About the pianist…
With such reviews as “passionate” and “poetic”, Sri Lankan born pianist Harsha Abeyaratne has given solo performances at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York; Gansu Grand Theater in Lanzhou, China; Lionel Wendt Theater in Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Interharmony International Music Festival, in Arcidosso, Italy. He has also played as a soloist, in this case, Rachmaninoff’s “First Piano Concerto”, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka. An equally dedicated collaborative pianist, Abeyaratne has also collaborated with, among others, renowned artists George Wolfe and Randy Sabein. In this medium of collaborative playing, he has played works by contemporary composers, namely Hindemith, Creston, Fink, Berio, Tower, Peaslee, Muczynksi, Gweneth Walker, Ewazen, Desenclos, and Glazunov. In March of 2017, he played a solo concert featuring works by Haydn, Franck, Debussy, Scriabin, and Chopin at Muskingum University. Other recent concerts include solo recitals at West Liberty University, the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio, and a reappearance as soloist to perform Rachmaninoff’s “Second Piano Concerto” with the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra in New Concord, Ohio. In October of 2017, he will be playing another solo recital, this time featuring Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, at Muskingum University.
He has also given recitals at other universities such as Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Mount Union, Cedarville University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, West Chester University, University of Southern Oregon, and Jacksonville University. In the past, he has performed on many occasions as a Muskingum University faculty chamber musician and played Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds. In addition, he has also played on a number of occasions for charity purposes; in 2015, he gave a solo concert in Sri Lanka to raise money to help purchase and install an epilepsy diagnosis center at a children’s hospital, one of the largest of its kind in the world, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He is also in demand as an adjudicator in Ohio and 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. In addition, he is the recipient of the 2010 Ball State University School of Music Alumni Achievement Citation Award.
Abeyaratne is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio where he teaches piano, music theory, and aural skills. He is grateful for the faculty development grants he has received from the university to make possible his professional visits to New York, China, and Italy. Prior to this 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 of Music. Abeyaratne who lives in New Concord, Ohio dabbles in jazz and is also an ardent tennis player.