AWADAGIN PRATT began studying piano at age six and violin at age nine. He entered the University of Illinois at age 16, studying piano, violin and conducting, and at the Peabody Conservatory he became the first student in the school's history to receive diplomas in three performance areas--piano, violin and conducting. In recognition of this achievement and for his work in the field of classical music, Mr. Pratt recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins. He is the artistic director of the Next Generation Festival, a two-week chamber music festival in Lancaster, Pa., and appears with cellist Zuilli Bailey in duo recitals throughout the United States. Mr. Pratt is currently an associate professor of piano and artist in residence at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
Mr. Pratt has played numerous recitals throughout the U.S., including performances at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, and Orchestra Hall in Chicago. His orchestral performances have included appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Minnesota Orchestra and the Pittsburgh, St. Louis, National, Detroit, and New Jersey symphonies. Major summer festival engagements include Ravinia, Blossom, Wolf Trap, Caramoor, Aspen, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Mostly Mozart Festival in Tokyo. Internationally, Mr. Pratt has toured Japan four times and performed in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Israel, and South Africa.
As a conductor, Mr. Pratt has participated in American Symphony Orchestra League and Conductor's Guild workshops, as well as in the National Conducting Institute, where he worked closely with Leonard Slatkin and conducted the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. He has also conducted the Toledo, New Mexico, Winston-Salem, Santa Fe, and Prince George County symphonies, the Concertante di Chicago and .two orchestras in Japan.
Recent and upcoming appearances include recital engagements at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and in Baltimore, La Jolla, Savannah, and Duke University, as well as appearances with the orchestras of Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Seattle, Colorado, Kansas City, Utah, Nashville, Memphis, Grand Rapids, Virginia, Winston-Salem, New Mexico, and San Antonio.
A favorite on college and university performing arts series and a strong advocate of music education, Mr. Pratt participates in many residency and outreach activities wherever he appears, including master classes, children's recitals, play/talk demonstrations and question/answer sessions for students of all ages.
Named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony magazine's special 50th anniversary issue, Awadagin Pratt has been the subject of numerous articles in the national press, including Newsweek and People magazine. He has been featured on several NPR programs, has performed on the "Today" show, "Good Morning America," and "Sesame Street," and has been profiled on CBS "Sunday Morning." He performed twice at The White House at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Pratt records exclusively on the Angel/EMI label and discography includes his debut album, A Long Way From Normal, as will as Live from South Africa, an all-Beethoven Sonata CD, Transformations, and an all-Bach disc with the St. Lawrence String Quartet.