Emma is a singer, harpist, teacher and conductor, a music graduate of the Elder Conservatorium at the University of Adelaide.
Emma has loved singing since she harmonised with her two sisters in the bathtub as children and she is passionate about choral singing and conducting. Emma was musical director of the Corinthians Singers from 2010-11, Bella Voce (at the University of Adelaide) from 2007-10, The Chandos Chorale 2003-04, and was a tutor for the Australian Girls Choir from 2000-08.
A leading soprano soloist and ensemble singer in Adelaide, Emma has been a core member of the award-winning Adelaide Chamber Singers since 2000, touring with them internationally and performing at the Adelaide Festival, Coriole, Port Fairy and Huntington Music Festivals, at WOMAD, with the Rolling Stones at Adelaide Oval in 2014 and on two Hilltops Hoods albums. Emma co-founded female vocal trio Eve, during which years she performed live on ABC Classic FM, with Co-Opera, and presented concerts as part of the Musica Viva in Schools programme, and recitals in the UK in 2006. Emma was also a member of vocal quintet Syntony, performing with them in the Barossa and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, and singing the role of Belinda opposite Sally-Anne Russell in Dido and Aneas at Coriole Festival in 2007.
Emma has performed widely as a soprano soloist including recitals in the Ngeringa Farm and Elder Lunchhour concert series, with Adelaide Baroque and new music group The Firm, and as soloist for choirs including the Graduate Singers. She was featured on ABC Classic FM’s Rising Stars programme in 2006, sang in State Theatre’s This Uncharted Hour and ABC Radio’s The Red Priest in 2007, and studied with soprano Emma Kirby at the 2013 Dartington International Summer School in the UK.
A specialist in the art of accompanying her singing on harp, Emma presents frequent harp and voice concerts and loves to connect with audiences in intimate venues, sharing her passion and knowledge of classical, celtic and contemporary music in themed recitals. Performances have included the Bundaleer Forest Weekend, regional touring with Country Arts SA, concerts and workshops at the Australian Harp Festival in 2012, and sell-out shows in the 2011 & 2013 Adelaide Fringe Festivals. She also works as a duo with her husband and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra principal percussionist Steve Peterka, bringing alive a variety of music for the unusual and stunning combination of harp, voice and percussion in their own arrangements. Emma performs regularly as harpist and vocalist at weddings, funerals, private and corporate functions. She has recorded five solo CD’s which have all featured on ABC Classic FM.
As a harpist Emma has played with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Wagner’s Ring Cycle in 2004 and enjoys teaching harp, and singing with the harp, to students of all ages.
Emma’s most important role is of mum to little Elanor and Liam, and she is happiest singing to and with them. In her spare time she love to read, cook, dine out and watch old movies and period dramas!