Dominique-René de Lerma:
Musical America Worldwide
Awadagin Pratt (pictured) is back as artistic director of
the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, having been
fired earlier this month by now former CEO and
Executive Director Mark Ernster, who is out of a job.
The board members who quit upon Pratt's dismissal
are also back in the fold, including Chairman Jack
Pratt at the time reported that he had been "surprised"
to learn in an email from Ernster that his services
were no longer required, especially since Ernster gave
The firing turned the heads of Competition partners
the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the University
of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (where
Pratt is piano professor and artist-in-residence);
Ernster did not consult with either of them--they
learned of his dismissal after the fact. They issued a
joint statement supporting Pratt's artistic leadership.
Ernster's move is all the more puzzling, given the
increased attendance at this year's competition as well as
the sold-out finals.
Dominique-René de Lerma