The Anderson University School of Music is partnering with the Adams Foundation and Central Christian Church to present internationally acclaimed American concert pianist Awadagin Pratt in a solo piano recital at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at Central Christian Church, 923 Jackson Street, Anderson, Ind.
The City of Anderson is the only city in the Midwest to host the special piano recital series underwritten by the Adams Foundation. The Adams Foundation Recital Series is dedicated to the revival of solo piano concerts in cities and smaller towns across the United States, through funding by businessman and philanthropist Stephen Adams. The program for this recital will include the Liszt Piano Sonata in B minor and shorter works by Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann.
Born in Pittsburgh, Awadagin Pratt began studying piano at the age of six. Three years later, having moved to Normal, Illinois with his family, he also began studying violin. At the age of 16 he entered the University of Illinois where he studied piano, violin, and conducting. He subsequently enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he became the first student in the school's history to receive diplomas in three performance areas – piano, violin, and conducting.
In 1992, Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has played numerous recitals throughout the U.S. including performances at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, and Chicago's Orchestra Hall. His many orchestral performances include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, National, Detroit, and New Jersey symphonies among many others. Pratt is also the artistic director of the Next Generation Festival, a two-week chamber music festival in Lancaster, Pa., and appears with cellist Zuill Bailey in duo recitals throughout the US.
As a conductor, Pratt has participated in the American Symphony Orchestra League and Conductor's Guild workshops and the National Conducting Institute, where he worked closely with Leonard Slatkin and conducted the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. A great favorite on college and university performing arts series and a strong advocate of music education, Awadagin Pratt participates in numerous residency and outreach activities wherever he appears; these activities may include master classes, children's recitals, play/talk demonstrations and question/answer sessions for students of all ages.
Pratt has been the subject of numerous articles in the national press and was named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony Magazine's special 50th anniversary issue. He has also been featured on National Public Radio's Performance Today, Saint Paul Sunday, and Weekend Edition. On television, Pratt has performed on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and Sesame Street. He has been profiled on CBS Sunday Morning and was one of the featured soloists on PBS's "Live from the Kennedy Center - A Salute to Slava." In November 2009, Pratt was one of four artists selected to perform at a White House classical music event that included student workshops hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, and performed in concert for guests including President Obama.
Pratt is currently an associate professor of piano and artist in residence at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
The Adams family has established this special forum in which the public can experience the extraordinary solo piano repertoire of fine American pianists. Tickets for the recital will be sold at Central Christian Church and Anderson University’s box office annex in the Krannert Fine Arts Center, room 137. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $10 for students, and free for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the church the day of the concert. Individuals wishing to purchase tickets in advance may call (765) 641-4543 or (800) 619-3047.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.