Pianist and teacher Harsha Abeyaratne, who is an Associate Professor of Piano at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio, performs both nationally and internationally. With such reviews as “poetic” and “passionate”, he looks forward to his recital in June of 2019 at the esteemed St Martin in the Fields in London, England, where he has been invited to perform. Abeyaratne has given solo performances at the prestigious Carnegie Hall (Weil Recital Hall) in New York; Gansu Grand Theatre in Lanzhou, China; and Lionel Wendt Theatre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 2016, he taught and performed at the Interharmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy. In the United States, he has given performances at venues in major cities that include Chicago, IL; Charleston, WV; Columbus, OH; and Portland, OR. An equally dedicated collaborative pianist, he has collaborated with renowned artists such as Rebecca Rischin, George Wolfe, and Randy Sabein, among 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. In addition, his annual recital at Muskingum scheduled for March of 2019 will include three selections of Granados’s “Goyescas” and Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata.
Abeyaratne has also played Rachmaninoff’s “First Piano Concerto” with the National Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka and Rachmaninoff’s “Second Piano Concerto” with the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra. Just recently, he recently released his CD titled, “Grateful”, which features popular piano solo works by Mozart, Liszt, Brahms, and Dello Joio. A native of Sri Lanka, Abeyaratne has played concerts (and given master classes at a number of them) at several universities as well, namely Ohio State University, Ohio University, Jacksonville University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Marshall University, and the University of Southern Oregon. As a chamber musician, he has often played as a member of the Alato Trio. In addition, he has played Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds.
In demand as an adjudicator in Ohio, he has judged the OhioMTA/Graves Piano Competition and OhioMTA/Buckeye Auditions, both highly respected competitions, among others. In addition, he is the recipient of the 2010 Ball State University School of Music Alumni Achievement Citation Award as well as faculty grant awards from Muskingum, which have made it possible for him to perform at Carnegie Hall and in China and Italy. Abeyaratne has played in benefit concerts too. Two of them include a performance in Manhattan, NY to raise money for a music school in Sri Lanka that was devastated by the tsunami and a solo recital in his native country titled “The Liszt Connection” to help establish an epilepsy diagnosis center in a major children’s hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
At Muskingum, Abeyaratne teaches piano, music theory, and aural skills and gives performances with his colleagues and graduating music majors. He stays active in the community and serves the Board Council of the Zanesville Concert Association. Abeyaratne has previously taught at Manchester College and Marshall University. He has music and science undergraduate degrees from Lewis and Clark College as well as a Masters of Music and Doctor of Arts in Music degrees from Ball State University. His teachers at the two respective institutions were Ann Schaffert Miller and Robert Palmer. About his playing, Palmer writes, “Abeyaratne’s performances are marked by an innate sensitivity resulting in great musical conviction in recital.” He has also worked with Peter Takacs at the Oberlin Conservatory. Abeyaratne dabbles in jazz and poetry and is also a passionate tennis player.