LEWISTON – The Bates College concert series will resume Saturday, Jan. 29, with a performance by classical pianist Awadagin Pratt in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St.

Pratt, who is acclaimed for his musical insight, will play a program of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninov.

The series closes March 11 with the Quartetto di Venezia, an Italian string quartet celebrating its 20th anniversary season.

Raised in the Illinois town of Normal, Pratt’s adventurous interpretations of traditional repertoire, his technical and expressive command, and the breadth of his talent have captured worldwide attention.

The son of college professors, one from Sierra Leone and the other from Texas, Pratt (whose first name is pronounced ow-ah-DAH-jin) was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Normal, where his parents moved to accept positions at Illinois State University.

He entered the University of Illinois at age 16 and subsequently enrolled in the Peabody Conservatory of Music, becoming the conservatory’s first student to receive diplomas in three performance areas: piano, violin and conducting. Today, he is increasingly active as a conductor.

Winner of the 1992 Naumburg International Piano Competition, Pratt has performed solo recitals and orchestral dates in Europe, Asia and across the United States. He has appeared with the New York Philharmonic and the Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and National symphonies, and performs duo recitals with cellist Zuill Bailey.

Pratt, who was named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony Magazine’s 50th anniversary issue, performed twice at the White House at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton. He released his debut album, “A Long Way From Normal,” in 1994 and his most recent, an all-Bach disc with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, in 2002.

Pratt is an assistant professor of piano and an artist in residence at the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.


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