Described as a “strong and exciting performer” who plays with “musical feeling and great technical skill” by the New York Classical Review, pianist Katherine Petersen enjoys a versatile career performing and educating young musicians locally and across the nation. Petersen has appeared in concerts throughout North America and Europe in venues such as The Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Empire Saal at Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Jordan Hall, Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, Place des Arts’ Maison Symphonique in Montreal, and Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall. As a 2006 winner of the CMFoNE Competition,Petersen's performance at Weill Hall was described by Edith Eisler of String's Magazine as "real music-making, concentrated and deeply felt."
Having begun her performing career young, Petersen gave her debut solo recital at the age of twelve, and hasn’t stopped enjoying her love for performing since. That same year, she played in her first chamber music ensemble, and knew that collaboration had to be a part of her career. After appearing in concert at the Heifetz Institute in 2005, Petersen was honored to to perform solo and chamber ensemble selections in the inaugural concert at the Abramson Family Recital Hall at the American University in Washington D.C. at Mr.Heifetz's invitation. Uniquely interested in the collaborative aspects of a pianist’s career, Petersen co-founded a violin and piano chamber duo in 2012, Duo FAE, with a longtime friend. Duo FAE is named for the motto that inspired composer Johannes Brahms and his good friend, violinist Joseph Joachim "Frei Aber Einsam" meaning "Free but Alone."
Petersen is often in demand for regular performances with local and national artists. Currently she is the core pianist for Chicago based Fifth House Ensemble, a group that pushes the limits of collaboration to work with cross genre artists such as Blue Grass musicians, a Mediterranean Folk Band, and video game developers.In the past she has held staff collaborative pianist positions at the Conservatory and Schulich School of Music of McGill University, Killington Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and was a pianist for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s Standard Life Competition wind and brass division.Past season highlights included performances at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Bella Concert Hall at Mount Royal University, and the premieres of new works by Stacy Garrop and Steve Snowdon.
Equally dedicated to the two facets of her career, Petersen is in demand as an educator and enjoys giving clinics and workshops at the top music schools across the nation. She has held teaching positions at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, McGill Conservatory of Music, Merit School of Music, and is currently on faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago and the Fresh Inc. Festival. She is also currently the Artistic Director for the Society of American Musicians, an organization that through its competition, awards, and performance opportunities offers assistance and encouragement to young performing artists. Ms. Petersen is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and Schulich School of Music of McGill University where her principal teachers included Vivian Weilerstein, Stéphane Lemelin, and Sara Laimon.
"This was real music-making -- concentrated and deeply felt."
- Edith Eisler, New York Concert Review