With such reviews as “poetic” and “passionate”, pianist Harsha Abeyaratne leads an active career as a solo pianist, collaborative pianist, and teacher. Currently an Associate Professor of Music at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio, he has given performances at such venues as St. Martin’s in the Fields in London, England; Baha’i Worship Center in Chicago; Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Blue Lake, Michigan; Gansu Grand Theater in Lanzhou, China; Graves Recital Hall in Columbus, Ohio; Lionel Wendt Theater in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Interharmony International Festival in Arcidosso, Italy; and Carnegie Hall (Weil Recital Hall) in New York. An equally dedicated collaborative pianist, Abeyaratne has performed with internationally recognized artists George Wolfe, Rebecca Rischin, and Randy Sabein, among others. In this collaborative medium, he has played works by contemporary composers such as Hindemith, Creston, Fink, Tower, Gweneth Walker, Ewazen, Desenclos, and Glazunov. Abeyaratne’s recent recitals at Muskingum University (2019 and 2020) included: Selections from Granados’s “Goyescas”; Beethoven’s “Appassionata” and “Moonlight” Sonatas; and Liszt’s “Three Petrarch Sonnets.” His annual recital this year at Muskingum is scheduled for Friday, the 22nd of October.
Abeyaratne has performed Rachmaninoff’s “First Piano Concerto” with the Colombo Symphony Orchestra (in Sri Lanka); Rachmaninoff’s “Second Piano Concerto” with the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra, and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds. As a chamber musician, he performed on several occasions as a member of the Alato Trio. In 2018, he released his CD entitled, “Grateful”, featuring popular piano solo works by Mozart, Liszt, Brahms, and Dello Joio. He has also given recitals at several universities in the US, namely Ohio State University, Ohio University, Jacksonville University, Marshall University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and the University of Southern Oregon. In demand as an adjudicator in Ohio, he has judged the OhioMTA/Graves Piano Competition and OhioMTA/Buckeye Auditions, both highly respected competitions. In addition, he is a recipient of the 2010 Ball State University School of Music Alumni Achievement Citation Award and several faculty grant awards from Muskingum, which have enabled him to perform in New York, China, and Italy.
Abeyaratne is an Associate Professor at Muskingum University, where he teaches piano, music theory, and aural skills; presents an annual solo recital; and collaborates with his colleagues as well as students at their senior recitals. In the Spring of 2021, he served as the Interim Chair of the Music Department. Prior to Muskingum, he served the respective keyboard departments of Manchester College, Manchester, Indiana and Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. He has two degrees from Lewis and Clark College (BA, BSc) and two from Ball State University (MM, DAMus) where he studied, respectively, with the late Ann Miller and Robert Palmer. He has also worked, during his two sabbaticals, with pianist and teacher Peter Takacs at the Oberlin Conservatory. Abeyaratne is extremely grateful for all the professional opportunities Muskingum has provided him with. Some of his interests outside of classical music include jazz, tennis, and NBA basketball.