Skip links

Obituary: Andre Petersen (1978 – 2021)

The Creative Feel team is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Andre Petersen as a result of Covid-19 complications. The renowned musician, whose career cemented him as one of South Africa’s most prominent jazz pianists, will be remembered for his exceptional contribution to both live performance and musical education over the years.

Andre Petersen pianist obituary death
PHOTO © Gregory Franz

Initially trained as a classical pianist, Petersen later went into jazz piano, prizing collaborative ways of working which saw him performing with musicians across the globe. He was the only African musician out of 68 pianists from around the world who performed at the prestigious Parisian 2011 Concours de Piano-jazz Martial Solal Competition, receiving a Special Mention Award. Petersen was also actively involved as both a teacher and a pianist in the annual Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival for many years.
     In a statement following his passing, Standard Bank Arts said: ‘Our condolences go to the family, friends, colleagues and students of Andre Petersen, who passed away this morning as a result of Covid complications. Andre was an excellent pianist who studied classical piano initially and then became one of the leading jazz pianists in the country, playing and recording with many of our nation’s musical greats, and collaborating with musicians from around the world, Belgium and Scandinavia in particular. His passing will be a significant loss to Wits University and to the South African jazz community. Andre performed and taught many times at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival. We will miss him immensely!’

‘Petersen was undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most sought after pianists and educators and someone so well liked and respected by his community… We pay tribute to his talent, and the notable contributions he made as an artist, as well as an educator, helping to bring about a new generation of Jazz. We are thinking of his family, friends and the jazz community as we send our sincere condolences. May you rest in peace, Andre.’

A statement by the National Arts Festival

The Creative Feel team joins countless others in expressing its condolences to Petersen’s friends and family. His death is a profound loss for South African music and for the arts, globally. 

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.