Why are most pianists quiet about their profession and why Waleed isn't?
Speaker: Waleed Howrani, pianist, composer
Language: Mostly in Arabic with some English
Click Hereto download the video of the talk (950 MB).
Waleed started as a piano prodigy. He then spent 10 years in Russia followed by his move to the United States. During these 3 periods, he was coached, he met great composers/teachers, he taught, he performed, he was part of music competitions, he composed, and he was even in charge of selecting pianos.
Only someone without a sense of humor can go through these events without retaining a fair number of amusing and unusual musical anecdotes. Waleed is not one of those. Even some of his compositions smell of humor. Brace yourselves for an entertaining journey with Waleed, mostly in Arabic. You will get to know what goes on in the mind of a pianist/composer.
Born in New York in 1948, Waleed Howrani was reared in Beirut where he studied piano, theory and harmony privately while engaging in trials of his first Opuses. At thirteen, he came to the attention of Aram Khatchaturian, who arranged for him to receive scholarships to study piano at Moscow’s Central Music School and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory (1964 -1973), three years of which were under the tutelage of Emil Gilels.
By the time Waleed was nineteen, he had been awarded the Certificate of Honor at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition and the Laureate at the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition, paving the way for concert tours in the former Soviet Union, East and West Europe, the Middle East, as well as in the Americas.
After settling in the United States in 1973, Waleed toured extensively as a pianist while later pursuing his lifelong interest in creating music by studying composition with William Albright. As a composer, he has been the recipient of a number of honors, including the Michigan Council for the Arts Award for his Animal Rags for piano; the Artistic Excellence Award from Wayne County, Michigan; two Khalil Gibran Fine Arts Awards and a grant from the Hariri Foundation. In 2008, his Concerto for Alto Saxophone, Strings and Percussion received its world premiere in London by the English Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Clark Rundell, with Simon Haram as soloist.
Waleed recently retired from giving piano concerts but he continues to compose and to teach. He currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.