2017 Guest Artist - Petronel Malan


“Formidable…dizzying…magical.” These words from New York reviewer Harris Goldsmith vividly illustrate pianist Petronel Malan’s uniquely captivating style. Indeed, as a multiple Grammy® nominee and gold medalist of several international piano competitions, Petronel continues to enthrall audiences worldwide. 

Lauded by reviewers as an unmistakably creative force in the classical music industry, Petronel’s critical acclaim culminated in the nomination of three Grammy® Awards, including “Best Instrumental Solo Album” for her debut disc Transfigured Bach. As an exclusive recording artist for Hänssler Classic, Transfigured Mozart (2006) and Transfigured Beethoven (2008) followed to great critical acclaim. Transfigured Tchaikovsky (2012) was awarded “The American Prize for Excellence in the Arts.” November 2015 Transfigured Brahms was released, which includes world-premiere recordings of transcriptions by American composer Lowell Liebermann.

Petronel maintains a full performance schedule as recitalist, orchestral soloist and chamber musician in major venues throughout the world. After her European debut in Rome, further highlights have included Carnegie Recital Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet & Salle Cortot (Paris), Mozarteum (Salzburg), Liszt Museum (Budapest), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Alte Handelsbörse (Leipzig), Bass Hall (Fort Worth), as well as the Ravinia, Gilmore & Music in the Mountain Festivals. Petronel has appeared with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg State (Russia), Martinú (Czech Republic), Bucaramanga (Colombia), Batumi (Republic of Georgia), Sicilian Chamber (Italy), and several others in the US and South Africa, under the batons of Vasily Petrenko, Bernhard Gueller, Karina Canellakis, Dmitry Manilov, Yoshimi Takeda, James Brooks, Robert Hanson, and Fuzao Kajima. 

Ms. Malan’s career was launched following five gold medals in 2000 at international piano competitions throughout the United States. These included the Louise McMahon, Missouri Southern, Los Angeles Liszt “Budapest Concert” and Hilton Head International Piano Competitions. She also garnered the grand prize in the 2000 Web Concert Hall Competition and gold medals in both the Grace Welsh Piano Competition and the Young Texas Artist Award.

Born in South Africa, Petronel began lessons with her mother at age four, continuing with Adolph Hallis, Joseph Stanford and Albie van Schalkwyk. She debuted with the Johannesburg Symphony at age ten and subsequently won all major national competitions, before moving to the US. Petronel completed her graduate degrees at the University of North Texas. Her teachers included Steven de Groote, Ralph Votapek and Joseph Banowetz and intensive coaching sessions from American legend Earl Wild.

Although residing in the United States, Ms. Malan continues strong ties to her native South Africa. She received the “Rapport/City Press Prestige Award” as one of the “10 Most Inspirational Women in South Africa,” and has appeared on magazine covers, fashion spreads and even as picture-clues in crossword puzzles. She was awarded both a KKNK Kanna and a KykNET Fiesta awards for her live performances in South Africa. Apart from a love for vintage gowns, Ms. Malan’s stage wardrobe is designed by foremost South African designers. A frequent speaker and promoter of classical music in schools, scholarships in her name are awarded to promising young musicians.

Past Guest Artists
2016. 2013, 2011 – Spencer Myer – Concert Artist, New York City

2015 – Christopher Guzman – Professor of Piano, Pennsylvania State University

2014 – Andrey PonochevnyConcert Artist, Dallas

2012, 2007 – Dr. David Abbott Professor of Piano, Albion College, Michigan, School of Music

2010 – Dr. Douglas HumphreysProfessor of Piano and Chair of Piano Department, Eastman School of Music

2009 – Dr. Steven GlaserProfessor of Piano, Ohio State University

2008 – Dr. Laura SpitzerProfessor of Piano, New Mexico State University School of Music

2009, 2003, 2001 – Eugene and Elizabeth Predoninoff – Eugene; Artist In Residence and Professor of Piano – Elizabeth; Professor of Piano, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music

2008, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1998 – Panayis LyrasProfessor of Piano and Artist in Residence, Michigan State University

2005 – Alisso Bax and Lucille Chung – Alisso; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Piano, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University – Lucille; Artistic co-director of the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation

2002 Dr. Robert RouxProfessor of Piano, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University

1999Jeffrey Biegel – Piano faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music