Dr. Peter Henderson


dr. peter henderson

Fingering Principles and Variants
With applications from selected piano literature.

Synopsis of Peter Henderson’s February 2019 PTRT Presentation — 14 March 2018


A versatile pianist, Peter Henderson is active as a performer in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Henderson is Associate Professor of Music and Artist-in-Residence at Maryville University, where he has been a faculty member since 2005. He performs frequently as an ensemble keyboardist with the St. Louis Symphony, and made his debut as a subscription concert soloist with the Symphony in January 2008. During January and February 2016, Henderson was the piano soloist in the St. Louis Symphony's subscription concert and California tour performances of Oliver Messiaen's Des Canyons aux étoiles.... Critics described him as a “powerhouse soloist” (San Francisco Chronicle) and an “excellent pianist” (Los Angeles Times), and praised his Messiaen playing for its “intense focus and thrilling vibrancy” (San Jose Mercury News). In addition to his work as a keyboard performer with the St. Louis Symphony, he occasionally gives pre-concert lectures from the Symphony’s Powell Hall stage, introducing subscription concert programs.

Henderson is an advocate of new music, having given several premieres of solo piano and chamber works. In recent years, he has programmed solo recitals exploring focused repertoire: during the 2011-12 season, he performed the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven; in November and December 2012, he presented the complete piano works of Debussy; and in November 2013, he played Chopin’s 27 Études in a single concert. Henderson’s discography includes collaborations with violinist David Halen, flutist Mark Sparks, violist Jonathan Vinocour, bass trombonist Gerry Pagano, soprano Marlissa Hudson, and The 442s, a Saint-Louis based crossover group. He appears on CDs published by AAM Recordings, AMP Records, and other labels, and is the piano soloist on a disc released during 2015 that features Fred Onovwerosuoke's 24 Studies in African Rhythms. His second solo CD, "A Celebration of African Composers for Piano," was issued in 2017.

Henderson is a member of the Ilex Piano Trio, along with violinist Kristin Ahlstrom (his wife), and cellist Anne Fagerburg. Both Kristin and Anne are St. Louis Symphony members; Kristin is also a Sun Valley Summer Symphony violinist.

Henderson holds the degree Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, where his piano instructor was Dr. Karen Shaw. Prior to attending Indiana University, he studied piano with Dr. Jay Mauchley at the University of Idaho, Moscow. In addition to his performing activities, Henderson works as a recording producer and composes music. He and Kristin live in St. Louis with their lively, sweet beagle/terrier-mix Zinni.