Pianist for the Chicago Symphony Chorus since auditioning as a college student in 1978, Sharon R. Peterson continues as rehearsal pianist for the Chorus as well as the North Shore Choral Society. She is a staff accompanist at Northwestern University, North Park University and DePaul University. Peterson served as an accompanist for several years for Chicago Symphony Singers and CSC's ensembles. In addition, she was the Score Reader for the filming of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. During the seven years spent living in Sweden and Norway, Sharon developed a specialty in Scandinavian piano repertoire and worked as staff accompanist at the Royal Academy of Music in Oslo. Most recently she developed a course, Nordic Art Song, which she taught at North Park University during the fall of 2018.
Peterson studied with Elizabeth Buccheri at North Park College (bachelor's degree in piano performance), and Robert Weirich at Northwestern University (master's degree in piano/accompaniment). While at Northwestern, she also studied organ and served as accompanist for its Opera Workshop. Peterson has also accompanied the Lyric Opera Chorus for eight seasons, been music director of the Lyric’s "Opera in the Neighborhood" touring production of The Magic Flute, worked as ballet accompanist for Lyric's 2014 production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and provided Swedish and Norwegian Language coaching for the Ryan Opera Center. Peterson coaches voice privately as well, specializing in Swedish and Norwegian languages and repertoire.
Peterson has been a staff accompanist at Roosevelt University and accompanist in the studios of soprano Maria Lagios and saxophonist Frederick L.Hemke as well as performing regularly with singers Kathleen and Peter Van De Graaff, including a tour of Hawaii. The Frederick L. Hemke Saxophone Institute used Peterson as its only pianist for its eighth season in 2021 at the Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sydney, Maine. Peterson coaches voice privately as well, specializing in Swedish and Norwegian languages and repertoire,
Since leaving a 16-year tenure as organist at North Park Covenant Church in Chicago, Peterson has been guest organist at various churches in the Chicago area, including St. James (Episcopal) Cathedral, First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, The Village Presbyterian Church of Northbrook; Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Trinity United Methodist Church in Wilmette, St. Simon Episcopal in Arlington Heights, and St. Ann’s Episcopal in Woodstock, IL. Peterson performed a Scandinavian organ concert on the Sunday afternoon series in Loyola University’s Madonna della Strada Chapel, at the Presbyterian Homes’ Organ Concert Series in Elliott Chapel and at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights. She was Organist at Southminster Presbyterian Church and now serves as the organist at Village Presbyterian Church, Northbrook, as well as North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Past subdean and currently a board member of the North Shore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Peterson serves as committee chair for its Organ Scholarship Initiative and is on the steering committee for the 2023 Regional AGO Convention as hospitality committee chair.