Peter Vukmirovic Stevens is a composer, pianist and visual artist. Stevens’ music is heard widely in concert halls across the U.S., Europe, the Caucuses and Japan. He performs as a contemporary solo and chamber pianist. His artworks have shown in Seattle, Los Angeles and Paris and have featured in Studio Visit Magazine and London based A5 magazine.
Stevens studied composition with Bern Herbolsheimer at Cornish College of the Arts where he graduated with honors. After graduation, he completed further studies with Samuel Jones, professor emeritus at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He also studied composition and piano performance in Prague, and Indian vocal music and composition in Varanasi, India. He co-founded the Seattle Pianist Collective and served as the Artistic Director from 2006 to 2012. He is a recipient of several awards and grants, including from the Allied Arts Foundation and the Jack Straw Foundation. Stevens has also been awarded artist residencies in Armenia, Sweden, and at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
With each piece of music I seek to draw the listener into the heart of the material and lose themselves in the multi-sided atmosphere.
Within that layered atmosphere there are two principal elements: the musical narratives and the underlying construction, or quintessence, of the work.
In my musical materials; the harmonies, rhythms and events, I depict a hunger for exploration, struggle and discovery of the unexpected. But there is another aspect, there is the essence of the creation process, creatio ex nihilo, that is sensed within my work. It may be sensed as a physical construction in time, but ultimately, the latter experience is felt in an extra-musical way. It will be perceived by each listener in an individual way.
When these two elements work in conjunction; there is no greater feeling of communication. The work is being transmitted emotionally and intellectually. Art is the ultimate blending of nature and reason. My compositions seek to realize that concept. I want those listeners to feel they are present with me in this moment.
“Found object artists are artists who work with the flotsam and jetsam of the world, a coyote skeleton by the side of a lake, a car spring in an auto salvage yard. Peter V. Stevens is a found artist of music. In the pounding of a foundry or the pealing of a temple bell in Bhutan, he finds music that he then translates so that we can hear what he hears. And what he hears is beautiful, so beautiful, in fact, that I rank him as one of the country’s best young composers.”
Samuel Jay Keyser
– Professor Emeritus of Linguistics Phonology, Lexical Theory, Poetics at MIT