By Becky Koppenhaver
World-renowned piano virtuoso, Awadagin Pratt will perform a solo recital at Occidental College’s Thorne Hall on Saturday, Oct. 29. The recital – featuring works by Beethoven, Liszt, Schumann and others – will be Pratt’s only California performance on a national tour, the only chance local audiences will have to see a world-renowned prodigy whose performances have been likened to a “tsunami of sound.”
A press release says this about Pratt:
“Awadagin Pratt is one of the great American musicians of his generation, and Occidental is very proud to host him,” said Irene M. Girton, associate dean and head of the music department at the College. “We’re looking forward to an electrifying performance, as well as an intimate master class with Occidental piano students. ”
The October 29 program reflects both Pratt’s lyricism at the keyboard as well as his technical prowess. He will perform Liszt’s legendary Sonata in B Minor, S. 178 and follow that with Chopin’s trill-resplendent Nocturne in B major, Op. 62, No. 1, and the meditative Sgambati transcription of Christoph Gluck’s “Melodie,” from the 18th-century opera “Orfeo ed Euridice.” Pratt is also scheduled to perform modern works. They include “Valentine” and “Nocturne for the Left Hand Alone” by noted American jazz composer Fred Hersch.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pratt, attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music and was the first in the school’s history to receive diplomas in three performance areas of piano, violin and conduction. He has won numerous awards including the prestigious Naumburg Piano Competition, and has played in sold-out performances in Europe and Japan.
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