BEFORE HE WAS 25, AWADAGIN PRATT became the first African-American pianist to win the Naumburg International Piano Competition, one of the world’s oldest musical competitions. Since then, he’s performed with nearly every major orchestra in the US, at the White House —and most importantly, on classical music’s greatest winner of young hearts and minds, Sesame Street.

Awadagin also famously earned degrees from the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in conducting, violin, AND piano. (You read that right.) But it’s to play piano on a Bach harpsichord concerto (BWV 1055) that this polymath joins us. He leaves the strings for our crack orchestra and the conductor’s baton in the capable hands of Anne Manson, our Music Director. How nice to have her back, after she spent a busy summer in the Maine, Germany, and London, UK.

Find out about 
our Pre-Concert Events!

A fun fact about Bach’s harpsichord concertos: it’s thought that Bach wrote earlier versions of nearly all of them for other solo baroque instruments. But Bach’s keyboard concertos are overflowing with ideas so rich, they work as ready vehicles for a whole whack of instruments. Seen this way, Glenn Gould’s “scandalous” arguments for performing Bach’s concertos on piano, rather than harpsichord as originally written, seem less far out. Awadagin will also make the case for this freedom of interpretation with his mind-blowing rendition on piano of Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in A major (BWV 1055). 

As well as masterworks by Purcell and Vaughan Williams, the concert features exciting new pieces by Marcus Goddard and Jessie Montgomery. The Canadian-American Marcus will be known already to MCO audiences as one of the most interesting composers working today. His Allaqi received the 2011 Western Canadian Music Award for Best Composition and has been performed nearly one hundred times by quartets across North and South America. Born and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East side, Jessie is a leading young American composer whose works are performed all over the world. She wrote Rounds specifically for her friend Awadagin, who plays it at this concert. 

What a concert to start the season!

Please note: to make access to this new venue even easier for you, we're going to be accepting any proof of ticket purchase, including the order confirmation emailed to you, at the door. So: no need to line up to pick up your tickets if you have that handy. 

The concert begins at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 6th, in Crescent Arts Centre, 525 Wardlaw Avenue. Casual tickets will be available 7 July 2023 here and on MCO’s Ticketline at 204-783-7377.

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
Anne Manson, Music Director
Karl Stobbe, Concertmaster
Crescent Arts Centre, 525 Wardlaw Avenue
7.30pm, Wednesday, 6 September 2023

Anne Manson, conductor
Awadagin Pratt, piano

Henry Purcell
Suite from ‘The Fairy Queen’ (Z 629)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Keyboard Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055

Marcus Goddard

Ralph Vaughan Williams
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Jessie Montgomery
Rounds (2022)

Concert sponsor / Pollard Banknote Ltd.

Piano sponsors / Yamaha Canada Music & St. John’s Music

Music Director sponsor / Don Streuber

Concertmaster sponsor / Maggie Keller, in memory of Dr. Robert Keller

Season  media sponsors / Classic 107, Golden West Radio & Winnipeg Free Press