About the pianist…
With such reviews as “passionate” and “poetic”, pianist Harsha Abeyaratne made his debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall (Weil Recital Hall) in New York in December of 2012. His eighty five minute solo program featured the captivating Third Piano Sonata by American composer Robert Muczynski. A native of Sri Lanka, he has also given solo performances at the Gansu Grand Theater in Lanzhou, China; Lionel Wendt Theater in Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Interharmony International Music Festival, in Arcidosso, Italy, where he was invited to teach this past two summers. He has also played at venues in cities that include Chicago, IL; Charleston, WV; Columbus, OH; Philadelphia, PA; and Portland, OR. An equally dedicated collaborative pianist, he has collaborated with renowned artists Rebecca Rischin, George Wolfe, and Randy Sabein, among others. In this collaborative-medium especially, he has played works by contemporary composers such as Hindemith, Creston, Fink, Berio, Tower, Peaslee, Gweneth Walker, Ewazen, Desenclos, and Glazunov. In addition, he has performed as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, in this case Rachmaninoff’s “First Piano Concerto.” Notable recent performances include his performance of Rachmaninoff’s “Second Piano Concerto” with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra (2015); solo recitals at West Liberty State University and the Grace Lutheran Church in Columbus (2016); and two respective solo recitals at Muskingum University (March and October of 2017), one of which included Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”
Abeyaratne, who joined Muskingum in 2003, is currently an Associate Professor of Music and the Coordinator of Keyboard Studies. During his tenure at Muskingum he has also given performances at universities, namely Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Mount Union, Cedarville University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, West Chester University, Marshall University, and Jacksonville University. In the past, he has performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds and played with the faculty jazz band of Muskingum. 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. In addition, he is the recipient of the 2010 Ball State University School of Music Alumni Achievement Citation Award.
At Muskingum, he teaches piano, music theory, and aural skills and collaborates with students at their student recitals. Abeyaratne is a member of the National Teachers Music Association (MTNA) as well as 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 piano professor at Lewis and Clark College) and the late Mary Billimoria (Sri Lanka). He has also worked with Peter Takacs at the Oberlin Conservatory. Abeyaratne, who lives in New Concord, Ohio, is also a passionate tennis player.