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Wayne Peterson

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Wayne Peterson


Wayne Peterson (3 September 1927, Albert Lea, Minn. – 7 April 2021, San Francisco, Calif.) was an American Pulitzer Prize–winning composer, pianist and educator.

Dr. Peterson earned B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Minnesota. He did advanced study on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, London, England.

In 1960, he joined the faculty of San Francisco State University, reaching the rank of Professor of Music, from which he retired. In 1998 San Francisco State University established the Wayne Peterson Prize in Music Composition. Peterson was awarded the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Music for The Face of the Night, the Heart of the Dark, an orchestral work commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and conducted by David Zinman.

Peterson's other honors include a Composer's Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1986) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989–90). In 1990 he was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome.

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