Peter Buck is a leading German chamber musician and long-time member of the Melos Quartet Stuttgart.
Buck studied cello at the Stuttgart Conservatory with Ludwig Hölscher, then established a career as a soloist and orchestral musician. He joined the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra in the early 1960s.
In 1965 he formed the Melos Quartet with his fellow Württemberg orchestra member Gerhard Voss (the second violinist), Voss' brother Hermann, who was soloist with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and first violinist Wilhelm Melcher, concertmaster of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.
Melcher had won the 1962 Venice International Chamber Music Competition and was planning to form a string quartet. The Melos Quartet immediately began winning prizes such as the 1966 Geneva International Competition Prize for Best String Quartet and an award the same year at the Villa-Lobos String Quartet Competition of Rio de Janeiro.
The Quartet won sponsorship from the Deutsches Musikleben foundation, which sent it to Paris to participate in the Jeunesses Musicales (Musical Youth) 1966 festival in Paris. It began to tour widely in 1967, after Buck and his colleagues all resigned their orchestral positions to concentrate on the Melos Quartet as a full-time business.
By 1970 the Melos had already issued a complete series of recordings of the Beethoven Quartets, the start of a notable recording career, and was also noted for a set of quintets for string quartet and guitar by Boccherini, with Narcisco Yepes as guest artist. Buck plays a cello made in 1682 by Francesco Ruggieri.
The Melos Quartet shares a name with an unrelated ensemble, the London-based Melos Ensemble, which is a co-operative of twelve musicians. Peter Buck is also the name of an American musician who is a member of the long-established rock band R.E.M.
For recommended recordings see under Melos Quartet Stuttgart.