Awadagin Pratt & Zuill Bailey
with Marcin Arendt, violin
50th Anniversary Chamber Music Season
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
7:30 PM Harris Concert Hall
Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world, is a Grammy Award winning, internationally renowned soloist, recitalist, Artistic Director, and teacher. His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality has made him one of the most sought-after and active cellists today.
Among his generation of concert artists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras. He is the first student in the Peabody Conservatory of Music school’s history to receive degrees in three performance areas – piano, violin and conducting.
A native of Poland, Marcin Arendt is an active chamber musician, soloist, professor of violin, and a member of the Ceruti String Quartet at the University of Memphis’ Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music.
“Zuill Bailey is Easily One of the Finest Cellists Alive Today.”
— Classical Net
“Bailey is gifted with a beautiful tone, fabulous technique and sensitive interpretation.”
— Audiophile Audition
Felix Mendelssohn, Variations Concertantes, Op. 17 (1829), piano and cello
Johannes Brahms, Cello Sonata No. 2 in F, Op. 99 (1886), piano and cello
Johannes Brahms, Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 101 (1886), piano, cello, and violin
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About the Artists
Grammy Award Winner
Best Classical Instrumental Solo
Zuill Bailey grew up in Northern Virginia, where he was influenced and inspired by Rostropovich, who was then Director of the National Symphony. His parents are musicians. His mother is a pianist and his father has a Doctorate in both music and education. His sister is a violinist.
As an energetic four year old, while running furiously down a back hallway following a concert, Zuill Bailey had his first "run- in " with a cello. The instrument was broken following the encounter but not Bailey's spirit. He announced then that the cello would be his instrument of choice. The rest is history.
Mr. Bailey's performance instrument is made by the great Venetian cello maker, Matteo Gofriller in 1693. The instrument was used for 30 years by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. "Cello Bailey" accompanies Zuill Bailey on airlines throughout his world travels.
Zuill Bailey insures involvement in every community he visits by participating in outreach programs. He works diligently to make classical music accessible to all, primarily children everywhere.
Zuill Bailey is Artistic Director of El Paso Pro Musica, (Texas), the Sitka Summer Music Festival, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival ( Washington), the Mesa Arts Center Series (Arizona) and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Among his generation of concert artists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras.
Born in Pittsburgh, Awadagin Pratt began studying piano at the age of six. Three years later, having moved to Normal, Illinois with his family, he also began studying violin. At the age of 16 he entered the University of Illinois where he studied piano, violin, and conducting. He subsequently enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where 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 received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins as well as an honorary doctorate from Illinois Wesleyan University after delivering the commencement address in 2012.
In 1992 Mr. Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then, he has played numerous recitals throughout the US including performances at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the NJ Performing Arts Center. His many orchestral performances include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and the Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, National, Detroit and New Jersey symphonies among many others. Summer festival engagements include appearances at Ravinia, Blossom, Wolftrap, Caramoor and Aspen and the Hollywood Bowl. Internationally, Mr. Pratt has toured Japan four times and performed in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Israel, Columbia and South Africa.
Recent and upcoming appearances include recital engagements in Baltimore, La Jolla, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Ravinia, Lewes, Delaware, Duke University and at Carnegie Hall for the Naumburg Foundation; as well as appearances with the orchestras of Cincinnati, Indianapolis, North Carolina, Utah, Richmond, Grand Rapids, Memphis, Fresno, Winston-Salem, New Mexico, Rockford, IL and Springfield, OH. He also serves on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina where he coaches chamber music, teaches individual pianists and performs chamber music and concertos with the festival orchestra.
Also, an experienced conductor, Mr. Pratt has conducted programs with the Toledo, New Mexico, Vancouver WA, Winston-Salem, Santa Fe and Prince George County symphonies, the Northwest Sinfonietta, the Concertante di Chicago and several orchestras in Japan.
A great favorite on college and university performing arts series and a strong advocate of music education, Awadagin Pratt participates in numerous residency and outreach activities wherever he appears; these activities may include master classes, children’s recitals, play/talk demonstrations and question/answer sessions for students of all ages. He is also frequently invited to participate on international competition juries, such as the Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Israel, the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Minnesota e-Competition, the Unisa International Piano Competition in International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in the Ukraine.
In November 2009, Mr. Pratt was one of four artists selected to perform at a classical music event at the White House that included student workshops hosted by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and performing in concert for guests including President Obama. He has performed two other times at the White House, both at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton.
Mr. Pratt’s recordings for Angel/EMI include A Long Way From Normal, an all Beethoven Sonata CD, Live From South Africa, Transformations and an all Bach disc with the St. Lawrence String Quartet. His most recent recordings are the Brahms Sonatas for Cello and Piano with Zuill Bailey for Telarc and a recording of the music of Judith Lang Zaimont with the Harlem Quartet for Navona Records.
Mr. Pratt is currently a Professor of Piano at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He also served as the Artistic Director of the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati and is currently the Artistic Director of the Art of the Piano Festival at CCM.