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Bloomington-Normal native to play piano at White House event

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Awadagin Pratt 101209
Bloomington-Normal native Awadagin Pratt will perform Nov. 4 at the White House as part of a special day honoring classical music. (Courtesy photo)

NORMAL -- Bloomington-Normal native Awadagin Pratt will perform Nov. 4 at the White House as part of a special day honoring classical music.

Pratt, currently professor of piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, will play solo and in tandem with violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and guitarist Sharon Isbin.

Pratt and his fellow artists also will lead master classes and perform a concert with high school students in the afternoon, followed by the formal evening concert in the White House East Room.

Pratt, the son of Mildred and the late T.A.E.C. Pratt of Normal, took piano and violin lessons in the Twin Cities as a child and eventually won the prestigious Naumberg International Piano Competition in 1992 at the age of 26. He became the first black musician to win the event.

In 1999, Piano & Keyboard Magazine named Pratt one of 59 "top pianists of the 20th century."

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