The inaugural event features Congressman Jerrold Nadler and David Israelite, President and CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association.

Mary Megan Peer and Ralph Peer II

NYU Steinhardt’s Music Business program announces the new Ralph S. Peer Lecture Series, marking a collaboration between NYU and the music industry's renowned Peer family. The program includes five annual lectures featuring guest speakers and town hall style conversations about Contemporary Issues in Music Publishing. For the inaugural event on Thursday, October 3, Congressman Jerrold Nadler—current Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and longtime champion of the creative community—will be interviewed by David Israelite, President and CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association.

Nadler and Israelite are among the people most deeply involved in the movement to protect music creators’ rights. Nadler has introduced legislation to provide artists and labels with royalties based on terrestrial radio airplay (the Fair Pay Fair Play Act) in addition to encouraging industry leaders to unite in their copyright efforts. Israelite was the force behind the Music Modernization Act, which was signed into law in 2018, and addressed copyright issues pertaining to digital streaming and other new forms of listening technology.

Commented Ralph Peer II, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of peermusic, and Mary Megan Peer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of peermusic: “Our company was founded on the belief of putting the needs of recording artists, songwriters and music producers first and helping them to launch and sustain successful careers—today that is more important that ever. The Ralph S. Peer Lecture Series is designed to empower those interested in seeking careers in the music industry with the education to create a dialogue among songwriters, advocacy organizations and Washington, D.C. on the issues surrounding the music creator community. We are honored to be asked to collaborate with NYU Steinhardt’s prestigious Music Business program on this endeavor.”

The series is named after renowned music visionary Ralph S. Peer, who founded peermusic over 90 years ago. Today, peermusic is the largest independent music publishing company in the world, with a global footprint of 35 offices in 30 countries and over a half million music copyrights filed with chart-topping hits and some of the world’s best loved songs. 

The company has a rich history of A&R prowess. As a young music executive, Ralph S. Peer continually broadened the boundaries of genres, tapping into the power of regional roots music and making it accessible for audiences around the globe. He was the executive producer of the Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues," the first blues record that sparked the genre; James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout," considered by historians to be the first jazz piano solo recording; and Fiddlin' John Carson's "The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane," the first country record released. Peer was also the producer of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, considered the "Big Bang" of country music, where he discovered Jimmie Rodgers and the original Carter family, and became an innovator and leader in bringing Latin Music to the world. Peer was posthumously elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1984 and was honored with The Recording Academy's prestigious Trustees Award in 2017. His legacy and his work live on through his company, now run by Ralph S. Peer’s son, Ralph Peer II, and granddaughter, Mary Megan Peer.

The inaugural Ralph S. Peer Lecture Series event will take place at NYU’s Grand Hall (238 Thompson Street, just south of Washington Square Park) beginning at 10 a.m. on October 3rd, with a reception and refreshments to follow. Admission is free, but seating is extremely limited, and RSVP is required. Please register for the event via NYU.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit

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