Son of ‘The Oracle’ forges his own path

Offspring of famous investor tells his story accompanied by music

Staff writerMay 2, 2014 

Emmy Award-winning musician and philanthropist Peter Buffett will speak and perform at South Puget Sound Community College’s Minnaert Center for the Arts on Thursday night.

Buffett, the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, “The Oracle of Omaha,” has been on his “Life Is What You Make It” tour since 2010. The evening combines a free-flowing semi-autobiographical dialogue with music performed by Buffett on piano and Michael Kott on the cello.

In the beginning, Buffett viewed these events as a way to answer some questions that he’d encountered throughout his life.

“It started out as just a few chances to tell my story,” he told The Olympian. “A lot of us think, ‘Our life is our life, and our story is our story, what’s so interesting?’ That’s what I felt about mine anyway. People started to ask me to tell my story, frankly, because of who my father is. They’d think, ‘Here’s this famous rich guy, and here’s his son. And isn’t it weird that he’s a musician and he’s got his own life? He’s not this Paris Hilton-type character.’”

As a musician with a number of high-profile film and television scores to his credit, including “Dances with Wolves,” Buffett said adding music throughout the event is an essential component to the experience.

“I was really adamant about not showing up and giving a keynote address or sit at a podium and talk,” Buffett said. “Including an element of music was important to me, but it’s only been through doing that I’ve understood why. The music changes the whole thing. … It takes and adds a lot of feeling.”

Of the things that people might be surprised to learn from Buffett: Despite the different paths they’ve chosen, his and his father’s outlooks on life are actually quite in sync.

“I saw my dad, all throughout my childhood, go to work and come home happy,” Buffett said. “It wasn’t because he was making a lot of money but because he genuinely loved what he did. He told me when I was a kid, ‘Find something you love. It doesn’t matter what it is. You can collect garbage, you can be a doctor; whatever you want.’ The point was, find something you love to do and forge your own path.”

While he continues to do philanthropic work with his NoVo Foundation, as well as write and record new music, these evenings afford Buffett a unique chance to share his message with the world.

“Being in the artistic world, I like doing things that are different,” he noted.

Peter Buffett

What: “Life Is What You Make It,” a concert and conversation with Peter Buffett, son of businessman Warren Buffett. The event is hosted by The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

When: Reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, show starts at 7 p.m.

Where: Minnaert Center for the Arts at South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia

Admission: $50 general admission; $25 for students

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