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Born Mar. 23, 1881, in Hanover; died May 27, 1962, in Berkeley, USA. German pianist and teacher. Of Dutch descent.
In his youth, Petri played violin in a quartet organized by his father, the violinist Henry Petri, and later in the Dresden Royal Orchestra. He studied piano under T. Carreño and then, beginning in 1900, under F. Busoni, who exerted a decisive influence on Petri’s development as a pianist. Beginning in the early 1900’s and continuing over the course of 50 years, Petri toured many countries; in 1923 he made the first of many tours of the USSR, where his influence on Soviet pianists was of great significance. He was also famous as a teacher, active in this capacity in Manchester, Basel, Berlin, and Zakopane. In 1939 he moved to the USA, where he gave concerts and taught. As a pianist he continued the tradition of Busoni—profundity of design, mastery of technique, and absence of outward effects. However, a certain academic manner was inherent in his playing. Petri was especially successful with works by J. S. Bach and F. Liszt.