Awadagin Pratt at a Peabody master class during the 2022-23 academic year

Image caption: Awadagin Pratt at a Peabody master class during the 2022-23 academic year

Credit: Ben Johnson


Peabody pianists contribute to Grammy-winning projects

Awards for best classical producer and best contemporary classical composition featured performances by alumni Awadagin Pratt and John Wilson

Peabody Conservatory alumni pianists Awadagin Pratt and John Wilson played a part in two big Grammy wins for classical music during the 66th annual awards, announced Sunday night.

An individual conducts a group of classical musicians seated in an orchestra arrangement
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Elaine Martone earned the classical music producer of the year award for a body of work including the album Rachmaninoff & Gershwin: Transcriptions By Earl Wild, released in 2023 by Wilson, Peab '10, '12 (MM), '14 (GPD). The best contemporary classical composition award went to Jessie Montgomery for Rounds, a track commissioned and performed by Pratt, Peab '89, '92 (GPD), on his 2023 album Stillpoint. (Montgomery thanked Pratt in her acceptance speech.)

A professor emeritus of piano at the University of Cincinnati, Pratt received Peabody's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008 and gave the Commencement address at Peabody in 2016. The inaugural edition of his Sphinx Organization-funded Nina Simone Piano Competition began last year, when Peabody graduate student and pianist Bailey-Michelle Collins, Peab '22 (MM) won bronze. Pratt's upcoming performance dates include three concerts with the Annapolis Symphony in April, when he will perform Beethoven's Concerto for Piano No. 4 in G major, op. 58.

John Wilson

Image caption: John Wilson

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Wilson is principal keyboard for the Marin Symphony in San Rafael, California, and a keyboardist with the San Francisco Symphony and the San Diego Symphony. He won the 2023 Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music by professional soloists or composers. In 2019, Wilson won first prize in the International Respighi Prize Competition. His upcoming West Coast performances include an "at the movies" concert with the San Francisco Symphony featuring music from the James Bond movie Casino Royale and highlights from Bugs Bunny at the piano by Liszt and other classical composers.

Posted in Arts+Culture

Tagged alumni, classical music