Winnipeg Arts Council

Pianist Awadagin Pratt Opens the MCO Season “ of the great American pianists”

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The concert begins at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 6th, in Crescent Arts Centre (Crescent Fort Rouge United Church), 525 Wardlaw Avenue.

Before he was 25, Awadagin Pratt became the first African American pianist to win the Naumburg International Piano Competition, one of the world’s oldest musical competitions. Since then, he’s performed with nearly every major orchestra in the US, at the White House, and most importantly, on classical music’s best winner of young hearts and minds, Sesame Street.

Awadagin famously earned degrees from the Peabody Conservatory in conducting, violin, and piano. But it’s to play piano on a Bach harpsichord concerto (BWV 1055) that this polymath joins us, leaving the strings for our crack orchestra and the baton in the capable hands of Anne Manson.

A fun fact about Bach’s harpsichord concertos: it’s thought that Bach wrote earlier versions of nearly all of them for other solo instruments. They are concertos brimming with ideas so rich they serve as ready vehicles for a range of instruments. In this light, Glenn Gould’s arguments for performing Bach’s concertos on piano, rather than harpsichord as originally scored, seem in keeping with Bach’s spirit. Awadagin will also make this case, by example, through his excellent rendition on piano of Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in A major (BWV 1055).

Awadagin is a brilliant beacon in today’s music world and we are so lucky to have him. What a way to start the season!

Tickets here!