A profile of pianist Drew Petersen, winner of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant Award.

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GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO NYC ARTS.

AND PERFORMING SPACE AT WQXR.

THESE INDIVIDUAL GRANTS OF $25,000 GAVE PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE AND RECOGNITION TO TALENTED INSTRUMENTALISTS WHO HAVE GREAT POTENTIAL FOR SOLO CAREERS.

THIS YEAR, THERE WERE FOUR RECIPIENTS, THE CALLADOR STRING QUARTET, DOUBLE BASSIST XAVIER FOLEY.

VIOLINIST, FRANCES GUAFUANA, AND PIANIST DREW PETERSON.

WIDELY REGARDED AS A PRODIGY, DREW PETERSON BEGAN PERFORMING PROFESSIONALLY AT THE AGE OF 5.

SINCE THEN, HE HAS EARNED DEGREES FROM HARVARD AND JUILLIARD, WHILE HIS INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE KEEPS HIM BUSY, HE ALWAYS FINDS TIME TO TEACH AND ADVOCATE FOR THE EDUCATION OF CLASSICAL MUSIC.

PETERSON IS CURRENTLY THE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS.

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I BEGAN REALLY PLAYING THE PIANO, PLAYING AROUND WITH IT WHEN I WAS A TODDLER.

MY PARENTS HAD A VERY OLD UPRIGHT IN OUR HOME THAT I WOULD JUST LIKE TO PLAY ON.

IT WAS REALLY MY FAVORITE TOY.

I CAN BARELY EVEN REMEMBER ALL OF THIS, BUT I CERTAINLY DO REMEMBER PLAYING ON THE PIANO AND LOOKING THROUGH THE BENCH FOR SOME MUSIC AND WONDERING WHAT IT ALL MEANT.

AND MY PARENTS DECIDE TO GET ME.

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RECEIVING THE AVERY FISHER CAREER GRANT, FIRST OF ALL, IT'S AN ENORMOUS HONOR, ESPECIALLY SO EARLY ON IN MY CAREER.

IT MAKES ME REALIZE, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO BELIEVE IN ME.

AND BELIEVE IN WHAT I'M ABOUT AND WHAT I'M DOING ARTISTICALLY.

AND THAT REALLY MEANS A LOT FOR PEOPLE IN A PROFESSION THAT'S EXTREMELY DEMANDING.

I FEEL VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO EXPLORE ALL DIFFERENT AVENUES OF PERFORMANCE AND CLASSICAL PIANO, AND I THINK ONE OF THE BLESSINGS THAT WE HAVE AS PIANISTS IS THE INCREDIBLE BREADTH AND DEPTH OF REPERTORY THAT WE HAVE TO EXPLORE.

EVEN THE SOLO LITERATURE IS SO VAST, IT'S SO HARD TO GET THROUGH ALL OF IT.

BUT THEN EACH MEDIUM REALLY INFORMS THE OTHER IN A WAY.

IT ALLOWS MY EARS TO RESET AND ALLOWS MY BRAIN TO THINK IN A LITTLE BIT OF A DIFFERENT WAY, WHICH KEEPS ME WHOLE.

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THE FIRST WORK IS CALLED VIDMUNG BY SHUMON, ORIGINALLY.

IT MEANS DEDICATION.

AND WHENEVER ONE SEES DEDICATION, ONE THIS IS OF CLARA SHUMON HIS, I BELIEVE IT WAS JUST ABOUT WHEN THEY WERE ENGAGED.

THIS IS ONE OF THE MORE OVERT REFERENCES TO HER.

AND SHUMON IS ONE OF THESE INCREDIBLY PASSIONATE ROMANTICS.

I FEEL LIKE HIS PERSONALITY JUST KIND OF BLOSSOMS IN THE MUSIC AND YOU CAN REALLY HEAR IT.

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A PRETTY CLOSE FRIEND OF SCHUMANN, SO LIST WOULD ROUTINELY BE INSPIRED BY HIS FELLOW ARTISTS CREATIONS.

IN THIS CASE, A SOLO PIANO TRANSCRIPTION OF AN ART SONG FOR VOICE AND PIANO.

SO IT'S AS MUCH A WORK OF LIST'S IMAGINATION AS IT IS OF SCHUMANN.

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IT'S TOTALLY ECSTATIC, IT'S TOTALLY OVERJOYED.

IT'S THIS KIND OF BUBBLING EMOTION.

AND OF COURSE, EMOTION, IN THE VERY WIDE RANGE SPECTRUM, SO YOU'VE GOT INCREDIBLE VARIETIES.

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THE NEXT WORK I'LL BE PERFORMING IS THE FUGUE FROM BARBER'S PIANO SONATA.

HE WROTE THIS ONE MONUMENTAL SONATA.

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HE WASN'T SURE, ENTIRELY, IF HE WANTED TO END WITH THREE MOVEMENTS OR CONTINUE WITH A FOURTH MOVEMENT.

NOW VLADIMIR HOROWITZ, THE VIRTUOSO WAS SLATED TO PREMIERE THE WORK AND HOROWITZ WAS A LITTLE BIT IRRITATED THAT BARBER WAS GOING TO END THE PIECE IN SO HE PUSHED BARBER TO WRITE ANOTHER MOVEMENT.

THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT OF A BACK AND FORTH STRUGGLE AND FINALLY BARBER GOT FED UP WITH THIS AND WROTE THIS VERY, VERY DEMANDING FUGUE.

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THIS SONATA DOES FEEL VERY MUCH LIKE A TOUR DE FORCE.

THAT KIND OF INCREDIBLE JUST STRENGTH AND ATHLETICISM AND WIDE RANGE OF COLOR IS REALLY VERY MUCH APPARENT IN THE FOURTH MOVEMENT OF FUGUE.

I REALLY ENJOY PLAYING IT AS A SHOW PIECE ON ITS OWN.

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I BELIEVE THAT WITHOUT CLASSICAL MUSIC, THE WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH POORER PLACE, SPIRITUALLY, EMOTIONALLY, ARTISTICALLY, INTELLECTUALLY.

SO I FEEL THAT IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US AS MUSICIANS NOWADAYS, AND AS ARTISTS, TO ENGAGE WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

ONE OF MY MAIN GOALS IS TO SHARE AND COMMUNICATE MY PASSION ABOUT THIS GREAT ART FORM.

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