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Diaspora News | Feb 18, 2005

Renowned Ghanaian-American pianist featured in free Sunday concert

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Renowned Ghanaian-American pianist featured in free Sunday concert

Ghanaian-American concert pianist William Chapman Nyaho performs a free, public concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, at the University of Mississippi.

Part of UM's Black History Month celebration, the program takes place in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

On Monday, Feb. 21, Nyaho presents a master class at Meek Hall Auditorium. The class is also free and open to the public.

George Dor, the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Chair of Ethnomusicology and assistant professor of music, predicts that the audience will be thrilled and enthralled with Nyaho's demonstration of "consummate artistry" as described in Fanfare Magazine. His recitals include standard repertoire and piano music of the African Diaspora.

"Certainly, he will make the piano 'sing' when rendering works based on African American spirituals, thereby creating a sober introspective mood," said Dor, coordinator of the event. "Contrarily, the auditorium will come to life as he explores the dynamic percussive and rhythmic vitality of both the piano and Sub-Saharan African ensemble drumming, idiomatic of other works."

Nyaho's upcoming concert will include piano music by critically acclaimed composers of African descent, including Robert Nathaniel Dett, Margaret Bonds, Wallace Cheatham and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, all from the United States; Samule Coleridge-Taylor from the United Kingdom; Joshua Uzoigwe from Nigeria; Gamel Abdel-Rahim from Egypt; and Oswald Russell from Jamaica.

Nyaho is a graduate of Achimota School (Ghana) and a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (UK). He earned a bachelor's degree from St. Peter's College-Oxford University, master's from Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) and doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.

A prizewinner from competitions held in Italy and in the United States, Nyaho received the American Composers Award for his performance of music by African American composer R. Nathaniel Dett. Other awards include the Mary Louisa Catlin Award at the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, 1998 University of Southwestern Louisiana Distinguished Professor Award and 1998 Acadiana Arts Council Distinguished Artist Award.

Nyaho has performed concerts in Africa, Europe and in halls across the United States, including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and regularly performs as a duo with well-respected pianist Susanna Garcia.

As an educator, Nyaho is a regular guest clinician at colleges and universities around the United States. He serves as clinician and adjudicator for several state and international piano competitions.

Nyaho's visit to UM is sponsored by the Department of Music, Piano Series at Ole Miss, Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Campus Programming and Student Programming Board, Department of Student Housing and Residence Life, Multicultural Programming, Ford Center and University Communications.

For more information, contact George Dor at 662-915-7269. For assistance related to a disability, call the Department of Music at 662-915-7268.

For more information about the Department of Music at UM, please see www.olemiss.edu/music.

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