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Internationally acclaimed American pianist Althea Waites has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a brilliant soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative artist. In addition to performances on concert stages around the world, she has also participated in numerous festivals as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and ensemble coach, including Aspen, Tanglewood, the Yale Summer Festival, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Idyllwild Arts Festival in Southern California and as guest artist for the National Arts Festival at Grahamstown on the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Praised by the Los Angeles Times for “superb technique and profound musicality,” Ms. Waites has a long and distinguished history of championing new music by American composers and has received several honors and commendations for her work. She has also been guest soloist for National Public Radio’s Performance Today, KQED in San Francisco, KCET in Los Angeles, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Geneva Conservatory of Music in Switzerland, Wigmore Hall in London, Merkin Hall in New York City, concerts for the World Music Program in Jakarta, Indonesia, Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Her recording credits include a CD of music by African-American composers, Black Diamonds, which was released by Cambria Master Recordings in 1993 to rave reviews from the critics, and Along the Western Shore, featuring works by California-based composers.

Ms. Waites received the Bachelor of Music degree from Xavier University of Louisiana, and the Master of Music degree in piano from Yale University School of Music where she studied with Donald Currier.  She has also studied with Alice Shapiro, a protege of the late Rosina Lhevinne, and Russell Sherman, New England Conservatory faculty artist.

In addition to maintaining her concert schedule, Ms. Waites is currently on the keyboard faculty for the Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University/Long Beach, and is in demand for recitals, residencies, and masterclasses at colleges and arts institutions throughout the United States. She also collaborates with pianist Mark Uranker as the Orpheus Duo in performances of music from the traditional repertoire as well as new music for two pianos, and has officially launched her new record label for creative projects, Kuumba Music.

Her strong commitmentto cultural and community education is evident through her work with many outreach and service programs in retirement homes, prisons, hospitals, and arts institutions such as the Los Angeles County Music Center Education program and Chamber Music in Historic Sites.

Althea Waites is an International Steinway artist and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

Awards and Honors

1993: Brody Arts Fellowship, California Community Foundation
1991: National Association of Composers/USA
1990: Min-On Cultural Award, Soka Gakkai International Society
1988: Los Angeles Sentinel Woman of the Year
1987: Brody Arts Fellowship, California Community Foundation
1986: League of Allied Arts Fellowship; International Congress of Women in Music
1977: National Organization for Women

2017: Ovation Award presented by the Standard Bank of South Africa to Althea Waites for excellence in performing four concerts of music by American composers. The Standard Bank is the major sponsoring organization for the National Arts Festival which is presented in June and July at Grahamstown, South Africa.

Performance Highlights

Artes De Mexico Festival, Los Angeles
Tours of Denmark and Japan (recitals in Farum, Copenhagen, Tokyo, and Osaka)
Tour of Russia (recitals in Moscow, Minsk, Kiev, and St. Petersburg)
Tour of Germany (recitals in Bremen, Heidelberg, and Frankfurt)
Loyola Marymount University,
Los Angeles Bing Theater, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Phillips Gallery , Washington, D.C.
Merkin Hall, New York City (solo recital debut)
University of Michigan
Damrosch Park, Donnell Library, Brooklyn Museum; New York
University of Southern California
California State University/Long Beach

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