Dr. Petra Peršolja is a distinguished pianist, holding a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of California Santa Barbara, awarded in 2020. In support of her dissertation research on the unique and culturally significant Istrian Scale, Petra was granted the UCSB Graduate Division Fellowship.
Her musical journey has been marked by numerous accomplishments. She was honored with the Young Artists Fellowship by the Manchester Music Festival and showcased in the esteemed CAMA Santa Barbara Masterclass series with the pianist Richard Goode. Notably, Dr. Peršolja emerged as the winner of the Chamber Music Competition at the University of California Santa Barbara twice.
In addition to her remarkable achievements at UCSB, Petra distinguished herself further at the International Liszt Competition in Los Angeles, securing the second prize with her captivating performance of Tarantella from Années de pèlerinage. She was also nominated as a graduate student for various influential events, including Montage, the Music Department's Showcase, and the University of California Music Affiliates Musicale and others.
While attending the Music Academy at the University of Ljubljana in her native Slovenia, Petra attended a Summer Music Festival in Minnesota and was offered a scholarship at Rowan University. She accepted the invitation and moved to the United States. Here she earned a Bachelor Degree of Music in Piano Performance while simultaneously finishing the Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She continued her education by pursuing her Master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Hawaii. Here, she showcased her exceptional talent by winning the Concerto competition with a rendition of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, with the UH Symphony Orchestra. Her excellence was further acknowledged through awards such as the John Young Award in the Arts, Dai Ho Chun Scholarship, Outstanding Upper Division Student Scholarship, and Merit Achievement in Piano Performance.
Her early achievements include the Brahms Award at the International Music Competition Francesco Forgione in Italy, an honor that led to her being featured in a Solo Recital Series by the Associazione Dino Ciani. She was awarded a third prize at the NJMTA competition in Princeton, along with the Scarlatti Award and two Gold medals at the National Competition for Young Musicians of the Republic of Slovenia in both piano solo and piano duo categories.