The Frankfort Arts Foundation presents “Classically Black: Piano Compositions by Composers of African Descent” featuring pianist Richard Alston 7 p.m. Friday in Bradford Hall on the Kentucky State University campus.
Alston is a masterful and exciting African American classical pianist who has garnered praise for his passion and technical mastery at the keyboard, his charismatic stage presence, and his progress from prodigy to mature artist.
A native of East Orange, N.J., Alston received his first instruction from Dorothy Earley, and by the age of 8, was playing organ and piano for the First Baptist Church in Vaux Hall, N.J. He later received his bachelor of music degree from the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Alston was later awarded the highly prestigious Maria Guerra Judelson Scholarship in Piano to return to Juilliard where he received his master’s degree.
Alston is currently on faculty at Essex County College in Newark, N.J.
As a concert pianist, he has drawn the attention of the musical world, educators and university students in recent years for enlightening communities about the contributions to classical music by composers of African descent. Alston served as the musical advisor/consultant of a PBS documentary “Classically Black.”
He also is the host of the cable television show “Performance Showcase at Essex County College” and is minister of music at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Montclair.
The program features the works of composers from 1895-1952. It includes the following selections:
“A Deserted Plantation Dance” by William Grant Still, “Adagio in F Minor” by Chevalier De Saint Georges, “Water in the Moonlight (1866) by Blind Tom, “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin, “Petite Suite de Concert, op. 77” by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” by Waller and Tatum, “Valse” by Billy Strayhorn, “Keep Off The Grass” by James P. Johnson, “Etude in F Minor” by H. Leslie Adams and “Toccata On Bach” by Donal Fox.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for full-time students and children. They are on sale in advance at Nature’s Way Health Foods and will be available at the door prior to the concert. For information, call 502-330-2773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The corporate sponsor for this event is Willie E. Peale, Jr. attorney at law.