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.
2017 Finals concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
2017 Premiere Series solo recital
2017 Premiere Series concerto with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra
To request a performance, please contact Milner Fuller, Artistic Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.940.8445