Thursday, October 29, 2009

African American Pianist Awadagin Pratt Plays at White House in Nov. 4 Evening Concert

White House ready to showcase classical music

(AP) WASHINGTON — “After showcasing jazz, country and Latin music, the White House is going classical next week. The Nov. 4 lineup for an evening concert in the East Room includes Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell, Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Awadagin Pratt. Earlier in the day, the White House will hold music workshops on violin, cello, piano and classical guitar for 120 students from middle schools and high schools across the country. The White House lineup for the classical events appears designed to showcase a younger and diverse selection of accomplished musicians.” [Full Post]
“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 Mr. Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded a 1994 Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has played numerous recitals throughout the U.S. including performances in New York at Lincoln Center, Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center, Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Chicago at Orchestra Hall.“ ““Mr. Pratt is currently an Associate Professor of Piano and Artist in Residence at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.”

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