West Virginia University at
Distinguished Performance Series to present pianist Leon Bates in concert.
CONTACT: H.G. Young III, professor of music, 304-424-8248.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWest Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Distinguished Performance Series will showcase one of American’s leading pianists on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Philadelphia native Leon Bates will perform in concert at 8 p.m. in the college’s multi-purpose room.
Over the past 20 years, Bates has emerged as one of America's leading pianists. He is invited to the most prestigious concert halls and his performances have warranted critical and audience accolades in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia's Academy of Music, and the Hollywood Bowl.
His sheer mastery of his instrument has led to many invitations to perform with major symphonies such as the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Detroit Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony. His large repertoire includes over 30 concerti by major composers, several contemporary concerti and he is known for his masterful performances of works by the romantics such as Rachmaninoff and his brilliant performances of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F.
He has performed throughout the world, appearing with the Vienna Symphony, the Sinfonica dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Strasbourg Symphony in France, and Canada's Victoria Symphony. Mr. Bates has been invited to appear frequently on both national and local radio and television programs, including NBC's The Today Show and CBS Sunday Morning.
Bates began his formal study of music at the age of six on both piano and violin and was soon recognized for his musical genius and groomed for a concert career. The late Irene Beck formulated his early training at the Settlement Music School, and his advanced study was under renowned pianist Natalie Hinderas at Temple University Esther Boyer College of Music.
In addition to a full concert schedule, Mr. Bates is a master teacher and often is called upon to give master classes to promising young musicians. He is a sports enthusiast and disciplined bodybuilder, which he feels aids his playing ability.
A favorite at summer festivals, he has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Chicago's Grant Park, the Houston Symphony, Lake Tahoe Festival and at the Mann Music Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Bates periodically performs on summer tour with the Boston Pops.
His Parkersburg concert will kick off the college’s observance of Black History Month.
Bates will conduct a residency with nearly 400 Wood County elementary school students at 1 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the college. Also, he will direct a piano master class that evening for three area students selected to participate by audition.
Tickets for the Feb. 1st performance are available in the college’s business office or at the door one hour before each performance. They are $10 for adults and $5 for students. WVU at Parkersburg students may purchase special advance tickets for themselves and one guest for $2 each; WVU at Parkersburg faculty and staff may purchase $5 advance tickets. All tickets at the door will be regular price. For tickets by mail, call (304) 424-8223. There are no reserved seats.
This DP Series program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and National Endowment for the Arts with approval by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Artsbridge, University System Board of Trustees Social Justice program, WVU at Parkersburg Academic Affairs budget, and student activity fee.
For additional information, contact:
Director, Communications and Public Relations
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