Peter Kater, of Boulder, has received his ninth Grammy nomination.
Peter Kater, of Boulder, has received his ninth Grammy nomination.

If you go

What: Peter Kater's pre-Grammy home concert

When: Jan. 17 and 18

Tickets: $55 at and Space is limited.


Peter Kater albums that have been nominated for a Grammy:

2004: Red Moon

2005: Piano

2006: Fire

2007: Faces of the Sun

2008: Ambrosia

2009: In a Dream

2011: Wind, Rock, Sea and Flame

2012: Light Body

2013: Illumination

This time is different.

The album is different than anything he's created before -- anything he's heard before.

And this year, when Boulder's multiplatinum-selling pianist and composer Peter Kater received a Grammy nomination, he said it felt different, too.

"I have a feeling that I could win this year. I haven't had this feeling before in the past," he said. "This year I'm going to go for it."

This is Kater's ninth Grammy nomination in the New Age category.

In celebration of the 56th Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 26, Kater will hold two intimate pre-Grammy concerts in his Boulder house. The shows, Jan. 17 and 18, are capped at 40 people per night. He will perform songs from his newest album, "Illumination," released in September.


Kater is one of the world's best-known New Age musicians, but "Illumination" is nothing like the music he's famous for. He said it's designed to feel like a musical "journey," spanning four 15-minute songs that are deep and intense. These songs are not traditional, he said.

"They don't work in melody and chord structure, with a verse, bridge and chorus," Kater said. "You kind of find yourself sinking into the music and go on this journey."

"Illumination" also features Boulder saxophone player Mark Miller, among other musicians.

"I was really thinking I might not get nominated this year," Kater said.

He said he was pleasantly surprised to be recognized for his unique work, which could help shape future evolutions of New Age music -- and now he's ready to win his first Grammy.

Although that's not why he makes the music, he said.

"I don't approach music from the idea of wanting to influence other people or even to try to get any particular results out of it at all," Kater said. "I'm a purist -- very much about following my muse."

"Illumination" was inspired by and written in Boulder, where he also started his piano career 30 years ago. Over the years, he has also lived in Hawaii, and until recently, he said he was thinking about moving back to the islands. Not anymore.

Kater said he is enjoying the surge of work that he always finds in Boulder. He just wrapped up the score for a five-hour PBS mini-series, "The Civil War: The Untold Story." This week, he is completing another new album, planned for release this spring. The album, with Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, is not yet titled.

Contact Staff Writer Aimee Heckel at 303-473-1359 or, or on Twitter @Aimeemay.