‘Adaptations’ is a program of works primarily written by black composers, both women and men. This March recital honors their voices, putting them in dialogue with canonic works by JS Bach and Franz Liszt, and continuing the celebration of their voices beyond the scope of just one month in a year.
“I was specifically thinking about the influence of the spiritual in Price’s sonata, and how spirituals were an adaptation of enslaved Africans who found themselves restricted from communicating in their native tongue. I was also thinking of how Liszt adapted a greek myth for his Ballade, and how Baoicchi adapted literature into her work. If Margaret Bonds finds itself on the program in the end, that is also an adaptation of a real spiritual for piano.”
—Donald Allen Lee III
- Johann Sebastian Bach “Prelude and Fugue in C Major, Book 2”
- Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson “Toccata”
- (Margaret Bonds “Troubled Water”) TBA
- Regina Harris Baiocchi- “Azuretta”
- Regina Harris Baiocchi- “Listen, My Husband is not a Hat!”
- Franz Liszt “Ballade No. 2” F
- lorence Price “Sonata in E Minor “
On March 13th, Piano by Nature is thrilled to present a program of some works you may know, and many works you might not. Donald Lee has selected a stunning program of works covering a span from the 1700s to present, including musical innovators who have brought an infusion of bold and original new thought into the world of music. This exquisite concert features composers who were trail-blazers- the first African American pianist to solo with a symphony orchestra, the first African American woman to write for a symphony orchestra, a composer who pioneered the idea of consolidating classical, jazz, spiritual, and pop styles in the 1970s, a pianist who invented new horizons of style and harmony, along with the symphonic poem, and finally, Papa Bach, who successfully blended the use of diatonicism with chromaticism to solidify the Western musical system we have today. All of these composers successfully adapted to their unique challenges in order to produce voices of groundbreaking significance. Listen here for Donald’s verbal notes on the program.
On March 13th at 7PM Piano by Nature will present a zoom concert free of charge to all that wish to join us, including a live appearance of Donald Allen Lee. All you have to do is sign-up to our email list located on our website pianobynature.org (scroll to the bottom/footer area for subscribe option.) and then ‘press play’ on the link we send you. And if you cannot join us on the 13th, or if you’d like to watch it again, just go to our website and enjoy the link as many times as you want for 2 weeks after the zoom event. We hope to see you on the 13th and look forward to experiencing this very special event together!
About Donald Lee III
Donald Allen Lee III received his Master’s Degree in Piano from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he was a Yates Scholar and student of Awadagin Pratt. He has won numerous awards and prizes including a Music Teacher’s National Association prize, the James Madison University Concerto Competition, the Harold Protsman Classical Period Competition, and the Eastern Music Festival Concerto Competition. He has made appearances as soloist with the James Madison University Symphony Orchestra in VA, as well as the Guilford Symphony Orchestra in NC.
Donald received his bachelor’s degree from James Madison University where he was a Presser Scholar and student of Dr. Eric Ruple. He also received instruction from Brazilian pianist, Luiz de Moura Castro during his undergraduate years. Having attended the Eastern Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institution, the Art of the Piano festival, and the Wintergreen Festival (which he was invited to attend after winning the VMTA Piano Concerto Competition), he has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses for renowned pianists such as Boris Slutsky, Jim Giles, Paul Schenly, and Yong Hi Moon to name a few.
In August 2018, Donald joined the faculty of Kentucky State University as an Assistant Professor of Piano. Also an accomplished gospel musician, he continues to serve as Keyboardist to New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH. This fall, he will be returning to CCM to pursue an Artist Diploma.
Learn more at PianobyNature.org.