Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Music in Cincinnati: 'Awadagin Pratt Introduces Tüür's Piano Concerto'; 'Eternal Evolution' CD Released

[BELOW: Awadagin Pratt ABOVE: Eternal Evolution: Music of Judith Lang Zaimont; Harlem Quartet; Awadagin Pratt, Piano; Navona (2011) ]

“ETERNAL EVOLUTION features four pieces from composer Judith Lang Zaimont performed by the renowned Harlem Quartet and pianist Awadagin Pratt. Known for its distinctive style-strongly expressive, emotional and dramatic-Zaimont's music has drawn performers from around the world several of her works have achieved repertoire status. The chamber music on this release counts on an intimate artistic connection between the performers in order to properly express the many changes in tempo, meter, and attitude in each movement.”

By Mary Ellyn Hutton
May 13, 2011
“As far as recordings go, it’s been a dry spell for pianist Awadagin Pratt -- until recently. His last CD came out in 2002 ('Play Bach' with the St. Lawrence String Quartet). Then all of a sudden, in April this year, two came out in quick succession. One of them, Johannes Brahms, Works for Cello and Piano with cellist Zuill Bailey, debuted on the Billboard classical charts at number three April 9 and now stands at number 10. The other, 'Eternal Evolution,' with the Harlem String Quartet, features music by Judith Lang Zaimont. 'It’s funny to have had a ten-year hiatus and then have two things come out in the same month,' said Pratt in his studio at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music earlier this week.
“Pratt, who is associate professor and artist-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, has been quite active in other ways. He has a busy studio at CCM (14 students), he founded the new Bearcat Piano Festival (for Haitian relief last year, for victims of the Japanese earthquake this year), and he is starting a brand new master class at CCM, set for July 5-16. His performance career is thriving (he goes to Juneau, Alaska next week for a recital with Bailey).”

[The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra program was presented May 13 and 14, 2011]
“A frequent guest of the CSO, Pratt was approached by Järvi to perform Tüür’s Concert soon after its world premiere in 2006 by pianist Thomas Larcher and the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra (led by Järvi). 'It’s a very good piece, kind of spectacular in its orchestration, in the way in which the piano and orchestra interact,' said Pratt, who met Tüür on a visit to the CSO in September, 2009. 'Motives or pitches pass between the orchestra and the piano, which builds up in successions of waves – and not all the waves are benign. It’s really powerful.'

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