Press Contact: John Sullivan (202) 707-9216, Lucy Suddreth (202) 707-9191

April 6, 1993

Naumberg Award Winner Inaugerates New Endowment with Concert at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress presents Awadagin Pratt, the 1992 Naumburg Piano Competition winner, together with the Mendelssohn String Quartet, at 8 p.m., Friday, May 14, 1993, at the National Academy of Sciences, 2100 C Street, NW.

This concert inaugurates a new endowment for "the performing or broadcasting of classical chamber music at the Library of Congress," supported by the generous bequest of Carolyn Royall Just. Ms. Just practiced law in the District of Columbia from 1938 until her death in 1987. In addition to her very active career as an attorney, she was also an enthusiastic amateur violist with a love for chamber music.

The May 14 concert marks the Washington, D.C., debut of pianist Awadagin Pratt. Since winning the Naumburg competition in May 1992, he has presented debut recitals in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He has also performed with the Colorado, Louisville, Utah, Spokane, and Honolulu symphonies and has forthcoming engagements scheduled with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as the Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore, and National symphonies.

Mr. Pratt is a musician of rare distinction, who is equally accomplished as a violinist and conductor. He was the first student in the history of the Peabody Conservatory to receive diplomas in three performance areas -- piano, violin, and conducting. An avid chamber musician, he has collaborated with Martha Katz, Lawrence Lesser, and Earl Carlyss, and for this concert appears with the Mendelssohn String Quartet.

Mr. Pratt joins the ranks of a distinguished list of pianists who have appeared with the Mendelssohn Quartet, including Rudolf Firkusny, Ursula Oppens, Menahem Pressler and Peter Serkin.

Andrew Porter of "The New Yorker" described a concert of the Mendelssohn Quartet as providing "the sense of four well-matched but distinct characters pursuing one musical end." Since its formation in 1979, the quartet has been in residence at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, and in 1981 the Quartet won the prestigious Young Concert Artists Auditions. It has also been quartet-in-residence at the Santa Fe Music Festival since 1984, and this season begins a three-year residency at Harvard University.

The quartet has performed in the "Mostly Mozart Festival" of both New York and Washington, D.C., the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. It has also performed extensively in Europe with concerts throughout the Netherlands, England, Switzerland, and Italy. The group's current personnel includes Nick Eanet and Nicholas Mann, violins; Katherine Murdock, viola; and Marcy Rosen, cello.

The concert is free -- no tickets are required -- and non-reserved seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Academy's auditorium seats 670 people and is barrier-free. The doors to the Academy building open at 7 p.m. The doors to the auditorium will open at 7:30 p.m. This concert by Awadagin Pratt and the Mendelssohn String Quartet is sponsored by the Carolyn Royall Just Fund in the Library of Congress.

The National Academy of Sciences offers its own thirteenth season of free concerts this year. The Academy's concert series is produced by Arts in the Academy and features performances by its resident chamber ensemble, National Musical Arts.

Concert Line: (202) 707-5502

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PR 93-055
4/20/93
ISSN 0731-3527

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