in 1985 was named senior vice president and artistic director of EMI Classics International. From 2001 to 2005 he was president of EMI Classics worldwide. In 2010 he was named managing director and intendant of the Salzburg Easter Festival, a position he held for six years until 2015.
He also acquired a portfolio of international classical music consultancies, which included the classical record label of the Bavarian Radio BR-KLASSIK and several advisory boards including the Royal Opera House Enterprises, BBC Music Magazine, the Masterclass Media Foundation and the board of trustees of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation. He has also served on the juries of a number of major classical music competitions and awards, including the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.
He has also remained a jury member of the Herbert von Karajan Young Conductors Award at the Salzburg Festival, formerly known as the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award, until this day.