By Alison Graham & Audrey Perkins
Jacobs School of Music professor and pianist Andre Watts has been inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.
Located in Cincinnati, the American Classical Music Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, according to its website. The organization “seeks to build and sustain enthusiasm for classical music in America by celebrating diverse facets of classical music excellence.”
Past inductees include Gustav Mahler, Antonin Dvorak, George Gershwin and Yo-Yo Ma.
Watts has played before royalty in Europe and heads of government in nations all around the world, according to the organization’s website. Watts received a 2011 National Medal of Arts, given by the President of the United States to “individuals who are deserving of special recognition for their outstanding contributions to the excellent growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.”
Watts first entered the music world at 16, according to the organization’s website, when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in its Young People’s Concerts.
The concert was broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. Two weeks later, Bernstein asked Watts to substitute for Glenn Gould at the last minute in performances of Liszt’s E-flat Concerto with the New York Philharmonic. This moment, according to the American classical Music Hall of Fame, was when Watt’s career launched in storybook fashion.
Watts joined the music school in 2004 as a faculty member, according to the school’s website.
Watts is an active musician and continues to give numerous performances around the world. He makes regular visits to major summer music festivals, including Ravinia, Tanglewood, Saratoga, the Mann Music Center, Mostly Mozart and the Hollywood Bowl.
The pianist joins fellow professor and pianist Menahem Pressler, who was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame on Sept. 9.
Watts received his honor during his concert Oct. 24 at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, according to the Jacobs School of Music.
“What a pleasure to accept something given to my trio, which I still dearly, dearly love,” Pressler said in a press release. “And knowing that André also received it makes the award even sweeter and more
important to me.”
Watts was also awarded the MacDowell Medal at the Oct. 24 concert from the Cincinnati MacDowell
The Cincinnati MacDowell Society is the oldest group honoring American composer Edward MacDowell, who composed during the Romantic Period and died in 1908.
© Indiana Daily Student 2014