Peter Nikiforuk is a native of Brantford, Ontario, where he received his early musical training in piano, organ and theory with Nan and Markwell Perry. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto where John Tuttle was his teacher. During his last two years in Toronto, Peter was assistant conductor of the Hart House Chorus, founding conductor of the Hart House Chorus Chamber Choir and assistant organist at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. In 1985 Peter moved to the United States to study with Robert Baker and Thomas Murray at Yale University. The recipient of numerous prizes and scholarships, he was awarded the Master of Music (1987) and Master of Musical Arts (1988) degrees while resident in the U.S. In 1993 Peter was awarded the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, also from Yale University. In the academic year 1988-1989, Peter studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, graduating with an Advanced Course Diploma. His teachers there were John Scott and Patrick Russill.
Dr. Nikiforuk returned to Canada in 1989 to accept the posts of Executive Director of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) and Director of Music at St. Peters Lutheran Church, Kitchener. From 1993-97 Peter was director of the Listowel Concert Singers. In 1996, the St. Peters choirs released a CD entitled O Be Joyful. Also in 1996, Peter won the prestigious Leslie Bell Prize in Choral Conducting. In 1997, Peter produced and wrote the program notes for the RCCO's first recording project, an archival release entitled Healey Willan at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, distributed on the EMI Classics label. In 2000, Peter resigned from his position at the RCCO in order to become an instructor of music theory and history at the Beckett School in Kitchener. He is now in his 20th year as Director of Music at St. Peter’s.
Peter began his association with Menno Singers in early 1998 and was appointed director in the spring of that year. They produced a Christmas CD, See Amid the Winter’s Snow, in 2000. Peter is co-owner and editor for Kelman Hall Publishing, which specializes in sacred music. He is an active recitalist and clinician and an examiner for both the Royal Conservatory of Music and the RCCO. Peter has also taught at the Universities of Guelph and Waterloo and at Wilfrid Laurier University. Peter has served locally on the Boards of the Waterloo Regional Arts Council and of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, Dr Nikiforuk was one of the inaugural recipients of the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community Award of Recognition for his contributions to enhancing the quality and vitality of music in the community.