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. His debut commercial recording, Vivace, has sold thousands of copies worldwide.
Albright has appeared as the guest artist with such orchestras as the BBC Concert Orchestra (14-concert tour with Maestro Keith Lockhart, 2015); the Edmonton (Canada), Fort Smith, Lansing, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco, and Victoria (Canada) Symphonies; the Kymi Sinfonietta (Finland); 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); and Alice Tully Hall (New York). Albright 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 the 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.
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Early Career - To be used as background information only. Do not reproduce in any publications, online or print.:
Charlie has been selected five times as an Olympia Chapter representative to the Washington State Music Teachers Convention. He was chosen to play with the University of Puget Sound Orchestra at the University’s 1998 Piano Festival. In the fall of 2000, he won trophies in the Central Washington University’s Sonatina/Sonata Festival and the Olympia Chapter Concerto Festival. Charlie was awarded a scholarship from the Beaux Arts Society in Portland and performed there on 12 May 2001. He was a guest soloist with the Capitol Area Youth Symphony on 20 May 2001 to play the first movement of the Grieg Concerto.
In November of 2001, Charlie played in the Junior High Washington Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competition and received an Honorable Mention and 2nd in the composition division. He also was one of three area students selected to participate in a workshop with Christopher O’Riley. He performed in the Elsinore Piano Series in Salem, Oregon on 8 December.In January 2002, Charlie performed with Dr. Tanya Stambuk in Gig Harbor, Washington. Later, he played the Menotti Toccata on a “live” taping of ”From the Top” at Indiana University on 17 February 2002. He appeared in a full program in April at The United Churches in Olympia and on the Longview Piano Recital Series. On 17 November 2002 Charlie was the guest performer with the Olympia Symphony at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts and on 1 December with the Seattle Philharmonic at the University of Washington’s Meany Hall, where he played the Haydn Concerto in D.
He was a prizewinner in the Northwest Chopin Festival on 1 February 2003. Charlie played another full program in Olympia and Gig Harbor in April. He also presented that program at Sherman Clay in Seattle in the Steinway Young Artists Series on 18 October 2003 and was the guest artist to perform the complete Grieg Concerto with the Port Angeles Symphony on 1 November 2003. A week later Washington State Music Teachers Association selected him top pianist in the state’s 2003 Senior Piano Division. Charlie was selected and performed at the 2004 Texas Christian University / Cliburn Piano Institute Young Artists Program in Forth Worth, Texas. He was the youngest pianist selected that year.
Throughout his music studies Charlie has coached with many renowned instructors, including Randolph Hokanson, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Andre Laplante, Harold Martina, John Owings, Leonard Richter, Boris Slutsky, Tamas Ungar, Blanca Uribe, Richard Goode and Jack Winerock. In November he was selected the State MTNA Senior 2004 Winner and winner at the Division Competition in Spokane in January 2005. On December 4th 2004 Charlie won the Olympia Music Teachers Association Fifth Annual Concerto Festival Senior Division competition. He gave a recital at Sherman Clay in Seattle on 16 January 2005 and in Longview, Washington in May.
In February he performed in a Prizewinners’ Concert at the 2005 NW Chopin Foundation Festival in Seattle. In March 2005, he performed on the Community Concerts Series in Centralia, Washington. Charlie was one of the top seven senior piano contestants in the country to compete at the National MTNA Convention. In April of he performed the first movement of the Grieg Concerto with the Northwest Wind Symphony.
In July 2005 Charlie was the first place winner of the IIYM 2005 International Piano Competition in Lawrence, Kansas. In January 2006, he was the 2nd place winner of the 1st Schimmel Senior International Piano Competition in Tempe, Arizona.
He performed the Shostakovitch Concerto #2 with the Olympia Symphony in March 2006 and is scheduled to play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Northwest Wind Symphony in April; he was also invited to return to Lawrence, Kansas to perform, this past April.
Charlie was recently chosen as one of twenty-two competitors for the 3rd Biennial New York Piano Competition, this June, in New York City, and won first place in both sections of the competition; the solo and ensemble competitions. He was also one of twenty-two competitors selected, worldwide, for the 2006 Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition in at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he took first place, as well as the Best Performance in a Master Class Prize, The Best Performance of a 21st Century Work Prize, and the Audience Prize.
Charlie Albright performed along the east coast during the 2006-2007 Season. Concerts included a performance at the Trinity Church on Sept. 11, 2006 in New York City for the 5-year memorial of the World Trade Center Attacks; a duo concert with Larry Weng with the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble in White Plains, NY; a performance at the First United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C.; and a concert at Williams College in Williamstown, MA.
Charlie won the Washington State MTNA Senior Piano Competition for the fourth time in November of 2006, and was the youngest participant from an applicant pool of pianists 18-30 years old selected for the 2007 Hilton Head International Piano Competition. As one of four people representing the United States, he won third place.
In July/August of 2007, Charlie participated in the 2007 Paris Piano Institute in Paris, France.
Charlie’s 2007-2008 Season included a performance with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra in Olympia, WA; a concert at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City; and a concert as part of the Emerging Artists Series in Philadelphia, PA.
During the summer of 2008, Charlie participated as one of 36 pianists selected for the 2008 Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia. One of the top 12 in the competition as a Semi-Finalist, Charlie also won the prize for the “Best Performance of a Study by Liszt in Stage 1.”