Mark Peters

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

James Miltenberger

Committee Co-Chair

Peter Amstutz

Committee Member

William Haller

Committee Member

Keith Jackson

Committee Member

Thomas Sloane


Nikolai Girshevich Kapustin emerged as a musical figure during the latter part of the 20th century. Kapustin's virtuosic piano ability (trained in the traditional Russian school of technique) and fascination for American jazz music equally contributed to his unique compositional style. Despite an early interest in jazz, he continued his traditional studies as a concert pianist. In the face of resistance from the Russian government, jazz continued to gain traction throughout the middle of the twentieth century.;Inspired by the styles and harmonic colors that defined jazz, Kapustin decided to merge his knowledge of Classical piano with his admiration for this new musical language. His style predominantly focuses on melding classical forms with jazz stylistic and harmonic languages. Aside from his traditional classical inspirations, jazz legends such as Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, as well as Bill Evans are among Kapustin's strongest influences.;His popularity has grown quite substantially during the early 21 st Century and his output of work is quite prolific. His works include compositional forms such as prelude and etude, as well as twenty piano sonatas and a number of concerto-style works that sound nearly identical to Big Band music.;The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze the use of Sonata form within a contemporary setting. Performance practice suggestions, as well as pedagogical concerns, regarding Sonata No. 12 will be provided to aid aspiring artists and students with methods to navigate the work effectively.;New research surfaces each year concerning the life and music of Nikolai Girshevich Kapustin. Hopefully this document will inspire new students to both attempt and master the challenging music of this great composer.