Drew Petersen Wins the 2017 American Pianists Awards

April 9, 2017

American Pianists Association names Drew Petersen the 2017 American Pianists Awards winner, following rigorous 13-month competition

Given every four years to support an exceptionally gifted young classical pianist, award valued at $100,000 includes recording contract with Steinway & Sons, two years of career advancement and support, abundant performance opportunities, $50,000 cash prize

INDIANAPOLIS [For Immediate Release] – Concluding a 13-month-long competition unique in the music world, the American Pianists Association has named 23-year-old musician Drew Petersen the American Pianists Awards winner, and newest disciple of the Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship. The competition culminated in Discovery Week, in which finalists return to Indianapolis, where the organization is based, for a week of solo recitals, chamber concerts, the premiere of a commissioned work, and outreach performances—testing the acumen of each pianist in a variety of performance settings. Finalists for the competition were Alex Beyer, Sam Hong, Henry Kramer, Steven Lin and, Drew Petersen.

The award is given every four years to a deftly talented pianist identified as vital young voice in classical music. The prestigious Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship supports Drew as he shapes his budding career with a prize valued at more than $100,000, which includes a $50,000 cash prize, recording contract with Steinway & Sons, two years of professional development and assistance, and performance opportunities worldwide.

During the competition, each of the five pianists visited to Indianapolis for outreach and community events, as well as adjudicated solo recitals and concerto performances with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

Highlights of Discovery Week (April 3rd-8th), included daily recitals featuring each of the finalists performing solo and with guest ensemble, Pacific Quartet, streamed live on social media. During the New Music Recital pianists offered their interpretation of a new commission by composer Judith Lang Zaimont, as well as works by other American composers from George Gershwin to Elliott Carter. Baritone Andrew Garland and soprano Jessica Rivera lent their gifts to an evening of song recitals, during which they performed music by Robert Spano and Steven Mark Kohn, among others; the evening ended tongue-in-cheek with American Pianists Association Artistic Director Dr. Harrison accompanying the singers in “Anything You Can Do.” The week concluded with concerti performances with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under guest conductor Gerard Schwarz.

About Drew Petersen

Born 12/4/1993 the 2017 American Pianists Awards winner Drew Petersen is also a prizewinner in the Leeds International Piano Competition. He has performed solo and concerto recitals in both Europe and the United States. He has been a top prizewinner in the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition, and the New York Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. He has participated in master classes with Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Claude Frank, Menahem Pressler, Stephen Kovacevich, Ferenc Rados, and André Michel Schub.

Most recently, he is the 2016 winner of the Sanders-Juilliard-Tel Aviv Museum prize, which included an engagement at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel. As the First Prize winner of the Friday Woodmere Young Artists Competition, he was featured multiple times on the McGraw-Hill “Young Artists Showcase,” hosted by Robert Sherman and aired on New York’s WQXR.

Drew graduated cum laude from Harvard with bachelor of liberal arts in social science and did his undergraduate music studies at the Juilliard School with Jerome Lowenthal. He is currently pursuing his Master’s of Music at Juilliard with Robert McDonald as a recipient of the prestigious Kovner Fellowship.

About the American Pianists Association

The American Pianists Association has been supporting aspiring young artists for over 30 years. Their unique competitions, both classical and jazz, offer significant opportunities for American pianists, ages 18-30, to advance their careers. Each winner receives a two-year fellowship, valued at over $100,000 including cash awards, fees, publicity and recording opportunities. APA is proud of its assistance and innovative competition formats. All of APA’s competition events are produced as public recitals and feature the Finalists in a variety of settings. APA greatly values the individual artistic sensibilities of each pianist, nurtures such individuality and does not impose any repertoire requirements during the competitions other than those necessary for the different genres. It is APA’s intent to focus on artistic expression and not on competitive prowess. Further, APA makes an effort to tailor its career assistance to suit the particular needs of the winner, offering an array of opportunities appropriate to the winner's current career development and status. APA strives to be the bridge between professional training and a full-fledged professional career.

For more information on the American Pianists Association visit www.americanpianists.org/.


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