Peter of Oldenbourg was a scholar and philanthropist. He was also a talented pianist and composer, and in 1842 he composed his first major piano concerto. In 1844 his second piano concerto was performed for the first time at the Mikhailovsky Palace by the great pianist Clara Schumann, and conducted by his longtime friend and colleague Adolf Henselt.
As with most Russian nobility, Duke Peter was a longtime balletomane
and patron of the arts. In 1857 he was commissioned to compose the score
for Marius Petipa’s ballet-divertissement La Rose,
Many of Duke Peter's compositions were used as educational tools by the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. The composer and teacher Adolf Henselt, a close friend of the Duke's, expanded on many of his compositions in order to utilize them for instructional purposes.
Oldenbourg died in St. Petersburg in 1881, aged 68.