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Music at Maryville SLSO

About Peter Henderson

Peter Henderson, pianist
Peter Henderson, pianist

A versatile pianist, Peter Henderson is active as a performer in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Henderson is currently Associate Professor of Music and Artist-in-Residence at Maryville University, where he has served on the faculty since 2005. In 2015, Henderson was appointed Principal Keyboardist of the Sun Valley Music Festival Orchestra. Prior to the 2023-24 season, Henderson was appointed to the Principal Keyboard position in the Saint Louis Symphony (SLSO) by Music Director Stéphane Denève.

During January and February 2016, Henderson was the piano soloist in the SLSO’s California tour performances of Olivier Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles… (From the Canyons to the Stars…). Critics described him as a “powerhouse soloist” (San Francisco Chronicle) and praised his Messiaen playing for its “intense focus and thrilling vibrancy” (San Jose Mercury News). In addition to his regular ensemble performances with the SLSO, Henderson often delivers pre-concert lectures, introducing subscription concert programs from Powell Hall’s stage.

Henderson’s discography includes collaborations with violinist David Halen, flutist Mark Sparks, bass trombonist Gerry Pagano, violist Jonathan Vinocour, and soprano Marlissa Hudson. His most recent solo album is A Celebration of African Composers for Piano (AMP AGCD 2706, released 2017).

Henderson also occasionally composes music and works as a recording producer. His work for trombone and piano entitled Rückblick (Looking Back) appears on Gerry Pagano’s album Solitude, released December 2018. Printed and electronic editions of the score of Rückblick were issued by Ascenda Music Publishing in January 2024.

Henderson is an advocate of new music, having given several premieres of solo piano and chamber works. He enjoys performing solo recitals exploring focused repertoire: during the 2011-12 season, he performed the thirty-two 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 twenty-seven études in a single concert.

Henderson holds the degree Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, where his main piano instructor was Dr. Karen Shaw; he has also studied with Dr. Jay Mauchley at the University of Idaho. He and his wife Kristin Ahlstrom, the SLSO’s Associate Principal Second Violinist, live in Saint Louis with their lively, sweet beagle/terrier-mix, Zinni.