Harsha Abeyaratne on the stage of Muskingum University’s Brown Chapel

About the pianist…

With such reviews as “passionate” and “poetic,” pianist Harsha Abeyaratne performs both nationally and internationally. He very much looks forward to playing a solo recital in June, 2019 at the esteemed St Martin in the Fields in London, England, where he has been invited to perform. Abeyaratne is also excited to play recitals at Muskingum University and Graves Piano in Columbus, both in March of 2019. In the past, he has given performances at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York as well as in Lanzhou, China; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Arcidosso, Italy. In addition, he has played Rachmaninoff’s “First Piano Concerto” with the National Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka. An equally dedicated collaborative pianist, Abeyaratne has performed with renowned artists George Wolfe, Rebecca Rischin, and Randy Sabien, among several others. In this collaborative-medium, he has played works by contemporary composers such as Hindemith, Creston, Fink, Berio, Tower, Peaslee, Gweneth Walker, Ewazen, Desenclos, and Glazunov.  Notable recent performances include his performance of Rachmaninoff’s “Second Piano Concerto” with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra; a solo performance in the Grace Lutheran Church Concert Series in Columbus; and two respective solo recitals at Muskingum University (March and September, 2017), the latter featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, and Chopin as well as Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Abeyaratne, who joined Muskingum University in 2003, is the Coordinator of Keyboard Studies of Muskingum. During his tenure at Muskingum, he has also given concerts at universities such as  Ohio University (Athens), Ohio State University, University of Mount Union, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Marshall University, and Jacksonville University. He has also performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds, collaborated with his colleague and soprano Emily Oerthmann, and played as a member of the Alato Trio. In demand as an adjudicator in Ohio, he has judged competitions such as the OhioMTA/Graves Piano Competition and OhioMTA/Buckeye Auditions, both highly respected competitions, as well as the Tuscarawas Piano Festival and Montgomery Piano Competition. Abeyaratne has given benefit performances as well; in 2015, he played a concert titled the “Liszt Connection” in Sri Lanka to raise money to purchase equipment to diagnose epilepsy in children at a children’s hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In addition, he is the recipient of the 2010 Ball State University School of Music Alumni Achievement Citation Award. Abeyaratne stays active in the community as well and is a Board Member of the Zanesville Concert Association.

Originally from Sri Lanka, he is also an Associate Professor of Music at Muskingum. He teaches piano, music theory, and aural skills and collaborates with students at their senior recitals. In addition, Abeyaratne is a member of the National Teachers Music Association (MTNA) and the Ohio Music Teachers Association (OhioMTA). Prior to this current teaching position, he served the respective keyboard departments of Manchester College and Marshall University.  He received his doctoral degree in music from Ball State University under the tutelage of pianist and teacher Robert Palmer. His other teachers include Ann Schaffert Miller (former teacher at Lewis and Clark College) and the late Mary Billimoria (Sri Lanka). In addition, he has worked with Peter Takacs at the Oberlin Conservatory. Abeyaratne, who lives in New Concord, Ohio, is also a jazz dabbler, Cleveland Cavs fan, and passionate tennis player.