American Pianists Awards winner named Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis

A 23-year-old, internationally acclaimed pianist and winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards will serve as the Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis.

University of Indianapolis President Rob Manuel with Drew Petersen, winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards and the Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis.

University of Indianapolis President Rob Manuel with Drew Petersen, winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards, Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis.

Drew Petersen, who will perform as Artist-in-Residence at the University for the next two years, was among five finalists who performed in the American Pianists Awards New Music Recital in April at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The recital led off the final week of a 13-month competition involving some of the world’s top pianists. 

Petersen will visit the campus for one week for each of the next four semesters beginning in Fall 2017 to teach, perform and work with students in master classes. The collaboration creates unique learning opportunities for the University, which hosted the final round of the competition in partnership with the American Pianists Association, based in Indianapolis.

“The University continues to have a rich tradition of excellence in the arts and music, which has created wonderful opportunities to work with some of the top talents in the world,” said University President Robert Manuel. “As the Artist-in-Residence, Mr. Petersen will mentor our students as they create successful careers in music and open them–and our program–up to new opportunities that will come with this global recognition.”

The five finalists performed for a week in Indianapolis, testing their talents in a variety of performance settings and styles. The group also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, under guest conductor Gerard Schwarz. Other finalists included Alex Beyer, Sam Hong, Henry Kramer and Steven Lin.

The Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship will provide Petersen with a prize valued at $100,000 designed to assist him as he builds his musical career. It includes $50,000 in cash, a recording contract with Steinway & Sons, two years of professional development and assistance and performance opportunities worldwide.

The opportunity to work with UIndy music students is exciting, Petersen said. He will provide lessons to multiple students, present a two-hour master class and host performances during his time on campus as the Artist-in-Residence.

“I’ve always found it rewarding to work with young people, not only to impart my knowledge of music but to be a mentor to them in all aspects of their lives,” said Petersen, who is pursuing his master’s of music at the Juilliard School as the recipient of the prestigious Kovner Fellowship. He has earned top honors at international competitions, including the Leeds International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, the New York Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition and is the 2016 winner of the Sanders-Juilliard-Tel Aviv Museum prize.

“I’ve had such great teachers over my lifetime. It makes me feel good to share with people what I’ve learned,” Petersen added.

Brenda Clark, chair of the Department of Music and director of Music Education programs, added: “These opportunities and collaborative experiences will serve to influence, educate, and inspire our students in intellectual and creative endeavors which we believe will inspire them to realize or achieve their own goals and potential.”

Learn more about Drew Petersen here.