Monday, December 28, 2009

Dr. William Chapman Nyaho, U.S. Pianist of Ghanaian Heritage, Born Dec. 28, 1958

[ASA: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent; William Chapman Nyaho, piano; MSR Classics MS1242 (2008)]

Dr. William Chapman Nyaho was born in Washington, D.C. But while still an infant he was taken by his parents to their native Ghana, where they raised him. Following his music education, he settled in the country of his birth. His biographical profile can be found at and at presents some of Dr. Nyaho's background, in anticipation of his return to Vashon Island, Washington State, for a performance at the Blue Heron Arts Center at 7:30 PM, Jan. 9, 2010:

“According to cd liner notes by friend/mentor, Maya Angelou, Chapman Nyaho, a famed concert pianist, chose compositions, which allowed him to display his virtuosity.”

“Youngest of six, Nyaho's musical aspirations were encouraged by his family in a home always filled with music. He earned his BA from Oxford University's Honour School of Music. He continued his piano studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve, Switzerland, the Eastman School of Music where he graduated with his Master of Music degree, and at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree.”

“Following four years as a North Carolina Visiting Artist, Nyaho taught at University of Louisiana at Lafayette and was recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award and held the Heymann Endowed Professorship. Nyaho recently served as Visiting Professor of Music at Maine's Colby College and Visiting Artist at Oregon's Willamette University. During summers he has taught for Interlochen Summer Arts Camp and Vermont's Adamant Music School. Based in Renton, Nyaho teaches privately when home from touring and teaching posts. Nyaho's book, [a 5-volume set of sheet music] Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, and cds (both Piano Music by Composers of African descent) will be available at the concert.
Where: Blue Heron Art Center

Dr. Nyaho's latest CD, ASA: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent; MSR Classics MS1242 (2008), has recently received a resoundingly favorable review from a respected journal of music criticism:
“This is a very attractive, and most rewarding, recital of music, much, if not all, of which will be totally unfamiliar to the majority of those reading this. There’s a vast variety of styles and sounds here, many taking the European model as a starting point but each work quickly takes its own path in a most fascinating way.”

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