Also judging will be Lee assistant professor of music Ning An, associate professor of music Dr. Gloria Chien, and Dr. Phillip Thomas, chair of Lee’s Department of Instrumental Music.
A judges’ concert will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Squires Recital Hall, which is located in the Humanities building on Parker Street.
Among his generation of concert artists, Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras. He began studying piano at the age of six, entered the University of Illinois at the age of 16, and 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 1992, Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has played numerous recitals throughout the U.S., including performances at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.
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. Internationally, Pratt has toured Japan four times and performed in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Israel and South Africa.
Pratt is currently an associate professor of piano and artist-in-residence at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
Pianist Young-Ah Tak has performed as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician in the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Italy, Korea and Japan.
Tak was the silver medal winner at the San Antonio International Piano Competition, where she also received “Best Performance of a Classical Work” award. She was also the winner of the International Corpus Christi Young Artists' Competition, and top prize winner in numerous other competitions including the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, the Juilliard Concerto Competition, and the International Fulbright Concerto Competition.
Tak received her bachelor of music from The Juilliard School and her master’s of music with high distinction from the New England Conservatory where she also earned her graduate diploma as a Presidential Scholar. She is currently pursuing her doctorate of music arts at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and is an assistant professor of piano at Southeastern University, Fla.
Ning An, assistant professor of music at Lee, made his concert debut at the age of 16 performing the Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra. Since then, he has appeared with such groups as the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In 2002, An placed third at the Paloma O'Shea Santander Competition in Spain. He also received the audience award and was named a laureate at the Rachmaninoff Piano Competition in Pasadena, Calif., in 2002.
An also won first prize in the Tivoli International Piano Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark, and performed at the Chopin Museum in Warsaw and with the Lodz Philharmonic in Lodz, Poland.
Originally from Taiwan, Gloria Chien began playing the piano at age five. After winning both divisions of the National Piano Competition in Taiwan, she came to the United States at age 14. She has given solo recitals at places such as the National Concert Hall in Taiwan, the Harvard Musical Association and the Caramoor Festival in New York State. She has served as a soloist for the New England Conservatory Honors Orchestra, the NEC Youth Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In 2000, Chien placed fifth at the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati as well as being the third prize winner at the San Antonio International Piano Competition. Here, she also won the prize for Best Performance of the Commissioned Work.
Chien received her doctorate of music arts, master of music and bachelor’s of music from the New England Conservatory of Music and is currently an associate professor of music at Lee.
Teacher, music historian, and pianist Phillip Thomas began his teaching career at Lee University as a piano instructor in 1977. Since then, he has filled a number of roles, including classroom and studio teacher, accompanist, ensemble director, and administrator. Thomas also chairs the Department of Instrumental Music and serves on a number of university committees.
Thomas received his doctorte from the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, his master of music in piano from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied piano with George Walker and Julio Esteban, and his bachelor of arts from Lee College.
Thomas has served as adjudicator for a variety of competitions on the local, regional, and international levels and is a member of the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, and Music Teachers National Association.
The judges’ concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Instrumental Music at 423-614-8264 or the School of Music at 423-614-8240.