2017 Winner

2017 Winner

Drew Petersen

NEWS: Drew Petersen signs with Opus 3 Artists!

Prodigious pianist Drew Petersen is the winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards and 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 prizewinner 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’s career had an auspicious and early beginning—he was presented at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall at age five and by age 10 performed a solo recital at Steinway Hall in Manhattan for the company’s 150th Anniversary. His unique gifts have been profiled in The New York Times, New York Magazine, in the documentary Just Normal and in Andrew Solomon’s book, "Far From the Tree."


  • Bio

    When Petersen isn’t at the keys, he’s thinking of them—as is evidenced by illustrator Wilhelm Busch’s “Der Virtuos” (The Virtuoso) hanging on his bedroom wall. The piece follows a pianist through the arc of a performance in 15 frames, culminating in a climactic end, arms and body ablur as he moves frenetically over the keys. A fixture in his home, Petersen still chuckles at the piece. While he can relate to the musician’s passion, gesturally his style couldn’t be more different. Rather than flashy and dramatic, Petersen is more deliberate and thoughtful, in control.

    As far back as he can remember, Petersen was always banging on a piano in the living room of his childhood home, pretending to read sheet music. It was only natural for his mother to channel her son’s energy toward piano—unlocking an extraordinary natural talent.

    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 received an Artist Diploma at the Juilliard School and was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2018.

    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 include recitals at the Musica e Arte Festival in Tolentino, Italy, Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland, and Euro Arts Music Festival in Leipzig, Germany.

    It’s always a happy coincidence when Petersen’s travels take him somewhere near the ocean—a calming, grounding environment that’s as much an inspiration for his own music-making as it is an escape. He raced competitively as a child and continues his love of swimming with regular open water swims of 1-2 miles.

  • Photos

    Premiere Series
    Premiere Series students
    High School Residency

  • Press Kit

  • Videos

    2017 Finals concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

    2017 Premiere Series solo recital

    2017 Premiere Series concerto with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra


    American Pianists Awards first interview


  • Request Performance

    To request a performance, please contact Milner Fuller, Artistic Administrator, at milner@americanpianists.org or 317.940.8445



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