SEPF Guest Artist Charlie Albright

Charlie Albright

Charlie Albright

Hailed as “among the most gifted musicians of his generation” with a “dazzling natural keyboard affinity” who “made quite an impression” by the Washington Post, American pianist/composer/improviser Charlie Albright has been praised for his “jaw-dropping technique and virtuosity meshed with a distinctive musicality” by The New York Times. Recipient of the prestigious 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2010 Gilmore Young Artist Award, Albright won the 2014 Ruhr Klavier Festival Young Artist Award presented by Marc-André Hamelin (Germany) and the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.  In addition to performing, Albright is sought after as a speaker, masterclass instructor, teacher, and competition judge. His debut commercial recording, Vivace, has sold thousands of copies worldwide and the first of a 3-part Schubert Series of live, all-Schubert recordings was released in 2017.

Albright’s 2017-2018 Season includes solo debuts at the Bergen International Festival (Norway), the Bard Music Festival (New York), with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, as well as return engagements with the Seattle, Des Moines, and Hilton Head Symphony Orchestras. He begins a third 3-concert series of concerts at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum entitled Chopin and Albright, consisting of all Chopin works and an entirely improvised concert by the pianist. Other highlights of the season include concerts at the Rockport Music Festival (Boston), the Discovery Series (Kansas City), the Howland Chamber Music Society (New York), the Friends of Music Series (New York), the Concordia College Concert Series, and the Venetian Arts Society (Ft. Lauderdale). Albright’s other engagements include a talk on improvisation at the 2017 National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy and judging the 2018 Northwest Chopin Festival National Piano Competition.

Albright has appeared as a frequently returning guest artist with such orchestras as the BBC Concert Orchestra (14-concert tour with Maestro Keith Lockhart, chosen as one of the “Best of the BBC 2015”); the Alabama, Baltimore, California, Edmonton (Canada), Fort Smith, Houston, Lansing, Mobile, Omaha, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco, Victoria (Canada), and West Michigan Symphonies; the Kymi Sinfonietta (Finland); the National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra (Beijing, China); and the Boston Pops. He has performed worldwide, including at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the Salle Cortot (Paris, France); the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Miami); the Kumho Art Hall (Seoul); the NCPA (Beijing); and Alice Tully Hall (Mostly Mozart Festival, New York). Albright regularly works with artists from all genres, including vocalist/conductor Bobby McFerrin and violinist Joshua Bell. He has collaborated five times with revered cellist Yo-Yo Ma: at the honorary degree ceremony at Harvard University for Senator Ted Kennedy; at a 10th anniversary remembrance of 9/11; at the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison; at the Aspen Institute’s Citizen Artistry conference in New York; and with the Silk Road Project.

Albright’s compositions and improvisations have been likened to “the great Romantic-era composer-pianists” by Classical Source and have been praised as “thrilling” by DC Metro Theatre Arts.

Winner of the 2011 Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts from Harvard University, Albright was also named Artist-in-Residence for Harvard University’s Leverett House, a position last filled by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Albright’s numerous awards include First Prize in both Solo and Ensemble categories at the 2006 New York National Piano Competition; First Prize and all other awards offered at the 2006 Eastman International Piano Competition; Third Prize at the 2007 Hilton Head International Piano Competition; Semi-Finalist Award and Best Performance of a Work by Liszt in Stage I at the 2008 Sydney International Piano Competition; and the Vendome Virtuoso Prize and the Elizabeth Leonskaya Special Award at the 2009 Vendome Prize Piano Competition.

A firm believer in education, Albright founded the Charlie Albright Scholarship and Charlie Albright Piano, in collaboration with the Centralia College Foundation in his hometown. The Scholarship provides financial aid to music students, and money was raised to purchase a new 9-foot Steinway Piano for the college’s Corbet Hall.

Born in Centralia, Washington, Albright began piano lessons at the age of 3. He studied with Nancy Adsit and earned an Associate of Science degree at Centralia College while still in high school. He was the first classical pianist accepted to the Harvard College/New England Conservatory 5-Year BA/MM Joint Program, completing a Bachelor’s Degree as a Pre-Med and Economics major at Harvard in 2011, and a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance at NEC in 2012 with Wha-Kyung Byun. He graduated with the prestigious Artist Diploma (A.D.) from The Juilliard School in 2014, working with Yoheved Kaplinsky. Mr. Albright is an official Steinway Artist and is represented by Bill Capone of Arts Management Group.