World-renowned pianist and 1992 Peabody Conservatory graduate Awadagin Pratt will return to Johns Hopkins for a special performance with the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, April 21, in Homewood's Shriver Hall. Pratt's homecoming performance with Hopkins' community orchestra of students, faculty and area residents will benefit the AMC Cancer Research Center in Denver.
The evening's program begins at 4:30 p.m. with a preconcert lecture by WBJC-FM's Jonathan Palevsky. At 5:30 p.m., the orchestra, under the direction of Jay Gaylin, will perform Webern's transcription of Bach's Ricercare from A Musical Offering, followed by Schubert's Symphony No. 8, Unfinished. For the finale, Pratt will perform an especially demanding composition, Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1.
A musician who engages audiences with the intensity of his performances, Pratt began studying piano at age 6 and the violin three years later. At 16, he entered the University of Illinois to study piano, violin and also conducting. Later at Peabody, he became the first student in the school's history to receive diplomas in three performance areas.
Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition in 1992 and was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1994. His numerous recitals include performances at Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles and Orchestra Hall in Chicago. Pratt also has performed at major summer festivals and with the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the New York Chamber Symphony. His debut album, A Long Way from Normal, was released in 1994.
An advocate of arts education, Pratt participates in numerous residency and outreach activities such as master classes and children's recitals. He was named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony magazine's 50th anniversary edition and has been featured on National Public Radio's Performance Today and Weekend Edition. Television appearances include Today and Sesame Street. He has performed twice at the White House.
Because of Pratt's popularity, advance ticket purchases are encouraged. Tickets in advance are $15 for the general public, $14 for seniors and students; at the door, $20 and $18. JHU student tickets are $5 with proper ID. To order tickets or for more information, call the orchestra office at 410-516-6542.