Pianist Awadagin Pratt Set To Open Tour

Long dreadlocks, casual black attire part of his signature look.

One of the few African-American classical soloists of international stature, Awadagin Pratt,, embarks on a five-date recital tour of the eastern seaboard beginning Saturday (April 1).

The Chicago-born pianist was the first African-American instrumentalist to win the prestigious Naumberg Competition in New York in 1992. While the judges admitted to being taken off guard initially by his comparatively bold appearance — black T-shirt, black pants and long black dreadlocks — they soon recognized his outstanding classical talent.

The 34-year-old Pratt, who is also a world-class violinist as well as a conductor, is a fan of the lush 19th-century piano repertory. Transformations, his latest release from EMI Classics, features works by Mussorgsky and Brahms.

Pratt also will perform at Germany's Braunschweig Festival from May 4–7.

Awadagin Pratt tour dates:

April 1; Washington, D.C.; Kennedy Center

April 11; Providence, R.I.; First Unitarian Church

April 13; Stamford, Conn.; Palace Theatre

April 16; Newark, N.J.; New Jersey Performing Arts Center

April 18; Easton, Pa.; Lafayette College