Born in Sydney, Australia in 1994, Max began playing piano at the age of three, learning with the Suzuki method. When the Petersen family moved to Germany in 1998 he began taking regular piano lessons. At the age of 13 Max started playing in his first band with local musicians from Konstanz, Germany. This was when he began to practice more intensively and started composing original music for the group. At the age of 15, Max joined a special high school program in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland through which he started to take piano lessons at the conservatory in Zurich with Chris Wiesendanger. With only 17 years, Max was enrolled at the conservatory in Zurich, studying Jazz.
In summer 2013 his high school’s classical orchestra performed Max' composition for orchestra entitled "Fantasie".
In 2013/2014 Max studied at Manhattan School of Music in New York at the age of 19, attending the studio of Vijay Iyer, Jim Mcneely, Phil Markowitz and Donny Mccaslin.
Max released three Albums as a Bandleader. The latest of which was released on the swiss label unit records in June 2016 and was highly praised by critics in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
In 2015 Max founded his trio with bass player Lukas Traxel from Zurich and New York based drummer Jimmy Macbride which tours Switzerland and Germany regularly.
Back in Zurich since 2015 Max studied with classical concert pianist Hans-Jürg Strub.
Max was a semifinalist at the "International Montreux Jazz Competition 2017"
He has recorded and performed with a variety of musicians from New York and Europe including Eric Harland, Donny Mccaslin, Philippe Lemm, Nicole Johänntgen, Rudresh Manhanthappa and others.
He is currently based in Zurich.