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Zuill Bailey and Awadagin Pratt



A multi-faceted musician of consummate virtuosity, Zuill Bailey has established himself as one of the most sought-after and active cellists today. Mr. Bailey’s 2005/2006 season commences with a host of appearances at such summer venues as the Santa Fe, Montreal, and Australian Chamber Music Festivals, in addition to the WITF Next Generation Festival in Pennsylvania; he will also be a featured performer in the Elgar cello concerto at Virginia’s Wintergreen Music Festival, and in the complete Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano at the Maverick Festival in Woodstock, NY, with pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Concerto performances include engagements with the North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, Santa Barbara, Fort Worth, Fairfax and Roanoke symphonies, and the Illinois Philharmonic, among others. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Bailey continues his collaboration with trio partners pianist Navah Perlman and violinist Giora Schmidt with a tour of Alaska and performances in Florida and Tennessee. Spring 2006 finds Mr. Bailey in solo appearances at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, as well as in a series of recitals with his duo partner, pianist Awadagin Pratt, and further performances of Beethoven sonatas across the U.S. and Mexico with Ms. Dinnerstein.

In recent seasons, Zuill Bailey has presented concerts at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd St. Y., and Carnegie Hall in addition to the Ravinia Festival, the Des Moines Civic Center, the Lied Centers of Kansas and Nebraska, the Bard Music Festival, the Kravis Center, and Wolf Trap. As a concerto soloist, Mr. Bailey has performed with the Chicago, Dallas, Utah, Louisville, Phoenix, New York Chamber, North Carolina, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, under such celebrated conductors as James DePreist, Andrew Litton, Stanislav Skrowaczewski and Itzhak Perlman. He has played concerts abroad in Israel and Jordan; at the Manchester International Cello Festival; and at chamber music festivals in St. Nazaire and Montreal. Mr.Bailey made his Carnegie Hall debut with the U.S. premiere of Miklos Theodorakis’ Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra.

Mr.Bailey’s television appearances include a nationally broadcast recital for NHK-TV in Japan; a performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto broadcast live nationally from Mexico City; a televised appearance in Havana with the National Orchestra of Cuba, in which he gave the Cuban premiere of Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto No. 2; three appearances on HBO; and an extended interview/recital on A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts. Among Mr. Bailey’s appearances on radio are his performances on Saint Paul Sunday Morning; XM Satellite Radio’s Live from Studio II; SIRIUS Satellite Radio; a recital for RTHK Radio Hong Kong; and the BBC’s In Tune program.

Zuill Bailey’s recordings include 2003’s eponymous debut recital disk for Delos (DE 3326); the Korngold Cello Concerto with Caspar Richter and the Bruckner Orchester Linz for ASV (DCA 1146), which was featured on the cover of Fanfare magazine; and this year’s Janos Starker Celebration, a musical tribute to the legendary cellist, featuring Bailey and Starker in the Cello Quintets of Boccherini and Schubert. As the Classical Recording Foundation’s 2006 winner, Mr. Bailey will add a recording of the complete Beethoven cello sonatas to his discography later this year.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard School, Mr. Bailey’s principal teachers were Loran Stephenson, Stephen Kates and Joel Krosnick. He performs on a 1693 Matteo Goffriller cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest Quartet. In addition to his extensive touring engagements, Mr. Bailey serves as Professor of Cello at the University of Texas-El Paso, and as the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro Musica. He resides in El Paso with his wife, artist Margarita Cabrera, and their young son.


Among the next generation of concert artists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is increasingly acclaimed as one of tomorrow's superstars. His musical insight and intensely involving performances have received tremendous audience response and press attention throughout the United States during the past several seasons.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Awadagin Pratt began studying piano at the age of six. Three years later, having moved to Normal, Illinois, he also began studying violin. At the age of 16, he entered the University of Illinois, where he studied piano, violin, and conducting. He subsequently enrolled at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he became the first student in the school's history to receive diplomas in three performance areas.

In 1992, Mr. Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded a 1994 Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has played numerous recitals throughout the U.S., including performances in New York at Lincoln Center, Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center, Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Chicago at Orchestra Hall. His many orchestral performances include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Atlanta, Baltimore, National, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and New Jersey symphonies and the New York Chamber Symphony. Major summer festival engagements have included the Ravinia, Blossom, Wolftrap, Caramoor and Aspen festivals, the Hollywood Bowl and the Mostly Mozart Festival in Tokyo.

Internationally, Mr. Pratt made his debut appearances in Japan in the fall of 1996. The tour included recitals in Osaka and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and a performance with the Tokyo Philharmonic. He has been a participant in the 1994 and 1996 Kammermusikpodium Festival in Braunschweig, Germany, appeared with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra in Israel and played recitals at the Tonhalle in Zurich and Capetown, South Africa.

During the 1999-2000 season, Mr. Pratt returns to play recitals at the Kennedy Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Prudential Hall and at the Bermuda Festival. He also premieres a concerto by Theodore Shapiro with the Seattle Symphony and performs with the Puerto Rico, Honolulu and New Mexico symphonies and the Buffalo and Louisiana Philharmonics among others, as well as numerous recital appearances throughout the country. He returns to Japan for his third recital tour in that country, travels to Israel for a re-engagement with the Haifa Symphony and makes his debut recital tour in Italy with performances in Naples and Milan among others.

Awadagin Pratt has been the subject of numerous articles in the national press, including Newsweek, People Magazine, USA Weekend, New York Newsday, Emerge and Mirabella. He was named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony Magazine's special 50th anniversary issue and has been featured on National Public Radio's Performance Today and Weekend Edition. Mr. Pratt has performed on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and Sesame Street, appeared in a segment of CBS Sunday Morning and was one of the featured soloists on PBS's "Live from the Kennedy Center - A Salute to Slava." He has also performed at the White House at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton.

In September, 1993, Mr. Pratt signed an exclusive recording contract with Angel/EMI. His debut album, A Long Way From Normal, was released in 1994. His second recital album, an all-Beethoven Sonata disc, and a third album, Live from South Africa, were released in 1996 and 1997. His next CD is scheduled for release in October, 1999 and will feature Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, the Brahms “Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op.24” and his own transcription of Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue, BWV 582.

Mr. Pratt resides in Albuquerque and in his spare time is an active tennis player, devoted chess enthusiast and wine connoisseur.