Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Petroff grew up in Chicago, where he studied piano at the Sherwood Music School. After secondary school, he chose to study medicine rather than music although his childhood dream was always to "be a composer".
He graduated medical school in 1968 and completed an intership, residency and fellowship. He entered the practice of medicine in San Antonio, Texas in 1976. Throughout this time, his avocation was composing for the piano.
In 1987, Dr. Petroff realized that if he wanted to obtain his childhood ambition of composing music, he must begin to work seriously. He studied piano with Ms. Delores LeBlanc, and later Marsha Bufler. He studied orchestration and composition with Earl Hoffman.
In 1992, Nina Drath, who is from Poland, contact Wojciech Czepiel, a noted Polish conductor and composer about a new piano concerto she wanted to perform. After seeing the rough draft of Dr. Petroff's First Piano Concerto, Wojciech agreed to do with with Miss Drath in Krakow the following October (1992). The concerto was recorded later and it received its American Premier in Waco, Texas on January 22, 1998, again with Miss Drath (to whom the work is dedicated) and Mr Czepiel.
In 1993, Dr. Petroff gave his first recital for the Fredericksburg Music Club (Fredericksburg, Texas). Later that year, Musicopia performed the Piano Quintet with Pauline Glickman at the piano.
Several of the Dr. Petroff's piano pieces are published by Vivace Press and RBC Publications. They include a "complete studies", arrangements of traditional Filipino folk songs, and numerous children's pieces.
Dr. Petroff has always been interested in education and has sponsored a piano competition for students in grades 1 thru 12. The first Petroff Piano Competition was held January 13, 1996, with more than 50 south Texas students taking part.