Acclaimed pianist Awadagin Pratt performs at Quick Center for the Arts


Image: Awadagin PrattUpcoming superstar, pianist Awadagin Pratt, will bring his masterful technique and musical insight to a virtuoso performance in Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. Pratt will also perform a special concert for the younger set, many of whom are on school vacation, that morning at 10 a.m., as part of the Quick Center's Schooldays Series outreach program. Tickets for that show, appropriate for Grades 5 and up, are $5.

On the program are: Gibbons' "The Italian Ground," "Bach from the Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080," "Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903," Beethoven's "Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110" and Liszt's "Sonata in B minor."

Among the next generation of concert artists, Pratt is increasingly acclaimed as an American original whose emotionally involving performances are guaranteed to evoke an intense audience response. He has been named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow by "Ebony" magazine and has performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pratt began studying piano at the age of six and, three years later, 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 Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory of Music where be became the first student in the school's history to receive diplomas in three performance areas.

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 United States including performances at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Chicago's Orchestra Hall. He has performed with all the nation's major symphonies and has made international debut appearances in Japan, Germany, Zurich and South Africa.

Pratt's recording career began in 1994 with the release of his album, "A Long Way From Normal," followed by a recital album, an all-Beethoven Sonata disc. His "Live from South Africa" was released in 1996 and his latest, "Pictures at an Exhibition," features the Brahms "Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24" and his own transcription of Bach's "Passacaglia and Fugue, BWV 582." He resides in Albuquerque and, in his spare time, is an active tennis player, devoted chess enthusiast and enjoys fine wines.

Tickets for the concert are $30, $27 and $24 with discounts available for seniors, students and groups. The concert will be preceded by an "Art to Heart" discussion from 7 to 7:40 p.m. with Dr. Laura Nash, director of Fairfield University's Classical Music Department. For tickets or information call (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 15, 2001

Vol. 33, No. 124