Peter Vukmirovic Stevens is a composer, pianist and visual artist. Steven’s 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 in the U.S. and Europe. His artworks have shown in Seattle, Los Angeles and Paris and has featured in Studio Visit Magazine.
Stevens studied composition with Bern Herbolsheimer at Cornish College of the Arts where he graduated magna cum laude. After graduation, he went on for further orchestration studies with Samuel Jones, professor emeritus at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He also studied composition and piano performance with Bodhan Bubak in Prague, and Indian vocal music and composition in Varanasi, India. He co-founded the Seattle Pianist Collective, an innovative concert ensemble, and served as the Artistic Director from 2006 to 2012. He has been awarded grants from the Allied Arts Foundation, and has twice received the Jack Straw Artist Support Award. Stevens has been awarded artist residencies at the Haytayan House in Armenia, Visby International Center for Composers in Sweden, and at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Stevens continues to reside in Paris.
My music is often created using musical narratives and stories. These narratives are a palette of psychological states that pull and push the senses of the listener. I seek to capture the essence of what makes us feel the consonances and dissonances in our lives.
To create and generate is to feel the earth beneath your feet. The process of generating a new work is different each time. Every work is a composite of the past and the present—a synthesis of the times we are living in.
Traveling through remote places in the world has informed my music and art as much as my formal training. Traveling has been fundamental in forming my understanding of the universal human heart.
Titles can serve as the departure point for a work. I may be drawn to a word, or words, for its meaning, rhythm or potential to ignite the imagination of the listener.
I write music, using extended tonality, to speak to people not only from the concert music world, but to creators and audiences across disciplines.
“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