Opus 3 Artists is thrilled to welcome the winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards, Drew Petersen. The captivating, young pianist is also the winner of the Christel DeHaan Fellowship of the American Pianists Association, and has been named Artist-in-Residence for two years by the University of Indianapolis.
This is the latest accolade in a decorated young career that includes being prize winner in the Leeds International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition and the New York Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition.
Petersen was presented at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall at age five and by age nine he was presented in a solo recital at Steinway Hall in Manhattan for the company's 150th Anniversary. The New York Times has written about the early performances of the gifted, "freckle-faced 10-year-old who still impresses adults with his intelligence, maturity and depth" and New York Magazine prominently featured Petersen in an article about child prodigies. Petersen's extraordinary gifts were also chronicled in the documentary Just Normal produced by Kim A. Snyder, and in Andrew Solomon's book, Far From the Tree, which featured case studies of exceptional children.
An avid traveler, Petersen's emerging career frequently takes him abroad, where he sets out to discover new foods and meet locals as eagerly as he performs for new audiences. Overseas engagements have included recitals at the Musica e Arte Festival in Tolentino, Italy; Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland; Euro Arts Music Festival in Leipzig, Germany; and American Spring Festival of the Czech Republic.
Petersen graduated cum laude from Harvard at age 19 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Social Science and did his undergraduate and graduate music studies at the Juilliard School, the former as a recipient of the prestigious Kovner Fellowship. He has recently been accepted into the Artist Diploma program at the Juilliard School.
"His ability to go from intense and nearly thunderous to gentle and tranquil was astonishing and wholly satisfying. Petersen then jumped almost right in to Samuel Barber’s Piano Sonata in E flat minor, going from a peaceful finish to slightly more chaos, and again with ease. The second half began with Elliot Carter’s Piano Sonata, which at times had a relentless intensity. In the first movement, there was a time that intensity was brought to a breathtaking halt by Petersen — a singular note toward the end rendered everything, and everyone, completely still — before he then dove right back in, allowing us all to catch our breath."
"And that was just one of the ways in which Drew Petersen made his mark on his way to winning the 2017 contest. Despite my reluctance to choose favorites while a competition is in progress, Petersen had won me over last January with his revelatory performance of Robert Schumann's problematic "Humoreske."