Passionate about piano or simply enjoy great music? Art of the Piano is back this year, a three-week festival that celebrates piano, featuring some of the world’s best musicians. Cincinnati-based pianist and Art of the Piano founder Awadagin Pratt is joined by more than a dozen artists on July 6–24. In residence are Jessie Montgomery, composer in residence at the Chicago Symphony; Judd Greenstein; Paola Prestini; Conrad Tao; Lera Auerbach; and more.
It’s a one-of-a-kind event bringing together talented and creative performers in one place for the first time. Pratt refers to the multi-talented musicians as poly-creative. “There are people whom I call relentlessly creative, [have] new ideas, projects coming out of them all the time, and in various media,” says Pratt. “Lera Auerbach would be one of these; she writes poetry, children’s books, makes art, composes, and plays piano—we are so lucky to have her coming!”
Among the performances is a once-in-a-lifetime concert: a free, live preview of Stillpoint, Pratt’s upcoming album. (See a sneak peek video below!) The event features four world premieres by composers Tyshawn Sorey (a MacArthur Grant winner), Paola Prestini, Judd Greenstein, and Jonathan Bailey Holland. Also on the concert are newly-commissioned works by Jessie Montgomery, Alvin Singleton and Peteris Vasks. Pratt will perform at the piano and is joined by Grammy-winning vocal group Roomful of Teeth and Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra A Far Cry on July 10 at 2 p.m. at Memorial Hall OTR. The event is free, but reservations are required (click here to reserve free tickets).
The festival is also proud to celebrate a diverse group of artists this year. “I thought it was very important that we have a diverse group of composers,” says Pratt. “I really wanted to have the African-American voice represented throughout the performances and open dialogues.” The African-American weekend runs July 15–July 17 featuring masterclasses and performances at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Jeremy Ajani Jordan, Aaron Diehl, and Mikael Darmanie will perform a series of concerts flowing between old and new, written and improv, classical, and jazz. Other performances include:
- The Stillpoint Concert, July 10 at Memorial Hall in OTR: A world premiere of several new works, performed by Awadagin Pratt, Roomful of Teeth, and A Far Cry
- Conrad Tao, July 8 at Werner Recital Hall
- Stephen Prutsman, July 14 at Memorial Hall in OTR
- Aaron Diehl, July 17 at Memorial Hall in OTR
- African-American weekend, July 15–17 featuring Jeremy Ajani Jordan at CCM, Mikael Darmanie at CCM, and Aaron Diehl at Memorial Hall in OTR
- Lera Auerbach, July 24 at Memorial Hall in OTR
Join Art of the Piano this year and be immersed into the sounds of piano. Whether you’re interested in the full slate of performances or want to pop in for one concert, visit the website for a schedule and to purchase tickets to the festival.