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

About the pianist…

With such reviews as “passionate” and “poetic,” pianist Harsha Abeyaratne leads an active career performing both nationally and internationally. His exciting concert schedule for the 2018-19 fiscal year includes  solo recitals at the esteemed St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, England as well as the Centro Cultural Colombo Americano in Cali, Colombia; Texas A&M University in Commerce, Texas; and Graves Piano in Columbus, Ohio. In the past, he has given solo recitals 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. An equally dedicated collaborative pianist, he has collaborated with world renowned artists George Wolfe and Randy Sabein, 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. 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; a solo performance in the Grace Lutheran Church Concert Series in Columbus; and two respective solo recitals at Muskingum University (March and October of 2017), the latter featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, and Chopin as well as Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Abeyaratne is an Associate Professor of Music and the Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. During his tenure at Muskingum, he has also given performances at universities, namely Ohio University, Ohio University (Zanesville), Ohio State University, University of Mount Union, Cedarville University, Temple University, West Chester 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 Oehrtman, 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.

Originally from Sri Lanka, he teaches piano, music theory, and aural skills at Muskingum and collaborates with students at their senior recitals as well. 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 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 and passionate tennis player.