Possibly one of the most interesting pianist:
-the first Black concert pianist to achieve international superstardom.
-Born in Nuremburg, Germany, he was the son of an African American career soldier, sergeant Herman Watts, and a Hungarian mother.
-he loved to play, but hated to practice. When his habit persisted, his mother began relaying stories of her countryman, pianist and composer Franz Liszt, emphasizing the fact that he practiced faithfully. Liszt soon became Watts's hero, and he even adopted Liszt's bravura playing style.
-Watts entered his first competition at age nine, competing with 40 other gifted youngsters for an opportunity to appear in one of the Philadelphia Orchestra's Children's Concerts. Watts won the competition and launched his career. He performed a Franz Joseph Haydn piano concerto.
-At 16 years old Watts played Liszt's E-flat Concerto at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. A Young People's Concert, the program was taped and shown on CBS television on January 15, 1963. Bernstein introduced the young pianist to the national audience. Less than three weeks later Bernstein asked Watts to substitute for an ailing Glenn Gould, who was the scheduled soloist for the New York Philharmonic's regular subscription concert on January 1, 1963.
-Unlike many other proteges, Watts lived up to his early promise and was a greater sensation as time moved on. In 1964 the National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences presented Watts with a Grammy Award and in February 1973 he was selected as Musical America's Musician of the Month. Other honors and awards include honorary doctorates from Albright College and Yale University, the Order of the Zaire from that African country, and a University of the Arts Medal from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
-Currently Watts remains one of the world's "greatest in demand" pianists, both as recitalist and concert soloist. He continues to perform on the world's most important concert stages and with the world's most celebrated orchestras and conductors.
source: http://www.aaregistry.com/african_ameri ... ical_piano
*note the publishing date--1993.
I am listeninging to his recording of Rach's Piano Concerto No.2 op.39. It is well played. How come this is the first time I heard of him?
back to finishing my Shakespeare essay. This site is too powerful for me. Must get away!